Live Beautifully Cut Above Kit

Have you heard the news about our special paper for May? Live Beautifully is how Close to my Heart will be celebrating National Scrapbooking month! We are doing a lot of fun things with the Live Beautifully paper but my favourite is the Live Beautifully Cut Above kit!

Not familiar with our Cut Above kits?

Check out this video that explains more!

And come back in a few days to see all five layouts featured on the blog!


Until we craft again, The Brae-er

7 Steps for Organizing your Photos for Scrapbooking

The number one concern I hear from people who would like to scrapbook is “I would love too but I just don’t know where to start. My photos are such a mess!”  Photo organization can be a real problem for any generation. For scrapbookers, the organization (or lack of) can be the one thing that makes your task easier or makes it so overwhelming you just avoid it altogether. Today I hope to offer you 7 steps to overcome this obstacle so that you can organize your photos and get on to scrapbooking your memories!7 steps header image

If you are of my generation you likely have photos stored in a variety of places and in a variety of ways. I am of the generation that made the move from film to digital. This has resulted in photos (from my childhood and my husbands) in boxes and photos stored on our multiple computers (and thanks to poor decisions about how to store them they are really stored on old computers still stashed in a closet holding those precious memories). Add to this my love of scrapbooking and I have a real problem on my hands- likely, similar to the one you are facing. My hope is that the following steps will help you, just as they helped me get my photos organized!

Step One: Gather it all up!

fast scrapbooking 2

Yes, this is correct. Get your many photos in one spot (or space). For your digital photos this might mean taking your hard drives from the past to a computer tech who can transfer them onto a disk or just loading all your photos into a common cloud storage area (icloud, dropbox or google photos are three very popular ones). The boxes can just be brought into your space so that you are prepared for step two.

Step Two: Organize it!

fast scrapbooking 1

This is key to not feeling overwhelmed by your photos! Your physical photos can be organized (and should be) in a similar fashion to your digital photos. Since I am a chronological scrapbooker (all my books are arranged by year unless it was a trip or a school album in which case they have their own album) I arranged by digital and physical photo files by season and year. Because I tend to sporadically print my digital photos this will allow me to have them all easily found when the times comes to scrapbook that season.

Step Three: Purge it!

This may be the hardest step for some of you (and me- let’s be real!). You are going to purge some of those precious photos (or delete them if they are digital). Because I could not part with the physical photos (sometimes I do use them for projects for other family members) I just purged them to another (and more organized) organizer for scrapbook’ed memories.

I will be honest though, I did throw some out and deleted many off my computer/cloud. I purged blurry photos, poorly lit photos, photos that my kids took of random things (like a close up of their nose hair- really?!) and any other photos that were just not going to make it (goodbye photos of my Mother’s ex-boyfriend). Ohhh, did this ever feel good!

Step Four: Print it!

Now that my folders were all nice and organized I could go through each season and begin to print my photos. I decided to tackle this in ‘bite-sized pieces’. I took one season (could be the oldest or the most recent depending on how you want to start), printed the photos that I needed (after I ensured I did not have them printed already) and then worked on those scrapbook pages.

Step Five: Scrapbook it!

fast scrapbooking 3

After printing I started scrapbooking and I did not move on until that season was complete.  I made a list as I went of supplies I might need (it quickly became clear to me that if I continued on then I would need to purchase some page protectors and albums). As I finished a layout (and I mean FULLY finished with JOURNALING people), I would place it into an album for that season (or year depending on how many memories I had to scrapbook).

There were a few tips that really helped me tackle this part:

  • I made peace with simple layouts. Not every layout needed to be an artistic masterpiece. I found some beautiful, simple ideas on pinterest and used them for inspiration.
  • If an event was holding me back I used pocket scrapbooking cards and pocket pages to get that event done so that I could move on. For some reason, I just find some events difficult. Christmas can be one (especially once the holiday feelings have passed). Pocket pages made this so fast, simple and easy!
  • Kits help too! Cut above layout kits and workshop kits (that may have been in my craft stash anyway) were another great way to quickly complete some scrapbooking.

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Step Six: Purchase what you need!

Before I moved on to my next season (or folder if you organize your materials differently) you MUST purchase what you need. After steps 1-5 you are on a roll and things are moving along well. The worst thing you can do is let something simple impede this progress- make sure you have enough of the essential items before you move on: albums, page protectors, adhesive, seasonal paper… whatever it might be. Purchase what you might need for the next few months- items that I have shown here can be found in my SHOP.

Step Seven: Enjoy it!

This, is my favourite part of scrapbooking! Enjoy the memories with your special people. Display your books somewhere that they can be accessed by all who visit you (mine reside on a shelf in our living room). Take them out and enjoy them. THIS is why you did all this work, THIS is why you scrapbook!

Until we craft again, The Brae-er

Forever and Always Cut Above Kit

Have you seen our Cut Above Layout Kits? They are affectionately known as the 15 minute miracle and the Forever and Always kit is one of the two we currently have in stock. With this one kit you can get a two page layout and four pages of pocket scrapbooking completed in 15 minutes and all you need to add is your photos and glue! These kits come prepared for quick and beautiful pages- pieces are pre-cut, accessories are stickers or die-cuts that just need to be popped of the carrier sheet. In the end you have pages that are in your album in minutes!

 forever and always layout

Now I will admit to ‘getting crafty’ with my kit. The paper is so pretty and not one that we carry in any other format so I just had to create some cards! I added the ‘My Girl’ complements (from this set I just used the gold shimmer pieces) and they added the perfect bits for my cards!

forever and always card4

forever and always card3

forever and always card2

forever and always card1

Have I told you the best part about this kit? During the month of April they are 50% off- that means you get a kit (that can do all the things I show above) for only $9.50 CAD!! AWESOME! Check out the Forever and Always kit and Little One HERE

Until we craft again, The Brae-er

St Patrick’s Day Inspired Techniques

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

What a fun day full of fun traditions – my little one was VERY excited about this day (she was really hoping she would see a Leprechaun!) I captured this picture of her this morning and printed it off right away- the day inspired my creativity and I was anxious to get out some green and gold and get crafting!
1st paddys layout st paddys card

I used our heart thin cuts to create my shamrocks and a mixture of gold shimmer brush and green re-inker to create my fun splatter effect! Check out the video to learn more about these techniques!

How did you celebrate St Patrick’s Day?

Until we craft again, The Brae-er

March Cross Canada Blog Hop- French Language Stamps

Welcome to the March Cross Canada Blog hop or should I say Bonjour! We are excited to offer you a special blog hop this month featuring our French language stamps!

If you have ever attempted to purchase stamps in french you know just how difficult it is to find any. CTMH offers a selection of our stamps in both French and Spanish- a great solution and a wonderful way to share you love of paper crafting in multiple languages! As a bilingual family, I find these the perfect fit for projects for my in-laws or thank you’s for the school. Check out my ‘petite’ card set created with the school in mind!

french stamps

Here is the image of the stamp set that I used to create these cards- you can also see a full variety of our stamps on my website HERE.

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Now hop on over to Donna’s page HERE.

Until we craft again, The Brae-er

Going on a Safari? Layout

Well I wish we were going on a Safari, but we did do the Canadian version of one! A few summers ago we visited African Lion Safari- a favourite tourist destination of our’s. You get to drive through very large areas where animals are living in a much more humane setting- no small cages or enclosures here. Of course, you keep your windows up and hope for the best when you drive through the monkey area but it is a great way to see animals in a much more natural setting!

Because we visit African Lion Safari often I was having a hard time deciding how I was going to scrapbook this visit- how would I make it stand out form other trips? Well our Memo Fundamental paper had the answer when I saw the map (especially the piece with Africa on it)  – how perfect! In the end I used that paper as my launchpad and developed a layout that I am very happy with! Big on memories from that day.
African Lion blog1

Items used: Memo Fundamentals, My Boy complements, Jennifer’s Hand Stamp set

African Lion blog 2

Have you tried our Memo Fundamental paper yet? I would love to see your creations- link them in the comments below!

Until we craft again, The Brae-er

Sign me up!

Yes, you are correct. I am talking to YOU!

I want you to say ‘Sign me Up!”


I have seen how you help others at my workshops.

I have noticed your passion for our product.

I have heard you mention how you need just a few more dollars every month in order to make ends meet at home.

I have seen your face when you get the new idea book (you are so excited!!) and then again when you realize you cannot get everything you want (my heart just breaks).

I have seen you and heard you and I WAS YOU!

Then… I signed up!!! Now I have been given one opportunity that has answered all of my needs. I continue to help others at workshops, I continue to share my passion, I make LOTS more money than I originally needed, I can get all that I want (and often do for free or at a discount) and my heart now sings!!!!

I love Close to my Heart and would love to show you how you can too!

sign me up

During February you can become a consultant on my team and for only $95 recieve over $244 in product (some that comes in the kit and some that you get to pick out yourself!) PLUS you will receive an additional $60 in stamps (those pictured above!).

What are you waiting for??

Sign me up!  

Until we craft again, The Brae-er

Scrapbooking Heritage Photos

If you are lucky enough to have some heritage photos of your family then you definitely want to do something with them- these memories are the most precious of all and the stories behind them may already be lost. It is important to capture what you can before it is all, indeed, gone. Scrapbooking heritage photos can pose a challenge though with some of the papers on the market- you need just the right papers to make the overall look right.

Our Hello Lovely paper is the perfect fit! I just love how it looks with the photos I have of my family. These demonstrate the lost stories as well- although I can identify some of the family members (and will add that to my journaling as soon as I confirm with my Mom) the stories behind the day are lost. All the men are in uniform so I can imagine what might be happening- our family men off to the war- but I wish knew more. So much history here!
Heritage photo layout

What heritage photos have you scrapbooked? Do you know the stories behind them?

Until we craft again, The Brae-er

Single Page Saturday- Using up your scraps!

Sunshine and good times single page

I have written before about why I love single pages. It takes a bit to get over the fact that the left side and the right side in my album will not match, BUT it means getting to scrapbook some pretty special memories that would not have enough photos for a double spread.

The great part of today’s single page saturday is that it allowed me to use up some of the scraps of patterned paper left over from my Dreaming’ Big paper pack- and I mean scraps! I paired with some cardstock and found a layout I liked on pinterest- voila! A layout that I love!

Now you try?

Until we craft again, The Brae-er

How to Heat Emboss

How to heat emboss

Heat embossing can be such a great way to create some pretty beautiful cards and layouts! On this card I used clear embossing to help contain the watercolour effect I wanted to use for on the flowers. I didn’t use watercolours at all! To ‘cheat’ this look, I used our watercolour pen and picked up ink from the inside of my ink pad (just give them a gentle squeeze to get ink inside the lid). Then I just pick up the ink and paint it into the image. The clear embossing lines protect my colours from bleeding and help to define the image.

Clear emboss card from recipe

Until we craft again, The Brae-er