Cherish Your Love, Now and Forever!

Cherish Your Love, Now and Forever! #love #valentinesday2023 #valentine #now&forever #scrapbooking #cardmaking #memories #relationship #cards #care #floral #stories #storytelling #you&me

At Close To My Heart, it’s no secret that we love LOVE! Love is one of the most amazing things on earth, and as we’re only about a month away from Valentine’s Day 2023, we want to take some time to share a few ideas about how you can celebrate the love in your life this year! 

Whether you’re celebrating new love, old love, love for family members, friends, or any other relationship, there’s no better way to commemorate it than with handmade crafts from the heart. With that in mind, we want to introduce you to our love-themed collection, Now & Forever

This collection is a callback to vintage floral patterns and is perfect for any design you can dream. The patterned paper is an adorable flurry of soft pinks and floral themes, with a dash of French-inspired flair, and a sticker sheet that kicks things up a notch with metallic gold accents.

  • Cherish Your Love, Now and Forever! #love #valentinesday2023 #valentine #now&forever #scrapbooking #cardmaking #memories #relationship #cards #care #floral #stories #storytelling #you&me
  • Cherish Your Love, Now and Forever! #love #valentinesday2023 #valentine #now&forever #scrapbooking #cardmaking #memories #relationship #cards #care #floral #stories #storytelling #you&me
  • Cherish Your Love, Now and Forever! #love #valentinesday2023 #valentine #now&forever #scrapbooking #cardmaking #memories #relationship #cards #care #floral #stories #storytelling #you&me
  • Cherish Your Love, Now and Forever! #love #valentinesday2023 #valentine #now&forever #scrapbooking #cardmaking #memories #relationship #cards #care #floral #stories #storytelling #you&me

Another stand-out feature of this collection is the accompanying assortment of embroidered floral and butterfly embellishments, which are a great way to dress up your cards and scrapbook pages!

Cherish Your Love, Now and Forever! #love #valentinesday2023 #valentine #now&forever #scrapbooking #cardmaking #memories #relationship #cards #care #floral #stories #storytelling #you&me

Last but not least is the Now & Forever Stamp + Thin Cuts set, which includes an exclusive selection of stamps, floral and butterfly dies, and a very special heart doily die, complete with delicate lace edging! With so many spectacular products to work with, Now & Forever is an excellent collection for preserving cherished memories and celebrating relationships with people that you love!

Cherish Your Love, Now and Forever! #love #valentinesday2023 #valentine #now&forever #scrapbooking #cardmaking #memories #relationship #cards #care #floral #stories #storytelling #you&me

To see the power of Now & Forever in action, we’re going to take a peek at the cards and scrapbook pages featured in the Now & Forever workshop kits!

Cherish Your Love, Now and Forever! #love #valentinesday2023 #valentine #now&forever #scrapbooking #cardmaking #memories #relationship #cards #care #floral #stories #storytelling #you&me

Our first stop on our Now & Forever journey is to take a look at the pages included in the scrapbooking workshop kit. First on the list is this 12″ x 12″ “Cutie Pie” layout. This layout was designed with room for eight total photos, making it a wonderful way to tell a story!

Cherish Your Love, Now and Forever! #love #valentinesday2023 #valentine #now&forever #scrapbooking #cardmaking #memories #relationship #cards #care #floral #stories #storytelling #you&me

With predominant themes of red, pink, and white, and splashes of Seabrook, this layout is a gorgeous backdrop for fond memories and journaling. One of our favorite parts of this layout is the selection of patterns and their flow across the page. The ledger pattern on the left page is balanced by the floral pattern on the right page, bridged by the red patterned paper that spans the center of the layout. Although not entirely symmetrical, these patterns flow nicely when grouped together this way—just another benefit of using coordinated papers in a Close To My Heart paper packet

Our second piece on the hot seat today is this single “Timeless” page. Right away, our eyes are drawn through the page from the “Timeless” title in the upper left-hand corner down through the lower right-hand corner, which sports a delicate lace-edged heart doily. 

Cherish Your Love, Now and Forever! #love #valentinesday2023 #valentine #now&forever #scrapbooking #cardmaking #memories #relationship #cards #care #floral #stories #storytelling #you&me

This unique feature is created by using the die in the Now & Forever Stamp + Thin Cuts set.The rest of the accents and detailing in this page were created using stickers, zip strips, and the Now & Forever Embroidered Embellishments, and we love how it came together!   

One of our favorite parts of the Now & Forever suite is the metallic gold detailing present on many of our stickers. These are on full display in this “Laugh Often…” layout. While this layout has a lot going on in terms of patterns, additional excitement is generated by the presence of multiple gold-accented stickers at various points around the pages.

Cherish Your Love, Now and Forever! #love #valentinesday2023 #valentine #now&forever #scrapbooking #cardmaking #memories #relationship #cards #care #floral #stories #storytelling #you&me

This layout also includes another heart doily die-cut, this time repurposed as a journaling piece! Between the innovative journaling piece and the selection of sparkly stickers, this layout is a wonderful example of the impact a few well-placed embellishments can have! 

Before we move on to our array of cards, we want to show off one last scrapbook layout, which brings together many of the stand-out elements discussed in the previous pages. The “Our Story” layout utilizes a beautiful blend of patterns from the paper pack, a couple of our embroidered embellishments, another heart doily journaling piece, and a large golden sticker serving as the title piece.

Cherish Your Love, Now and Forever! #love #valentinesday2023 #valentine #now&forever #scrapbooking #cardmaking #memories #relationship #cards #care #floral #stories #storytelling #you&me

All of these elements taken together create a gorgeous backdrop for the photos and journaling shared in this layout, and we couldn’t have asked for a better way to showcase them! If any of these layouts caught your fancy, these designs are all available to create with the Now & Forever Scrapbooking Workshop Kit. Click here to check it out! 

If cardmaking is more your forte, you can also find plenty of inspiration in the card selection available through the Now & Forever Cardmaking Workshop Kit! This workshop kit includes options to create eight standard size cards—two each of four designs—and three unique slimline cards, with downloadable instructions available on our website.

Cherish Your Love, Now and Forever! #love #valentinesday2023 #valentine #now&forever #scrapbooking #cardmaking #memories #relationship #cards #care #floral #stories #storytelling #you&me

One of the major perks of crafting with the Now & Forever cardmaking kit is that while you have the materials to create two each of four standard size card designs, the coordination in the patterned papers makes it easy to switch out the colors and patterns used between cards. This means that even though you’re working with four standard size card designs, you can end up with eight unique cards!

  • Cherish Your Love, Now and Forever! #love #valentinesday2023 #valentine #now&forever #scrapbooking #cardmaking #memories #relationship #cards #care #floral #stories #storytelling #you&me
  • Cherish Your Love, Now and Forever! #love #valentinesday2023 #valentine #now&forever #scrapbooking #cardmaking #memories #relationship #cards #care #floral #stories #storytelling #you&me
  • Cherish Your Love, Now and Forever! #love #valentinesday2023 #valentine #now&forever #scrapbooking #cardmaking #memories #relationship #cards #care #floral #stories #storytelling #you&me
  • Cherish Your Love, Now and Forever! #love #valentinesday2023 #valentine #now&forever #scrapbooking #cardmaking #memories #relationship #cards #care #floral #stories #storytelling #you&me

As you can see in the photos above, each of the four card pairs were created using the same design, but the changes in paper colors and patterns, ink colors, and embellishment placement results in eight unique cards! 

Along with our standard size cards, the Now & Forever Cardmaking Workshop Kit also offers options for three slimline card designs, pictured below:

Cherish Your Love, Now and Forever! #love #valentinesday2023 #valentine #now&forever #scrapbooking #cardmaking #memories #relationship #cards #care #floral #stories #storytelling #you&me

These cards each have their own individual flair and are a perfect way to implement some more out-of-the-box card creativity into your crafts! 

We have loved walking you through the incredible projects available through the Now & Forever Scrapbooking and Cardmaking Workshop Kits, and we can’t wait to see how else you celebrate the love in your life with the products included in this amazing love-inspired collection! 

What stories and relationships will you commemorate with Now & Forever? Tell us all about it in the comments below!

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Mixed Media, a Stencil, and a Free Cricut Design Space™ File—Oh My!

Fourth of July #cmth #closetomyheart #mixedmedia #stencil #USA #Americana #starsandstripes #diywreath #independenceday #fourthofjuly #designspacefile #cricut

Just in time for the fourth of July, follow along with us in this DIY décor session and whip up some red, white, and blue Americana, and celebrate all patriotic holidays using a little bit of texture paste, a stencil, and a free Cricut Design Space™ file!

Materials Needed:
Candy Apple Cardstock (1 sheet)
White Daisy Cardstock (1 sheet)
Sapphire Cardstock (1 sheet)
Silver Glitter Paper (1 sheet)
Stencil Sheet (1 sheet)
Espresso Exclusive Inks™ Pigment Pad
Opaque Matte Texture Paste
Palette Knife
Chipboard Monogram—4
Adhesive Runner
Silver Glitter Gems
White Ribbon
Glue Gun
12″ Wreath
Pencil
Scissors
Fine Sandpaper

This tutorial uses shapes from the Close To My Heart Cricut® Artistry collection. The necessary shapes needed to complete the wreath exactly as shown are available as a project file in Cricut Design Space, here. If you do not have this Cricut® collection and would like to purchase it, contact your Close To My Heart Consultant (or find one here).

Step 1: Cut Your Paper

Fourth of July #cmth #closetomyheart #mixedmedia #stencil #USA #Americana #starsandstripes #diywreath #independenceday #fourthofjuly #designspacefile #cricut

From the provided Design Space file, cut the shapes shown above first. Once you’ve cut these shapes, lightly trace the chipboard four with a pencil onto the remainder of your Sapphire cardstock sheet. Cut the shape out with scissors and then, to age the appearance of your project, distress the edges with a fine grit sandpaper.

Step 2: Add Mixed Media

Fourth of July #cmth #closetomyheart #mixedmedia #stencil #USA #Americana #starsandstripes #diywreath #independenceday #fourthofjuly #designspacefile #cricut

One of the Cricut® shapes that you will cut using the provided file is a star patterned stencil sheet. Before attaching the Sapphire cardstock layer to the chipboard four, use this stencil with texture paste to create a raised star patterned on the cardstock.

Fourth of July #cmth #closetomyheart #mixedmedia #stencil #USA #Americana #starsandstripes #diywreath #independenceday #fourthofjuly #designspacefile #cricut

Once the paste is dry, use an adhesive runner to attach the cardstock to the chipboard.

Step 3: Assembling the Tags

Fourth of July #cmth #closetomyheart #mixedmedia #stencil #USA #Americana #starsandstripes #diywreath #independenceday #fourthofjuly #designspacefile #cricut

Most of the pieces you will need to assemble the tags are included in the Design Space file provided. What you will have to cut on your own are the Sapphire, silver glitter, and Candy Apple pieces used behind the “USA” cutouts in the first tag and four 5½” x ⅜” white stripes to attach to the second, red tag. The third tag is simply the Sapphire tag with the cutout stars attached on top of the solid White Daisy cardstock tag.

Fourth of July #cmth #closetomyheart #mixedmedia #stencil #USA #Americana #starsandstripes #diywreath #independenceday #fourthofjuly #designspacefile #cricut

If you prefer a more vintage look, use the sandpaper again and also the Espresso pigment pad to lightly rub along the edges of the tags to achieve a distressed, weathered appearance. Add as little or as much pigment as you’d like to make this look just how you want it.

Step 4: Put It All Together!

Fourth of July #cmth #closetomyheart #mixedmedia #stencil #USA #Americana #starsandstripes #diywreath #independenceday #fourthofjuly #designspacefile #cricut

Using your handy dandy glue gun, attach all of the pieces to the wreath. (Even though our tags may look like they are attached to the chipboard four, they are not. These are glued to each other and to the wreath.) Embellish with some ribbon and glitter gems, and you are all set to proudly display your Americana décor!

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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:

Such a fun night last night creating Christmas decor! #ctmh #lovemyjob #happyholidays

A photo posted by @stamperamy on

So happy! #missgingerdots #missgingerdots #

A photo posted by Tina Jeselnik Sutton (@missgingerdots) on

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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A Creative Attitude of Gratitude

We’ve all done it: dwelt on the thought of that thing we just don’t have. But how often do we think about that thing that we do have—or, let’s be honest, the MANY, even innumerable, things?

There are blessings in our lives we cannot count in the typical sense of the word. It wouldn’t be possible to assign a number to all of the miracles we see on a daily basis! But we can “count” our blessings in so many other ways. In our words, and especially in our attitudes, the world can see our grateful hearts.

Throughout this month, we at Close To My Heart want to celebrate the joy of gratitude—both of feeling it and of showing it, because, as William Arthur Ward once said, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” Whether or not you celebrate your gratitude with a turkey this month, you can join us as we experiment with creative ways to say thank you.

First off, a simple and beautiful way to display your gratitude: the Designed Décor Colonial White frame! With the help of the Pathfinding and Wanderful paper packets, delicate golden embossing, and several fun stamp sets, this frame is a showcase of gratitude.

Gratitude Frame

The beauty of a display such as this is its accessibility and versatility—you can swap out photos  as often as you like! If you want to focus on a certain family member every week (or every day, if you’re feeling ambitious!), fill it with pictures of only them. If you want to focus on a different aspect of your life every few days, group your pictures beforehand and have them ready to swap out: family, pets, nature, neighbors, friends, specific life events.

They’re so easy to rearrange, and just a few themed shapes cut from your Cricut® machine will accent your photos nicely. Use a mini clothespin, hook clips, 3-D foam tape, or Glue Dots™ to attach your photos and artwork.

Gratitude Frame close-up

What a wonderful way to jumpstart your gratitude for the series of fortunate events that is your life.

Tell us, in what ways do you display your gratitude?

Recipe:
Today I’m Grateful Frame
B1463 My Acrylix® Thankful Heart, D1604 My Acrylix® Season of Thanks, C1589 My Acrylix® Lifetime of Happiness, C1504 My Acrylix® Fall Harvest, X7191B Wanderful Paper Packet, X7186B Pathfinding Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5637 Barn Red Cardstock, 1276 Ponderosa Pine Cardstock, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, Z2114 Cocoa Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2118 Desert Sand Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2145 Ponderosa Pine Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2123 Goldrush Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2104 Barn Red Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2642 Flaxen Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z2457 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Marigold Marker, Z1865 Designed Décor Colonial White Frame, Z2023 Bling Gems Gold Assortment, Z1790 Cricut® Artiste Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artiste
4″ Shift+Border <4> (p. 41)
2½” Icon <b> (p. 72)
2 ½” Shift+Icon <B> (p. 72)
2″ Border <b> (p. 72)

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