You’re Going to Love the Happiest Place

Preserve your happiest memories with the Happiest Place collection! This adorable collection provides a wealth of creative potential with a fun combination of adorable papers, foil accented cardstock and stickers, a special stamp set and Thin Cuts, acrylic shapes, the Happiest Place album Kit, and a variety of digital art! 

The Happiest Place collection includes a whole suite of coordinating products, including an extra-large paper packet with TWELVE patterned paper sheets! Your projects will shine thanks to silver glitter foil accents on coordinating stickers and cardstock sheets. Add in stamps, acrylic shapes, SVG’s, and a Cut Above® Layout Kit, and you have the recipe for hours of unforgettable crafting fun!

Be sure to check out the Happiest Place Product Bundle, which includes several of the items in this collection at a 20% discount!

Here is What Comes in Your Bundle

With so many great products in one convenient package, this is the ideal bundle for hours of non-stop crafting fun! BUT the fun doesn’t stop there, my friends.  For those who enjoy cutting out their own images to add to their designs, Close to My Heart has TWO exclusive Happiest Place Digital Files just for you. 

These digital files can be used with any cutting machine you own.  I personally love how easy it is to upload these designs in to Cricut Design Space.  If you are not sure how to do that, you can view a short little tutorial HERE on my blog and view the video below. 

This is one of my first videos created. I am in the process of creating a new tutorial for you.

 If you love these Happiest Place products as much as I do, I would love for you to join me at the Close to My Heart THREE DAY Happiest Place virtual crop. This is a FREE EVENT hosted by Close to My Heart on August 26th – 28th, which I will be streaming to my VIP Group.  Now is the time to purchase your Happiest Place items for this crop while they are priced at a discount.  For a full list of the supplies you will need for the crop – click here . Cutting guides will be made available the week before the event.

REMEMBER: The Happiest Place collection is only available for a limited time while supplies last, so be sure to take advantage of this opportunity to get these exclusive products. The discount will end on July 31st, so make sure to stock up on those 20% off bundles while you can. 

Some of the links in this blog post are affiliate links. By clicking on those links, and making a purchase, your are helping to support my small business. This is at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Summer Hibiscus Card |H2H Sunny Days Challenge

Welcome to another month full of challenges at Heart2Heart!  This week, we are asking you to play along and create something for our Sunny Days theme. 

Currently,  I am avoiding the heat as I stay inside and play with some of the products from the new catalog. This little set of cards was created for an upcoming workshop using some of the Summer Vibes papers and Hibiscus Cricut cuts from the Flower Market collection

Each one of those flowers was cut from White Daisy cardstock then shaded with inks to match that bright, sunny, Summer Vibes paper. 

I used one of my favorite stamp sets on these cards – Always Loved.  Personally, I think everyone should have a sign in their home that reminds them that “You are enough!”

Don’t you just love all the sentiments on that Always Loved stamp set? I have quite a few cards planned for this set as well as some scrapbook pages.  

I hope that today’s project inspired you and that you join us for the Sunny Days paper crafting challenge at Heart2Heart.  Make sure to link your project to the blog before July 31st. 

Some of the links in this blog post are affiliate links. By clicking on those links, and making a purchase, your are helping to support my small business. This is at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Taking Photos Inside My Craft Space

Welcome to my craft space, once again.  These past few months I have received quite a few requests asking me to show the “tools” I use to take my project photos.  Many of you have asked about lights, light boxes, backdrops, cameras … the list goes on – but, to be honest, this cheapskate crafter doesn’t use much at all.

Today, I am going to share a few of my project photo-taking tips & tricks with you.  I am NOT a professional photographer by any means. Years ago, my mother was a journalism major who had me take 4-H photography classes, and from there I have just muddled through learning as a go through online classes, strategic failures, and experimentation.  Let me share with you what I have learned.

Get a Good Camera & Learn How to Use It

I am blessed to have been gifted with a wonderful Lumix camera, but I have taken just as many photos on my phone.  When choosing a camera, you can go as low as a 5-megapixel, but I suggest that you look into at least an 8-megapixel or 16-20-megapixel for close-ups.  The more megapixels you have, the less grainy the photo and the greater amount of detail that can be captured in a picture.

Now, no matter how many megapixels you get, you still need to learn how to use your camera. I have found quite a few websites, like Persnickety Prints, that offer great tutorials. 

Most phone cameras have settings that help increase lighting, reduce glare, and have filters.  Take advantage of the grid-lines to help with lining up those scrapbook layouts and avoid zooming in whenever possible. It’s temping to zoom-in, but photos always turn out better when you get closer.

If you have a tendency to shake – which happens to me after five cups of coffee – look into a camera/phone tri-pod with a remote shutter.  I use my remote shutter often for photos and videos. 

Backdrops & Negative Space

These two go hand-in-hand.  Your backdrops need to be neutral and match the theme of your project. Backdrops are also a great way to “brand” yourself.   Most of mine have a rustic, vintage, or retro theme.  I prefer to use wood planks behind most of my photos, but occasionally, to match the theme, I will go with a vintage or retro backdrop.  Quite a few of my backdrops are matte vinyl wooden photography backdrops cut down to match the size of specific projects, but I have been known to use pattern paper behind some of my smaller designs.  

When you are picking out your backdrop, you need to think about how much of it will show up in the negative space of your photograph.   You need negative space around your project to create emotion, a setting, and a way to point to the focal point in your photo.  You don’t want it to overpower your project – you want it to say “look at what I made”.  

You don’t always have to use a backdrop behind your subject. There have been times that I have gone outside and taken a photo in the flowers, or sat a project in a Christmas tree, or even placed it on a shelf in my craft space.  As long as what you place in the background matches your overall theme and showcases your creations. 

Staging the Photo

Speaking of that collection of stuffs in the background – this is called “staging”.   My array of staging material ranges between the products I used to items that just make me happy.   You do not want to go overboard with the staging (remember that negative space we talked about?

FIVE things  to remember when staging:

  1. Keep it balanced – heavily weighted objects are usually at the bottom of the photo
  2. Create repetition – color, shape, size, and item
  3. Form a visual triangle – make the eye flow through your photograph 
  4. Create height & depth – layer items atop each other, stagger height, place items behind 
  5. Stick with the theme – invoke mood, movement, or ambiance

Can you see how I used each of those techniques in these photos?  Some of those cards are laying on stamping blocks to create height and depth.  Most of the items in the photos are thematic embellishments from my stash that evoke a mood that correlates to the project. I often repeat colors, shapes, and textures all while maintaining a good amount of negative space. 

Use Natural Light

You are going to want to take advantage of natural light as often as you can.  It creates “real color” in your photos and prevents the overexposure that is caused by a flash.  Remember when I told you that I am a cheapskate who uses very little to take photos?  Check out my set-up. 

Seriously, is this how you pictured it? Cropping is an amazing tool. 😏 

As you can see, I am taking advantage of the natural light from my window and using a reflector (a poster board) to help reduce the amount of shadows on my subject.  All of this sits atop my desk chair so that I can rotate it to create the lighting I am trying to achieve. 

We are blessed to live in a location where is it sunny about 70% of the year, but what about those cloudy or snowy days?

That is where artificial light comes into play. I try to avoid using my flash as often as possible unless it is a well-lit space and I am trying to soften some dark shadows behind or beneath my subject. When there is no chance of that sun peeking out from behind the clouds, I reach for these beauties – Tripod LED Lights

To be honest, they were a bit of an investment, but they are worth it.  I can raise and lower them for photos and videos, adjust the amount of light, and there are filters (which I have no idea how to use, yet, but I will someday.) The only downfall is that they only work with a battery pack or USB port, but I have those all over my craft space, so they work great for me. 

Did you imagine that it could be so simple? As you can see, I don’t have a massive photo studio or an array of light boxes, reflectors, or filters.  I use what I have in my craft space to create a photo that shows off my creation.  If all else fails, there is always great editing software to change exposure, color, and correct the photos. 

I hope that today’s post has given you some tips & tricks for taking better photos of your projects.  You don’t have to go out and spend a ton of money to have great photos.  Work with what you have, with what you have got, and learn how to use that camera

Some of the links in this blog post are affiliate links. By clicking on those links, and making a purchase, your are helping to support my small business. This is at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

A Card of Pink Daisies for Heart2Heart

This week, at the Heart2Heart blog, we are Tickled Pink literally. Our Design Team has been creating projects using all shades of pink and we are asking you to do the same for our June Tickled Pink challenge

For those of you, like me, who don’t use pink very often, now is the perfect time to get those creative wheels turning.  This week, I decided to go big & bold with my patterns and flowers as I created a six-inch card full of Pink Daisies. 

Like I said, I don’t use pink very often, so that considerably large floral pattern in the Brushed paper pack was one that I wasn’t quite sure how to use.  Instead of setting it aside, I decided to challenge myself to create something with it.  

I decided to stick with the classic pink & black palette.  Backing everything in black balances out the pattern, and adding big bold flowers helps to tame the design.  It almost appears as if those daisies are sitting in a garden among other flowers. 

I chose to stamp the daisies in Pixie & Raspberry ink using the rock-n-roll method, then added a layer of heat embossed vellum over the top. In the center of each flower sits a wooden button painted with Raspberry Shimmer and tied with White Twine. 

The sentiment was kept simple and stamped onto a stitched circle tucked into a strip of Blue Skies paper.  To be honest, I really debated how to add a sentiment to this card and avoid covering up too much of that patterned paper, but I think that the half-circle partners well with the daisy images and it’s a fun way to add a sentiment to a card.  

When I was finished, I felt like I needed a bow of some sort, so I dug through my stash and grabbed a Striped Ribbon Bow from my Christmas collection. Can you believe that these are still available on my website?  I am going to have to go grab a few more.


This card has inspired me to use pink more often and I hope it inspired you to join our pink themed challenge at Heart2Heart. Make sure to link up your project before June 30th. 

Some of the links in this blog post are affiliate links. By clicking on those links, and making a purchase, your are helping to support my small business. This is at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Welcome to the Brushed Blog Hop

This month, we are featuring a variety of projects using our Brushed collection. This collection has been brought back from the past and brightened with new colors.104495514_10157579619687686_7226577729521045137_n  If you have come here from Haley Dyer’s Blog you are on the right path!  When you are finished taking a look at how I use the Brushed collection on my Garden Puppy layout, you can click on the link at the end to move to the next blog.  This blog hop is simple, fun, and full of artwork created by some very talented consultants.  If you get lost along the way, you’ll find the complete list of participating consultants on Melinda’s Blog

At this point in my life, I have more photos of the dog than I do of the kids, so I decided to use some of those beautiful Brushed papers and stickers to show how much our little fur baby loves the garden.  Some of you may recognize this collection from years ago.  It is a “bring back my pack” special that you can take advantage of during the month of June, with a reworked color palette to match our current color collection. I chose to take advantage of those new, bright colors and created a Garden Puppy layout and a process video showing you how I made it. 

How cute is she??!!  This layout describes our little fur baby perfectly.  She loves to lay in the garden, soak up the sun, and, walk through the flowers. 

To create that background, I cut strips of paper from the Brushed and Blue Skies collections and laid them onto some White Daisy cardstock along with a piece that I stamped using both of the Brushed stamp sets

The borders were cut using my Cricut. I created four of each border, off-setting them slightly, using an image from the Artiste collection. If you struggle to create longer borders for your pages, you can learn how here

Once the background was complete, I added a stitched frame around the photo and added embellishments to my page.  Each one of those butterflies were heat embossed onto vellum and layered onto the bokeh pattern paper from the Brushed collection. 

The remaining elements on the page came from the sticker sheet.  Don’t you just love all those bright colors?  

To be honest, I am “new” to using stickers on my scrapbook pages.  For many years, I created my own elements and never bothered to purchase stickers.  Now, I am learning how to use each of those stickers that come in my paper pack.  I have so much fun creating those clusters!

For those of you who enjoy process videos, I have created one for you showing how I made each of the elements on this layout.  

Please take a few minutes to subscribe to my channel and take a look at few of my other tutorials.

I hope that today’s project inspired you to try something new using that delightful Brushed Collection.  Now ‘Hop” on over to Cat Nowak’s Blog to see her work! Be sure to visit all the Consultants at their blogs to get some great crafting tips and other fun ideas.

Remember, the Brushed is only available until June 30th.  Contact your CTMH Consultant, or visit the Promotions tab of my website to learn how you can save 20% on the entire collection. 

Some of the links in this blog post are affiliate links. By clicking on those links, and making a purchase, your are helping to support my small business. This is at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Here is a List of the Supplies Used on My Project