Memory Keeping with a Theme

Do you ever look at all your photos and wonder where to even begin? Do you go chronologically, starting at the beginning? Do you try to scrapbook the most recent ones? Do you stick to special events? It can be hard to choose, and that’s why we are loving the newest Story by Stacy™ workshop kit, Stories I Love. Stories I Love encourages all of us to focus on the photos and stories we treasure the most. Using just one photo and story at a time, the workbook included in the kit walks you through how to write a personal story exploring all of the layers behind that single photo. With this kit, you’ll have nine photos and stories documented in one special place.

Memory Keeping with a Theme #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhstorybystacy #storybystacy #ctmhstoriesilove #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #themescrapbook

Choosing just nine of your most favorite photos for a Stories I Love album might still seem like a daunting task. You definitely don’t have to choose your top nine all at once. You can give yourself time to consider which photos you want to include, but we also have another approach to share with you today. You can use this approach with Stories I Love or apply it to any memory keeping project. Here’s the secret… choose a theme to help you get started. Instead of looking at all your thousands of photos (we’re confident you have that many), help yourself narrow it down by sticking to one theme or subject. Having a few parameters will make it easier to get started.

We asked three of the artists from our art studio to consider a Stories I Love album theme that they’d like to use to document stories and photos that are meaningful to them. You can use their ideas below to try this on your own! Remember, these themes are great for a Stories I Love album or you can use them in any size format. Even a 12″ x 12″ themed album can help you narrow your focus and get your memories in a scrapbook.

#1 Travel Adventures

Memory Keeping with a Theme #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhstorybystacy #storybystacy #ctmhstoriesilove #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #themescrapbook

In this type of album, you can gather the stories and photos you love the most from places you’ve been, or you can choose your favorite photos from just one trip. For her travel album, our artist used the pages and stickers included in the Stories I Love workshop kit to document a treasured moment from a study abroad adventure in Italy. The layouts in her album include special photos from other places that she’s traveled, near or far, and the stories that go with them.

Memory Keeping with a Theme #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhstorybystacy #storybystacy #ctmhstoriesilove #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #themescrapbook

You can see how she’s used the process outlined in the workbook to draft and even edit her story. This is part of what makes each Story by Stacy™ kit so usable. It takes you through the steps of both writing and creating. It’s ok if your workbook gets messy. It’s there to give you the space you need to draft and adjust the story before you write it on your album page.

#2 Family Traditions

Memory Keeping with a Theme #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhstorybystacy #storybystacy #ctmhstoriesilove #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #themescrapbook

Another approach is to focus on family traditions. With this Stories I Love layout, our artist has highlighted a photo she loves of her family at Easter, and her story explores some of her favorite family traditions during Easter time. This artist kept her pages simple, letting the story and the black and white photo remain the most important parts of the layout, with stickers and just a few added silver glitter gems. You could use a Stories I Love album for photos about family holiday traditions or even things your family likes to do together. Do you go camping every summer? Do you have special family events that happen at Christmas time? Odds are that for these moments you also have photos of them that are particularly meaningful to you. Use this type of themed album to gather them all in one place.

#3 Relationships

Memory Keeping with a Theme #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhstorybystacy #storybystacy #ctmhstoriesilove #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #themescrapbook

A different way you can theme your album is by focusing on a particular relationship. It could be with a parent, sibling, friend, or child. The photos in the album could highlight fun moments together or things you especially love about that person. For this album, our artist decided to work with photos just of her granddaughters. In her layout, she described one of her favorite things she does with her granddaughters and the special moments she gets to share with them. You can see how she’s added some other paper and embellishments to her pages. They don’t distract from the story and photo but do give her layout a different look.

It’s exciting to see how these stories and photos from our artists can come together to create a uniquely themed album for their memories. Just in case you need a few more ideas, here’s a handful of others you can try.

  • Baby album: Haven’t had time to finish your child’s baby album? That’s ok! Choose nine favorite baby photos and use the Stories I Love approach to tell those stories. This is an easy way to create a baby book that includes the best moments and stories in your own words.
  • Childhood album: Choose a few stories and photos from your own childhood. You may not have time to go back and scrapbook every photo, but this way you can gather the stories and photos that you love the most in one place. You’ll be able to write your favorite stories from your growing up years and share them with your family. This is something you could also do with your own kids. Have them choose their favorite photos and help them write the story behind one photo at a time. Not only is this a fun project to do together, but you’ll have a story told from their “kid” perspective.
  • Graduation album: Graduation season will be here soon. A Stories I Love album can be a great way to celebrate your graduate. Share a handful of stories and photos about that person over time. You can highlight moments from their life, big events, or simply what you love about the person they are becoming. This type of album is great to give as a gift to commemorate their special moment. You could do the same type of album for someone that’s retiring or reaching a milestone birthday or anniversary.
  • Pet album: Many of us have a furry friend in our lives. Use a themed album to gather photos of your pets and the stories that go with them. This could be an album you leave in process. Add some stories and photos in a Stories I Love album and then leave a few pages empty. This way you have space to include a few more the next time your pet does something new, silly, or even naughty that you want to remember with a story and photo. 🙂

The most important thing you can do is tell the stories and share the photos that you love. Those are stories that only you can tell, and starting with a theme can help you get rid of distractions or even scrapbook guilt (the guilt that memory keepers sometimes feel when they don’t have time to scrapbook EVERY SINGLE PHOTO). Give yourself permission to start with the ones that are the most important to you. That’s exactly what a Stories I Love album is for. We hope you’re inspired today to give the themed album approach a try, and we’d love to hear what theme you plan to use. Share them with us in the comments below!


Recipes:

6″ x 8″ Italy Layout
C1758 My Acrylix® Details I Love Stamp Set, Z4256 Story by Stacy™ Stories I Love Workshop Kit, Z2831 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

6″ x 8″ Easter Layout
C1758 My Acrylix® Details I Love Stamp Set, Z4256 Story by Stacy™ Stories I Love Workshop Kit, Z2844 Pixie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4191 Silver Glitter Gems, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

6″ x 8″ Granddaughters Layout
Z4256 Story by Stacy™ Stories I Love Workshop Kit, Z4217 Story by Stacy™ Short Story Workshop Kit—Black & White, X7242 I Heart Us Paper Packet, X6028 Black Cardstock, X7241C So Much Happy Complements, Z4254 So Much Happy Puffy Stickers, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

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Designer Travel: On-the-Go Crafting In Style

Desinger Travel #ctmh #closetomyheart #designer #travel #onthego #crafting #crafts #organization #organizational #stylish #storage #system #case #tote #tool #stamp #ink #carryall #carry #all #accessories #crop #workshop #paper #insert #trolley #block #marker

Our newest idea book has just launched, and we are dying to tell you about a whole new line of products! Designer Travel is our new, stylish, on-the-go organization system specifically designed to work with all of your favorite Close To My Heart Products, from papers and tools to markers and stamps!

Review the images below to learn more about each of the new products in the line. To see how the pieces all work together, watch the video that follows.

 

 

Desinger Travel #ctmh #closetomyheart #designer #travel #onthego #crafting #crafts #organization #organizational #stylish #storage #system #case #tote #tool #stamp #ink #carryall #carry #all #accessories #crop #workshop #paper #insert #trolley #block #marker

Carry-all Case. Hard-case bag with gold accents; attaches to trolley and fits paper insert or other Designer Travel storage cases.

 

 

Desinger Travel #ctmh #closetomyheart #designer #travel #onthego #crafting #crafts #organization #organizational #stylish #storage #system #case #tote #tool #stamp #ink #carryall #carry #all #accessories #crop #workshop #paper #insert #trolley #block #marker

Paper Insert. Six-pocket accordion-style insert sized to hold 12″ x 12″ paper; snaps into carry-all case, creating an additional two pockets.

 

 

Desinger Travel #ctmh #closetomyheart #designer #travel #onthego #crafting #crafts #organization #organizational #stylish #storage #system #case #tote #tool #stamp #ink #carryall #carry #all #accessories #crop #workshop #paper #insert #trolley #block #marker

Tool Case. Five internal mesh pockets sized to hold various tools and embellishments; zipper closure; fits inside carry-all case.

 

 

Desinger Travel #ctmh #closetomyheart #designer #travel #onthego #crafting #crafts #organization #organizational #stylish #storage #system #case #tote #tool #stamp #ink #carryall #carry #all #accessories #crop #workshop #paper #insert #trolley #block #marker

Block Case. Five internal mesh pockets sized to hold My Acrylix® blocks; zipper closure; fits inside carry-all case.

 

 

Desinger Travel #ctmh #closetomyheart #designer #travel #onthego #crafting #crafts #organization #organizational #stylish #storage #system #case #tote #tool #stamp #ink #carryall #carry #all #accessories #crop #workshop #paper #insert #trolley #block #marker

Marker Case. Holds up to 26 markers; zipper closure; fits inside carry-all case.

 

 

Desinger Travel #ctmh #closetomyheart #designer #travel #onthego #crafting #crafts #organization #organizational #stylish #storage #system #case #tote #tool #stamp #ink #carryall #carry #all #accessories #crop #workshop #paper #insert #trolley #block #marker

Ink Case. Holds 10 stamp pads with two movable dividers; zipper closure; fits inside carry-all case.

 

 

Desinger Travel #ctmh #closetomyheart #designer #travel #onthego #crafting #crafts #organization #organizational #stylish #storage #system #case #tote #tool #stamp #ink #carryall #carry #all #accessories #crop #workshop #paper #insert #trolley #block #marker

Stamp Case. Holds 15 stamp sets with two movable dividers; zipper closure; fits inside carry-all case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Designer Travel system is both beautiful and functional. Organize, store, and easily transport your supplies and current projects anywhere your crafting takes you!

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Mini Summertime Adventure Album

Mini summertime adventure album #ctmh #closetomyheart #cricut #cricutartbooking #cricutyouarehere #ctmhjack #camping #cabin #vacationCan you believe summer is already coming to a close? Oh how time flies when you’re having fun! Though it may be hard to wave farewell to days lounging by the pool, visiting family, and traveling to beautiful destinations, you can keep those summertime memories alive and well by creating a mini album. Summertime doesn’t have to end!

We created this camping-themed album with two of our exclusive Cricut® collections: Artbooking and You Are Here.

The Artbooking collection includes a variety of tabbed, hole-punched pages designed especially for creating mini albums like this one! To decorate those pages, we turned to the You Are Here collection, which is our newest Cricut® collection. This collection includes designs to help you document your adventures both near and far away from home. Combine these two collections together, and you’ve got everything you need to create any number of mini summertime adventure albums!

You’ll see lots of the Jack paper packet in our mini album. With its tree, woodgrain, and flannel-inspired plaid patterns, these papers are perfect for documenting your outdoor adventures. Just remember, it’s only available until the end of the month while supplies last, so grab yours while you can!

If these pages inspire you to make an album of your own, feel free to refer to the recipe at the bottom of this post to see which products we used, as well as more details about the Cricut® cuts.

Mini summertime adventure album #ctmh #closetomyheart #cricut #cricutartbooking #cricutyouarehere #ctmhjack #camping #cabin #vacationMini summertime adventure album #ctmh #closetomyheart #cricut #cricutartbooking #cricutyouarehere #ctmhjack #camping #cabin #vacation

Mini summertime adventure album #ctmh #closetomyheart #cricut #cricutartbooking #cricutyouarehere #ctmhjack #camping #cabin #vacationMini summertime adventure album #ctmh #closetomyheart #cricut #cricutartbooking #cricutyouarehere #ctmhjack #camping #cabin #vacation

Mini summertime adventure album #ctmh #closetomyheart #cricut #cricutartbooking #cricutyouarehere #ctmhjack #camping #cabin #vacation

Mini summertime adventure album #ctmh #closetomyheart #cricut #cricutartbooking #cricutyouarehere #ctmhjack #camping #cabin #vacation

Mini summertime adventure album #ctmh #closetomyheart #cricut #cricutartbooking #cricutyouarehere #ctmhjack #camping #cabin #vacation

Mini summertime adventure album #ctmh #closetomyheart #cricut #cricutartbooking #cricutyouarehere #ctmhjack #camping #cabin #vacation

What are your favorite memories from this summer? Tell us in the comments below!


Recipe

 6″ Wander Mini Album
X7222B Jack Paper Packet, X5957 Sapphire Cardstock, X5948 Heather Cardstock, X5960 Fern Cardstock, X5979 Juniper Cardstock, X5950 Toffee Cardstock, X5978 Glacier Cardstock, X5962 Goldrush Cardstock, X5965 Ruby Cardstock, X5959 New England Ivy Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3095 Whisper Thick Twine, Z3169 Cricut® Artbooking Collection, Z3389 Cricut® You Are Here Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artbooking
3 ¼” Photo Mat 2 <1> (p. 38, Real Dial Size on)
6″ Photo Mat 1 <1> (cut 3, p. 38)
6″ Photo Mat 1 <2> (p. 39)
6″ Shift+Photo Mat 1 <@> (p. 39)
6″ Photo Mat 2 <3> (p. 40)
6″ Photo Mat 1 <3> (p. 40)

You Are Here
2 ½” Icon-2 <1> (p. 1)
2 ½” Shift+Icon-2 <!> (p. 1)
1 ½” Icon-3 <4> (p. 4)
1 ½” Shift+Icon-3 <$> (p. 4)
2″ Icon-4 <8> (cut 3, p. 8)
2″ Shift+Icon-4 <?> (cut 3, p. 8)
2″ Title <8> (p. 8)
2″ Shift+Title <8> (p. 8)
1 ½” Shift+Icon-3 <?> (p. 8)
2 ¾” Icon-4 <Y> (p. 16)
2″ Shift+Icon-1 <F> (p. 24)
2 ½” and 3″ Shift+Icon-3 <F> (p. 24)
2″ Icon-1 <G> (p. 25)
2″ Shift+Icon-1 <G> (p. 25)
1 ½” Title <G> (p. 25)
3″ Icon-2 <G> (p. 25)
3″ Shift+Icon-2 <G> (p. 25)
2″ Icon-4 <B> (p. 35)
2″ Shift+Icon-4 <B> (p. 35)
1″ Icon-2 <B> (p. 35)
1″ Shift+Icon-2 <B> (p. 35)
2 ¼” Title <B> (p. 35)
2 ¼” Shift+Title <B> (p. 35)
3″ Title <B> (cut 2, p. 35)
2″ Title <Seas> (p. 40)
2″ Shift+Title <Seas> (p. 40)

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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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