Thursday, April 15, 2021

Watkins ~ April Specials

 Contact me at for more information or to place an order.  Thank you.

Close To My Heart ~ Creating Embellishment Clusters

Tips for Creating Embellishment Clusters!

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting

Follow along with us, today, as we give you an inside scoop into our creative process for designing and creating embellishment clusters of your own!

Embellishment clusters are large, sometimes intricate, paper accent pieces that are capable of standing on their own but can also be incorporated into larger projects, like scrapbook layouts, cards, or gift bags. We call these accents embellishment clusters because we are essentially putting several individual embellishments together, in a cluster.

While there are no set rules on where to begin creating these clusters, and there is no right or wrong way to proceed, we do have a few guidelines and tips to get you get you started on a successful creative experience!

1. Stick to a Color Scheme

When you first start designing an embellishment cluster, we recommend that you stick to a specific color scheme and spice it up with a complementary color or more neutral shade here and there. When you work off of a set color palette, it’s easier to focus your creative energy more effectively, and you’re more likely to end up with an embellishment cluster you really love!

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #shakerwindow

This shaker window cluster is a great example of how to create around a color scheme. By focusing on cool shades of blue, throwing in a couple of green hues, and incorporating a few neutral tones, the elements of this embellishment cluster effectively harmonize with each other for a beautifully coordinated result!

2. Use a Variety of Paper and Cardstock Options

Incorporating different types of paper not only brings variety in patterns but in texture as well. Using our unique patterned papers next to our heavier, solid-colored cardstock helps to bring a nice variance to embellishment clusters.

If you’re looking to keep things a little simpler with the embellishment cluster itself, you can also consider saving more textured elements for the background.

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting

With the card shown above, we kept things a little simpler overall and created exclusively with cardstock. Rather than featuring textured elements on the embellishment cluster itself, we used a large Thin Cuts die and two coordinating cardstock colors to create a gorgeous textured backdrop for this simple embellishment cluster!

3. Layer, Layer, Layer!

A great embellishment cluster often includes a few layers and dimension. Even a simple embellishment cluster should have at least one layered element to make sure it stands out from whatever background you may end up putting it on.

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #youmakemesmile

With this embellishment cluster, we made sure to create multiple layers so it will have some extra pop once it’s placed on a scrapbook page. (Using dimensional adhesives, like 3-D foam tape, are a great way to ensure that your embellishment clusters have added dimension, as well!)

4. Follow the Rule of Thirds

Incorporating this photography technique into your embellishment clusters is a great way to ensure that they remain balanced and can even help to simplify your design process. If you’re unfamiliar with what the rule of thirds entails, it’s basically the process of dividing your subject or scene into three distinct sections, making sure that each one is visually balanced with the others.

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #bloomandgrow #bloom&grow

With this embellishment cluster, imagine that there’s a 3″ x 3″ grid over it. With this imaginary grid applied, you’ll notice that the butterfly and floral accents are fairly close to intersection points on the grid, while the stamped “Bloom & GROW” title occupies the center square. By distributing the butterfly accent, stamped title, and floral accent in this way, it ensures that the entire cluster remains balanced. (Check out our photo composition blog post for a more in-depth explanation about the rule of thirds.)

5. Be Flexible

When it comes to crafting, you don’t always have to use crafting materials for their intended purpose. Take a look at this cute little cluster, for instance:

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #ohhappyday

The envelope you see here was actually created using a stitched hexagon Thin Cuts die, folding the sides of the cut hexagon shape into its center! Re-purposing die-cut shapes, incorporating paper scraps, and even trimming patterns or icons from other patterned papers for use in an embellishment cluster is an excellent way to make sure your work stays fresh, fun, and completely unique!

6. Work Smarter, Not Harder

Once you find a design, color combination, or shape pairing you love, stick with it for a few more embellishment clusters! This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to re-make the same identical embellishment cluster over and over again. Simply switching out a single element can make a huge difference!

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #Easteregghunt #Easter #welcomespring

If a single, simple change isn’t doing enough, you can do a more drastic re-design while retaining the overall shape and combination of elements. These two shaker window clusters are a prime example of how different colors, patterns, and stamped images can be incorporated into a pre-existing design for a beautiful, brand-new result!

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #shakerwindow #sunnydaysahead #youaremyluckycharm

Another way to work smarter is to think about future crafts and prepare for them while you’re in your creative zone! If you use a Thin Cuts metal die to cut an element for an embellishment cluster, cut a few more for future use! If you use a Cricut Design Space™ file to create your cluster, make sure to save it so you can return to it the next time you want to create a beautiful embellishment cluster!

There’s no hard-fast way to create embellishment clusters, but by holding yourself to a few basic guidelines like these, you can fast-track your creativity and make absolutely gorgeous embellishments that are completely unique to you!

How have you been using embellishment clusters? If this a brand-new concept to you, what’s the first thing you want to create with an embellishment cluster?


Friday, April 9, 2021

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Journal Prompt 8 Apr 2021 ~ Arguments

 Recent arguments you wish you could undo . . . 

Close To My Heart ~ Celebrating Our Spectacular Stamps! Up to 50% off

Visit my CTMH web page at

Celebrating Our Spectacular Stamps!

Stamptacular #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamptacular #myacrylix #everydayheroes #let'sstayhome #thegreatindoors #onrepeat #throughthickandthin #forevergrateful #stamping #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting

For this entire month of April, we’re celebrating our love for stamping with a Stamptacular sale! This unbelievable sale includes over 225 stamps sets and over 125 Stamp + Thin Cuts bundles! With savings up to 50%-off, we know you won’t want to miss out on the incredible opportunity to save big on your favorite Close To My Heart stamps and Thin Cuts metal dies!

If you’re already familiar with our top-quality stamps, then the Stamptacular sale is the perfect time to build off of what you already have and expand your creative options even further! If you’re a new crafter, or have yet to explore the wonderful world of stamps, this is an excellent opportunity to start off your journey with the best-quality stamps on the market at unbeatable prices!

Stamptacular #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamptacular #myacrylix #everydayheroes #let'sstayhome #thegreatindoors #onrepeat #throughthickandthin #forevergrateful #stamping #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting
Stamptacular #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamptacular #myacrylix #everydayheroes #let'sstayhome #thegreatindoors #onrepeat #throughthickandthin #forevergrateful #stamping #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting

At Close To My Heart, stamping is a huge part of who we are, and it’s been that way right from the beginning. Over our 35+ years in the crafting industry, we’ve become a forerunner in the world of stamping and pioneered the use of clear stamps and transparent, reusable stamping blocks. All of our stamps are made with a clear material that is flexible, yet sturdy, allowing for easy transfer from the carrier sheet they come on to one of our acrylic blocks. They are unmounted, which gives crafters more freedom to make our stamps work for them, as well as reducing the storage accommodations required for traditional mounted stamps.

Stamptacular #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamptacular #myacrylix #everydayheroes #let'sstayhome #thegreatindoors #onrepeat #throughthickandthin #forevergrateful #stamping #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting

Because our stamps and stamping blocks are completely transparent, it’s easier to achieve greater accuracy when it comes to stamp placement. Whether you’re adding stamped accents to a larger project, like the sections of a 12″ x 12″ scrapbook page you see above, or a smaller section like the accent shown below, having a clearer perspective on what your stamped image will look like is an excellent way to gain greater control over your creativity and produce more polished artwork!

Stamptacular #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamptacular #myacrylix #everydayheroes #let'sstayhome #thegreatindoors #onrepeat #throughthickandthin #forevergrateful #stamping #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting

Along with an amazing variety of stamps, many of our sets also come with specially designed Thin Cuts metal dies, which are coordinated with their respective sets to yield a perfect outline for your stamped image without the need for hand trimming. These Thin Cuts are super-slim and fit inside the envelope that our stamp sets come in, so storage is a breeze!

It’s easy to see why we’re so excited to share the all the incredible savings in the Stamptacular sale with you! To sweeten the deal even more, we’ve also brought back five exclusive stamp sets from the past, just for this sale! These five sets—Let’s Stay HomeThe Great IndoorsOn RepeatThrough Thick and Thin, and Forever Grateful— feature fun sentiments, icons, and accents to help you create all sorts of artwork, from fun and whimsical pieces to more elegant, polished designs.

In addition to these five exclusive sets, we’d also recommend that you check out the exclusive Everyday Heroes SVG file, which was featured on one of our blog posts last April! Click here to visit that post and download this adorable SVG file, free!

Everyday Heroes SVG #ctmh #closetomyheart #paperpal #everydayheroes #helpersareheroes #svg #free #nursehero #doctorhero #medicalhero #coronavirushero #covid19hero #pandemichero
Stamptacular #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamptacular #myacrylix #everydayheroes #let'sstayhome #thegreatindoors #onrepeat #throughthickandthin #forevergrateful #stamping #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting

These exclusive stamp sets, along with the Everyday Heroes SVG file, are specifically designed to inspire reflection on the events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and help you document all the memorable moments—both happy and challenging—you’ve experienced over the past year. These exclusive stamp sets will only be available through April 30, 2021, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to get these too-cute sets for yourself!

Stamptacular #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamptacular #myacrylix #everydayheroes #let'sstayhome #thegreatindoors #onrepeat #throughthickandthin #forevergrateful #stamping #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting

We love anything and everything to do with stamping, and we want to hear about your experiences with this versatile medium! Do you have a favorite stamping memory? What about your favorite way to craft using Close To My Heart stamps? Leave a comment below to let us know!