A Fun Way to “Spruce” Up Your Valentine’s Day Décor

As a crafter, you’re always looking for new projects and new ideas. With Valentine’s Day coming up, here’s one we’ve fallen head over heels for: a heart tree!Learn how to make this adorable heart tree for Valentine's Day! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #Valentines #decor #hearts

This would make a great accent piece for your living room, and if you made a few, you could make a really cute mantle display or centerpiece arrangement. These trees are super easy and affordable to make, especially since we’re going to show you how! We’ll even include some insider’s tips.

First, you’ll need to get a styrofoam tree (or trees!) and a bunch of ½” straight pins, which you can get from almost any craft store. Next, put your Cricut® to work cutting out hearts—a lot of them! ☺ We cut these hearts at 1 ½”. 2 sheets each of 4 colors of paper should be plenty to cover one tree.

Insider’s tip #1: You’ll want to turn the pressure up pretty high on your Cricut® machine when you cut the glitter paper.Learn how to make this adorable heart tree for Valentine's Day! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #Valentines #decor #hearts

After you’ve cut all your hearts, flip your first heart upside down. Using a straight pin, attach the heart to the bottom of the tree: The curved part of the heart should be in line with the bottom of the tree, and the pin should be placed near the point of the heart. Continue this technique to create a row of hearts on the bottom of the tree. Let the hearts overlap slightly. Next, add another row just above your first. Focus on filling the gaps between the hearts and covering the pinheads from the first row. You can either make each row its own color or alternate colors within rows—it’s totally up to you! When you get to the top of the tree, glue the tips of the hearts together to create a point.

Insider’s tip #2: If you plan on saving your tree to use year after year, use styrofoam glue instead of or in addition to the straight pins. The tree may take longer to finish, but it will be less delicate.

And that’s it—we told you it was easy! 🙂 Now you’re ready to welcome this holiday of caring and sharing into your home and heart, and with that . . .

Insider’s tip #3: Love what you’ve created!

Recipe

Heart Tree
X5760 Cotton Candy Cardstock, X5773 Pixie Cardstock, 1272 Cranberry Cardstock, Z1922 Pink Glitter Paper, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection, Styrofoam Tree, ½” Straight Pins, Styrofoam Glue (optional)

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
1 ½” Icon-1 (cut multiple, p. 35)

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From Jeanette: My Christmas Tree

Everything about Christmas fills me with wonder—its sparkling decorations, cheery music, and gift giving. The most wonderful part though is spending time with my loved ones, and I wish I could spend time with each one of you this Christmas, too!

Though we are apart, I’d still like to invite you into my home by showing you something special—my Christmas tree! Here are two pictures, one before it was decorated and one with all the trimmings:
Celebrate Christmas with us at Close To My Heart! #Christmas #ctmh #CloseToMyHeart #merrychristmas #christmastreeCelebrate Christmas with us at Close To My Heart! #Christmas #ctmh #CloseToMyHeart #merrychristmas #christmastree
I think Christmas trees are simply beautiful, and it’s magical watching a plain tree transform into a handcrafted work of art. Which decoration is your favorite? I can never decide between the gold striped ribbon, the pearl strands, the glittery red leaves, and the delicate glass ornaments. And of course there’s the golden star on top!
Celebrate Christmas with us at Close To My Heart! #Christmas #ctmh #CloseToMyHeart #merrychristmas #christmastree
This is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. When I look at my tree, it fills me with joy and reminds me of the beauty in this world. All the troubles of life fade away with the glistening of those Christmas tree lights.

I hope these photographs light a smile on your face, and I hope your own holiday traditions bring you and your family closer together. Most of all, I hope you feel peace, happiness, and love this holiday season.

Merry Christmas, my dear friends.

Love,

Jeanette

Sprucing the Tree and Spreading Good Cheer

Do you have some scraps or sheets of leftover holiday-themed paper in your stash? We’ve got a great idea that will help you add some Close To My Heart bling to your tree:Use your Base & Bling and extra supplies to make Christmas ornaments! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #Christmas #decor #gift

Aren’t they sweet? In addition to being an adorable touch to your tree, they are so quick to make! First, pull out your 1″ circle punch, and cut yourself a circle from your extra holiday paper. Using Glue Dots™, attach that circle to the center of a Base & Bling circle pendant—then embellish it to your heart’s content!

Simple, right? All you have to do now is string a piece of twine—maybe Poppy or Fern—through the top and hang it on your tree!

Unless you’d rather hang it on someone else’s tree!

We recently had the opportunity to donate the materials for this project to Primary Children’s Hospital—a local children’s hospital that is always looking for holiday crafts to do with their patients. We gathered up some of our older holiday papers, Base & Bling pendants, Glue Dots, and twine, boxed up all the crafting fun, and took it to the hospital. We felt privileged to visit a place dedicated to helping kids feel happy and healthy!

Use your Base & Bling and extra supplies to make Christmas ornaments! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #Christmas #decor #gift

It’s rewarding to know that you’ve brought someone joy, even if it was in a small or simple way. If you’ve got a closet brimming with items you don’t use—and we know you do!—consider donating them to a worthy cause. That could be someone’s fundraiser, or else a local hospital, school, daycare center, church, or local arts program, just to name a few!

We know that helping those around you creates the merriest memories of the season, so join us in helping out your local community! Thanks and blessings to you in advance. 🙂

Recipes

Glacier Ornament
X7200B White Pines Paper Packet, Z3153 Base & Bling Circle Pendant—Faux Silver, Z1752 Clear Sparkles, Z3093 Fern Thick Twine, 1772 Memory Book Glue Dots

Cheer Ornament
X7200B White Pines Paper Packet, Z3176 Picture My LifeWhite Pines Scrapbooking Program, Z3154 Base & Bling Circle Pendant—Faux Gold, Z2012 Sequins Gold Assortment, Z3093 Fern Thick Twine, 1772 Memory Book Glue Dots

Tree Ornament
X7200B White Pines Paper Packet, Z3153 Base & Bling Circle Pendant—Faux Silver, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3093 Fern Thick Twine, 1772 Memory Book Glue Dots

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How To: Michelle Snyder’s Shadow Box

Don’t you love this festive time of year? Christmas seems to give us the most beautiful creations in every category, and papercrafting is no exception. For example, check out this adorable shadow box!Learn how to make this beautiful Christmas shadow box! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhwhitepines #diychristmas #papercrafting #christmasdecor

Wouldn’t you love to decorate your home with something like this? We can’t decide what we like best about it: the holly berry gems, glittery lettering, or dainty snowflakes. And you’re probably dying to put your favorite family picture inside the frame!

We have the lovely Michelle Snyder to thank for this beautiful piece of artwork—some of our readers will recognize it from Convention, where she donated it to our Operation Smile™ auction.

It’s no surprise that Michelle’s shadow box sold for a generous price. What did surprise Michelle was how many people asked her how she’d made it. In response to all these requests, Michelle graciously put together some instructions for the project and shared them on our Convention Facebook page. Many of our Consultants have since taken advantage of this and created shadow boxes of their own. Here are just a few of them:

Look how great they turned out! Don’t you want your own now? Well, you’re in luck—Michelle wants as many people as possible to have access to her instructions, so with her permission and blessing, we’re sharing them right here on the blog! This will give all of you the chance to make this Christmas masterpiece in time for the holiday season.

We’re so grateful for Michelle’s inspiring artwork and giving spirit. Thank you, Michelle! 🙂 Now check out her instructions at the link below, and merry crafting!

Michelle Snyder’s Shadow Box Instructions

P.S. Before you start work on your shadow box, you’ll also need the White Pines paper packet. It’s only available for another month, so make sure to order it right away! For more White Pines artwork inspiration, search #ctmhwhitepines on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.

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Your Family Tree Never Looked So Good!

We believe the heart of scrapbooking to be the relationships that we celebrate and preserve on the pages in our albums. Of all the relationships in our lives, family relationships are among the most cherished. Today’s artwork shows you a beautiful way to celebrate those relationships that make us who we are:
Create a beautiful family tree generations will cherish! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhurban #ctmhzoe #diyfamilytree #familyhistory #familyphotos #scrapbookingideasThis is a beautiful family, and we’re sure yours is just as beautiful to you, too, which is why we’re going to pass on some insider’s tips from the artist who brought this tree to life. Sharing a page like this one with your children and grandchildren is sure to give them a greater appreciation for their heritage and the art of preserving family history. Let’s take a closer look, then, shall we?
Create a beautiful family tree generations will cherish! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhurban #ctmhzoe #diyfamilytree #familyhistory #familyphotos #scrapbookingideasFirst off, our artist made good use of our watercolors to create a breezy blue background. She then used the My Acrylix® Friend Tree stamp set to stamp the limbs of the tree. Because the stamps are flexible, she was able to bend the stamp to shape it just the way she wanted before inking and stamping it in place. This allowed her to plan out where she’d be placing her pictures and which spaces would need the most leaves.

The leaves were stamped using stamps from the same set and a variety of colors, including Pear, Fern, Topiary, and Sweet Leaf (how fitting!). When it comes to adding the leaves, our artist recommends starting with a lighter color and working with one color at a time to fill up your branches.
Create a beautiful family tree generations will cherish! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhurban #ctmhzoe #diyfamilytree #familyhistory #familyphotos #scrapbookingideasNotice the textured look on some of the leaves? To create this effect, our artist stamped on a piece of scrap paper and then the page itself, making each branch and leaf on the page unique—just like every person in her family tree!
Create a beautiful family tree generations will cherish! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhurban #ctmhzoe #diyfamilytree #familyhistory #familyphotos #scrapbookingideasThe tasteful accessories our artist chose also add some class to this page. The page is anchored down by a torn paper strip from the Urban paper packet, the popped-out “family” title, and a twine bow that contributes to the natural feel. A dovetailed title, a handful of gold sequins, and elegant enamel triangles finish the ensemble nicely.

So, are you ready to memorialize your own family? No one knows them better than you do, and now you have a new idea for creating a visual reminder of their lives and of the relationships that tie you all together. Enjoy the family reunion!

Recipe

12″ x 12″ Family Tree Page
C1633 My Acrylix® For Family, D1677 My Acrylix® Friend Tree, D1662 My Acrylix® Harvest Wreath, X7204B Urban Paper Packet, X7202B Kaleidoscope Paper Packet, X7197B Zoe Paper Packet, 1375 Kraft Cardstock, Z3146 Watercolor Paper, Z2153 Sweet Leaf Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2197 Pear Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2155 Topiary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2650 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2111 Chocolate Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, 44751 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2012 Sequins Gold Assortment, Z3123 Enamel and Glitter Duos Green Triangles, Z3093 Fern Thick Twine, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set Z3170, Cricut® Artiste Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artiste
¾” Shift <Font> “FAMILY” (cut 2)
1 ½” Card <i> (cut 7, p. 48)
1 ¾” Card <i> (cut 7, p. 48)
2″ Card <i> (cut 7, p. 48)

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