Celebrating All Things Canadian!

In light of Canada’s 150th anniversary, Close To My Heart is celebrating all things Canadian this month! We’ve even put together a Canadian Celebration Bundle (CC1311), at 20% off its retail value, to show our friends in the Great White North just how much we love being south of the border neighbors!Celebrate Canada #CTHM #Closetomyheart #canada150 #canada #canadian #mapleleaf #icehockey #pondhockey #cricut #scrapbooking #scrapping #scrapbook
The Canadian Celebration Bundle comes with an exclusive My Acrylix® Canada 150 stamp set (A1214), with the official Canada 150 logo! Composed of a series of diamonds representing the 13 Canadian provinces and territories in the shape of the iconic maple leaf, we have been granted permission to use this design to create an evocative stamp that fosters feelings of pride and celebration. (Add beautiful color and dimension to your stamped image with your watercolors or pencil crayons!)Canadian Cricut Collection #CTHM #Closetomyheart #canada150 #canada #canadian #Quebec #Britishcolumbia #OhCanada #OCanada #cricut #scrapbooking #scrapping #scrapbook #provinces #territories
Also included in this bundle—our new Cricut® Hello Canada Digital Collection (Z3391)! Featuring 20 layered images, this collection has shapes, overlays, and names for all Canadian provinces and territories. Planning on a game of pond hockey? There’s a cut for that! Paying a visit to Parliament Hill? There’s a cut for that, too! We’ve got you covered from sea to sea, Canada!
All Things Canadian #CTHM #Closetomyheart #canada150 #canadian #canada #mapleleaf #icehockey #pondhockey #cricut #scrapbooking #scrapping #scrapbookAnd to round out the bundle, we’ve selected 12 sheets of cardstock just for you, including 2 Cranberry and 3 White Daisy, of course!

Whether you’re a native, visitor, or an admirer of all things maple, avoid a kerfuffle and take advantage of the Canadian Celebration Bundle while it’s available—July only! AND, as if this bundle isn’t a beauty already (yeah right, eh?) we are saving you a few loonies and offering it at 20% off retail value!

In the comments below, share what you love most about this bundle and why!

Happy birthday Canada!


Definition of Canadian colloquial terms:

  1. Great White North—nickname for Canada
  2. Pencil crayons—colored pencils
  3. Pond hockey—informal variety of ice hockey
  4. From sea to sea—Canada’s national motto
  5. Kerfuffle—commotion
  6. Beauty—something done well
  7. Yeah right, eh?—don’t you think?
  8. Loonie—a dollar

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In a “State” of Love

Places are part of our identities: Where you are born, where you travel to, and where you call home all contribute to making the wonderful, unique YOU! With our collection of My Acrylix® states and provinces stamps, you can acknowledge the special places in your life in all sorts of ways.

Taking a road trip? Make a page like this one when you get back:Cute mini states & provinces stamps from Close To My Heart. #ctmh #closetomyheart #craft #stamping #makeitfromyourheart #scrapbook

What a simple and fun way to commemorate your trip! If you’ve got the travel bug, right now you are probably picturing an entire album filled with these types of pages, each with its own stamp image—it’s alright, we are too, and we’ve got stamps that can take you throughout the US, Canada, and even to Australia and New Zealand!

Here’s another idea—Use these stamps to send a unique card to a faraway friend or loved one. It’s an easy way to remind them that distance can’t dilute your love. Amazing what some paper and the right stamp can say, right? 🙂ute mini states & provinces stamps from Close To My Heart. #ctmh #closetomyheart #craft #stamping #makeitfromyourheart #cardmaking

We really think this next idea is super cute: Use these stamp sets to tell your love story!
ute mini states & provinces stamps from Close To My Heart. #ctmh #closetomyheart #craft #stamping #makeitfromyourheart #cardmaking

Besides being mini and adorable, these stamp sets are really fun because they’re so versatile.

Have more ideas for how to use these cute stamp sets? Tell us in the comments below! We want to hear your great ideas!

Recipes

12″ x 12″ Hello California Page
M1065 My Acrylix® California, C1636 My Acrylix® Live Laugh Love, X7206B Regatta Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5778 Saffron Cardstock, Z2648 Sapphire Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z2170 Ruby Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z2012 Sequins Gold Assortment, Z1985 Gold Shimmer Trim, Z2027 Mini Stapler, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen Journaling Pen, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Thread

5 ½” x 4 ½” Sending Hugs Card
M1114 My Acrylix® Utah, B1504 My Acrylix® Sending Love, X7201B La Vie En Rose Paper Packet, Z2195 Lagoon Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z2105 Black Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z2116 Cranberry Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z2009 Red Enamel Hearts, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen Journaling Pen

12″ x 12″ Love Has No Boundaries Page
M1113 My Acrylix® Texas, M1119 My Acrylix® Wisconsin, E1027 My Acrylix® Framework Alphabet, B1416 My Acrylix® Keyboard Uppercase, B1484 My Acrylix® Jennifer’s Hand, X7205B Charlotte Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5929 Whisper Cardstock, X5778 Saffron Cardstock, X5780 Pomegranate Cardstock, Z2173 Slate Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z2171 Saddle Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z2653 Pomegranate Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, 44751 Archival Black Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z3099 Fundamental Assortment Pomegranate, Z1985 Gold Shimmer Trim, Z3203 Treasured Puffies, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen Journaling Pen

 All these products are available through one of our Independent Consultants. To find a Consultant near you, visit closetomyheart.com and click on “Find a Consultant” in the top right corner of the page.

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Around the World AGAIN: Monica in Australia and New Zealand

Fitting right in with this month’s travel theme, Close To My Heart CCO Monica Wihongi would like to share some travel adventures of her own after presenting at the Product Premiere Roadshow events in Australia and New Zealand earlier this month:

The timing of my trip to Australasia worked out just perfectly because I was able to fly with my daughter to Hawaii to drop her off at her dorm room for her first semester of college. It was hard to say goodbye, and I already miss her so much!BYU-Hawaii

On my flight from Honolulu, I struck up a conversation with the gentlemen seated next to me. As I talked about my work at Close To My Heart, he mentioned that his sister is an avid scrapbooker. After a bit more conversation and a quick search on Facebook, we discovered that his sister is in fact one of our Close To My Heart Consultants! So of course I had to take a picture with him!IMG_7484

This chance encounter filled me with pride for the great company that I work for and the wonderful people I had come to Australasia to see. I had a full and somewhat daunting schedule ahead of me, but I felt encouraged by our simple conversation, and it helped me see the wonderful progress that Close To My Heart has been making throughout Australasia over the past two years.IMG_7252

My trip began with Product Premiere Roadshow events in Christchurch and Auckland, New Zealand. My husband, Jody, was raised in New Zealand, and I was happy to have him accompany me on these early stops. I am always amazed by the natural beauty of that country but even more so by the beautiful people that live there. Our New Zealand Consultants are an incredible crew, and it was an honor to spend time with them at these events.

These events were our venue for showing off the brand new products we unveiled last month at our North American Convention. There’s so much to be said for seeing products and artwork first-hand, and, even better, getting to create with them! Event attendees at all our stops got to make this beautiful layout using a new paper packet that I absolutely love called Kaleidoscope. This is my example featuring my youngest daughter, Maya.
maya creative insider
From New Zealand, we flew to Perth in Western Australia. Through all my stops, I was accompanied by our incredible Australasia corporate staffers, Australasia Managing Director, Brian O’Callaghan and Events Manager, Meredith Blakemoore. We were also joined by Anna Williamson from Consultant Services for the last few stops. Working alongside these individuals over the course of these events, I was so impressed by how much they care about the Consultants and how much heart they put into everything that they do. They are truly remarkable individuals, and I am grateful to have them as part of our Close To My Heart family.
IMG_8004
From Perth, to Adelaide, to Hobart, Tasmania; then on to Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney—everywhere we went, we were greeted by groups of enthusiastic and joyful Consultants who were incredibly excited for our new products and eager to learn as much as they could. There was such a positive energy at every event that I felt rejuvenated after each one, despite the rigorous travel schedule!

And boy was the schedule rigorous! We put on 8 different events across New Zealand and Australia in less than two weeks! But we still somehow managed to squeeze in some site-seeing opportunities. I just felt that I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to enjoy the rare beauty of this incredible part of the world. So what if I missed out on a few precious opportunities to take naps—it was so worth it!

And then, before I knew it, the Product Premiere Roadshow was all over and I was flying back home. I was exhausted, but invigorated at the same time. I just have to say this: I am proud of how strong Close To My Heart has become in Australasia, I am proud of the people that we have working with us, and I am proud of the difference we have been able to make in the lives of so many people in this part of the world. I look forward to going back for our Australasia Convention, which is only a month and a half away! It is going to be a wonderful occasion for us to celebrate the two years we’ve had together so far and the many years that lie ahead of us.IMG_7914

In honor of our first two years in Australasia, we actually have something special lined up for next week—I don’t want to give it away, but I promise you’ll want to be sure to check the blog early next week for a new contest open to all of our readers.

Thank you to everyone who helps to make the Close To My Heart family the amazing community that it is!

With love,

Monica

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Around the World: Thailand

Thailand

We’ve arrived at the last stop of our global adventure —Thailand! An exquisite country in southern Asia, Thailand has a rich culture that blends elements of Indian, Chinese, and Cambodian cultures. Today’s artistic tradition is sure to brighten your day and light a smile on your face. 😉 Just look at this picture!

"Yi peng sky lantern festival San Sai Thailand" by Takeaway - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

Breathtaking, right? This lantern festival, called Yi Peng, is part of an ancient religious ceremony that pays homage to Buddha. It’s celebrated primarily in the city of Chiang Mai and is part of a larger religious tradition in Thailand called the Festival of Lights. While others release lotus-shaped offerings filled with candles, incense, and flowers onto bodies of water, the people of Chiang Mai instead release thousands of rice paper lanterns into the night sky while making a wish.

The ceremony and the amazing imagery created by thousands of lanterns in the night sky were so inspirational, we just had to ask one of our artists to create artwork inspired by Yi Peng. We think this card perfectly captures the simplistic beauty of this religious practice and art form.

CTMH Thailand card

Though this card takes a minimalistic approach, the gold sequins and purposeful stamping embody the warmth of the message it carries. Just like the people of Chiang Mai release paper lanterns as tokens of dedication and hope, giving a card to someone in need shows your dedication to that relationship—it says, “I really care about you.” Such a gesture can do so much to ignite hope in someone who is downhearted. It can be a light in an otherwise dark sky. That is the brightening influence you can have by sending your well wishes and beauty into the world.

The next time you create a card, think about these lanterns, and remember—you are striving to make the world beautiful, and that cause, in and of itself, is something to celebrate.

Feeling inspired? We know we sure are! Now that you’ve viewed artistic traditions from four countries around the world, we hope you take some time to reflect on all you’ve learned, and then create amazing artwork from your new pool of ideas. We’ve loved being your personal tour guide, and we hope to see you on another trip soon!

P.S. Folks, this is our last “Around the World” blog post! Be sure to leave a comment to enter to win the travel stamp giveaway! We will announce the winners on the blog Thursday, August 27, so be sure to tune in!

 Recipe
 
5 ½” x 4 ¼” Balloon Card
C1570 My Acrylix® Lifting Spirits, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 1272 Cranberry Cardstock, 1243 Goldrush Cardstock, 1273 Desert Sand Cardstock, Z2123 Goldrush Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z888 Black StazOn™ Ink Pad, Z2012 Sequins Gold Assortment, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Thread

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Around the World: France

Grab your favorite beret and silk scarf because we’re traveling to the city of love—Paris, France! Today’s artwork is so enchanting that it will have you dancing though the Parisian streets like Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron.

Though today’s artistic tradition did not necessarily originate in France, one of the most iconic pieces of this tradition can be seen in a very famous Parisian cathedral—let’s take a stroll past the Notre Dame de Paris, shall we?

Notre Dame

In addition to its stunning architecture, the Notre Dame Cathedral is famous for its ornate stained glass, which is where we drew our inspiration. Though the Notre Dame was constructed roughly between the 12th and 13th centuries, the practice of creating stained glass began popping up across Europe as early as the 7th century and as far away as the Middle East.

Notre Dame North Rose

In light of this ancient art form, we asked one of our artists to create something inspired by stained glass. With the help of our Cricut® Artbooking Collection, she created this page:

Stained Glass page

We simply adore this modern spin on traditional Gothic stained glass! The pattern creates a captivating backdrop for the photograph and conveys the sacredness the artist feels toward nature and her family relationships. But our artist didn’t stop with just a page! She also created this beautiful stained glass card:

Stained Glass card

She used watercolor pencils to create the ombré coloring that is reminiscent of stained glass art, and then topped that with clear embossing to give the artwork a glasslike luster. What a beautiful way to share your deepest sympathies with someone you love!

As psychiatrist and author Elisabeth Kübler-Ross said, “People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”

This card would certainly be a beautiful light to someone experiencing heartache or hardships, as it would inspire them to keep shining through life’s darkest moments.

Notre Dame Stained Glass

As you travel through life’s journey, always remember that you have your own individual light within you. Just like a beautiful stained glass window, you will find that some of your most beautiful colors shine through when you rely on your inner light in life’s dark moments. It is this same inner light that will imbue your artwork with your own special touch, spark a light in others, and bring them through the darkness.

So, let yourself shine! Somebody out there needs your light.

P.S. Remember to leave a comment on this post to enter the travel stamp giveaway!

Recipes:

12″ x 12″ Great Adventure Page
C1611 My Acrylix® Campfire Lifestyle, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5930 Slate Cardstock, X5929 Whisper Cardstock, X5762 Lagoon Cardstock, X5764 Pear Cardstock, X5763 Smoothie Cardstock, X5772 Canary Cardstock, Z2173 Slate Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2195 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2197 Pear Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2135 New England Ivy Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2013 Sequins Silver Assortment, Z1979 Marvy® Unchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z3171 Cricut® Art Philosophy Collection, Z3169 Cricut® Artbooking Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Art Philosophy
1 ¼” <Circle1> (p. 21)

Artbooking
10 ½” Overlay <HeloWrld>(p. 84)

5 ½” x 4 ¼” Thinking of You Card
D1651 My Acrylix® Wavy Blooms, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 1386 Black Cardstock, 1388 Colonial White Cardstock, Z2503 Basics Exclusive Inks™ Mini Pigment Pads Set, Z891 Versamark™ Ink Pad, 3505 Watercolor Pencils, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z1754 Sparkles Black & Grey Assortment, Z2088 Ranger™ Clear Super Fine Embossing Powder, Brush
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Storage . . . with Style!

With all the talk of travel this month, we just have to mention a fantastic offer that will help you transport your Close To My Heart supplies to and from crops and workshops with ease—or simply help organize your stock of supplies at home. Drumroll, please!

Introducing the Marker Roll-Up and the Accessory Roll-Up from Close To My Heart!

Get Organized!

These beautiful, brand new roll-ups are versatile and adorable. Plus, they coordinate perfectly with our Rolling Tote and Shoulder Tote for fashionable traveling. 🙂 The marker roll-up is a canvas storage device designed to fit up to 25 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ markers within its interior elastic loops. It rolls up and secures with a stylish snap closure featuring a sweet enamel heart and also includes a hanging loop for easy vertical storage. The accessory roll-up is a canvas storage device that contains 16 clear plastic pockets with zippers to hold Base & Bling products, embellishments, or other accessories. Like the marker roll-up, it rolls up and secures with a snap closure and also includes a hanging loop for easy vertical storage.

Pretty great, right? Well, it gets even better! During the month of August, when you purchase one of these organizational roll-ups (or both!), you will qualify to receive a few additional perks—FREE perks!

When you place an order for the new marker roll-up at full retail price, you will receive the new My Acrylix® Balloon Wishes D-size stamp set FREE!

Balloon Wishes

If you place an order for the new accessory roll-up at full retail price, you will receive our two newest Base & Bling style sheets, Affirmations and Lovely Blooms, FREE!

Did we mention that these products aren’t even available to the public yet? The marker roll-up, the accessory roll-up, the stamp set, and the style sheets are all from our brand new Annual Inspirations idea book. By taking advantage of this wonderful offer, you’re getting an exclusive sneak peek at some of the many fantastic new products available in the upcoming Annual Inspirations 2015–2016 idea book, which premiers on September 1. Be sure to check out all of Close To My Heart’s other organizational products, too, for all your organizational (and travel!) needs.

Visit your Consultant’s Online Business Address to start shopping, or visit closetomyheart.com and use the “Find A Consultant” link on the top right corner of our website to find the Consultant nearest you.

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Around the World: Japan

Konnichiwa! We’re glad to see that you’ve arrived safely at our first travel destination—Japan! The reason we’ve traveled across land and sea to this beautiful archipelago is to study the ancient art of kintsukuroi.

What on earth is kintsukuroi, you ask? As your trusty tour guide, we’d be more than happy to fill you in. Kintsukuroi is the Japanese practice of repairing broken pottery with gold, silver, or platinum and doing so with the belief that the pottery is more beautiful for having been broken.

Isn’t that a lovely idea? The final results are equally as lovely.

Kintsukuroi

The philosophy behind kintsukuroi is that objects are not rendered useless when they crack or begin to fall apart. In fact, these “flaws” aren’t really flaws at all! They merely signify the passing of time and contribute to the object’s history. They are not something to conceal or be ashamed of because they remind us what it means to be human.

We asked one of our artists to create a layout about what kintsukuroi means to her. Here’s the moving page she created:

Beautiful Imperfect Me

It’s hard to decide what we love most: the raw emotion of the page or the artistic details that express that emotion so perfectly—the ripped Zoe paper, the silver embossing that mirrors kintsukuroi, the heartfelt journaling. Together the emotion and details create something that resonates with each one of us.

Silver Crack

It’s sometimes hard to forgive ourselves for not being what we wish we could be, and as crafters it’s sometimes hard not to focus on our inabilities or the flaws in our artwork. Essentially, it’s hard to look beyond the cracks and simply appreciate the wonder of the whole. But it’s important that we try because there is great power in acceptance.

Kinsukuroi

Just as the gold and silver seams between the broken shards of pottery create a more unique and beautiful piece of art, embracing our imperfections helps us heal and embrace our own unique beauty. And that’s the kind of beauty that truly deserves to be illuminated.

Now go out into the world and feel empowered! And always remember you’re beautiful, cracks and all. 🙂

P.S. Be sure to leave a comment on this post to enter the travel stamp giveaway!

Recipe

12″ x 12″ Me Page
D1544 My Acrylix® Distress Backgrounds Flair, D1550 My Acrylix® Happy Autumn, X7197B Zoe Paper Packet, X7188B Snowhaven Paper Packet, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, Z1939 Paper Fundamentals Basic Assortment, Z2196 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2644 Pixie Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2118 Desert Sand Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z3042 Coral Reef Sequins, Z1799 Silver Shimmer Trim, Z2067 Ranger™ Silver Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z3170 Cricut® Artiste Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artiste
1 ½” Shift <Font> “E”
2″ Shift <Font> “M”

 

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Around the World with Close To My Heart

Around the World

Have you always longed to be a world traveler? Do you find international architecture, culture, clothing, and history fascinating?

Well, today is your lucky day because adventure is knocking! Close To My Heart is about to bring a bit of the world to you—right in your own home! Throughout the month of August, we’ll be sharing amazing artwork inspired by artistic traditions from four different countries across the world.

In each post we’ll give you some cultural background about the art form, and then we’ll go sightseeing to marvel at some truly exceptional papercrafting artwork. Each of these posts will be distinguished with the title “Around the World” followed by the name of the country the artistic tradition comes from.

But the adventure doesn’t stop there. With each “Around the World” post, we’re going to give away four travel-themed My Acrylix® stamp sets for a total of 16 stamp sets in one month! These blog posts will not only be your passport to the world, but also your passport to win some pretty awesome stamps. 🙂

How do you enter to win one of these stamp sets? Simply comment on an “Around the World” blog post. The more comments you make, the more you will increase your odds of winning! At the end of the month, we’ll randomly select 16 winners and announce them on the blog.

What do you say? Are you ready to soak in artistic inspiration from all around the world and win a stamp set while you’re at it? If the answer is yes, then be sure to check in frequently and prepare yourself for the journey of a lifetime! It’s time to get inspired.

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