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My Top 10 "Gotta Have"s from the 2017-18 Annual Inspirations Idea Book

Hi everyone! I’ve just gotten back from a great week of camping with my family. We made our way to Hecla Island this time around. My family always went camping there when I was a kid, so I’ve been excited to get back! And a little nervous that it wasn’t going to be as fun as I remembered… you know how sometimes you have the greatest memories of something from childhood, and you revisit as an adult and think… ‘Really?!’. But, I’m glad to say it was exactly how I remembered it – awesome!

We have a few more days away this week (up at a cabin with family), but before we take off for that I thought I’d share my Top 10 "Gotta Have"s from the 2017-18 Close To My Heart Annual Inspirations book. This book just went live on August 1st, and there are so many great things in it! So I’ll just get to it… these are my favourites, in no particular order:

(I’ve added an * to the items that I already have in my hot little hands, and can personally vouch for how awesome they are! All of the other items are on my ‘to buy’ list!)

1. *New two-toned cardstock! – I love the flexibility that this gives us! We now have 80+ colours of cardstock to choose from, to get the perfect match. One side features the original colour from the CTMH palette, and the other side features a lighter tone of the same colour. (On the image above, the bottom of the papers are folded to show the lighter tone.) Exciting!

2. *Cut Above Layout Kits - The Story Begins (Baby Boy and Baby Girl) – This is definitely one of my very favourites in the new Idea Book. I’ve already ordered the Baby Boy one to use for Austen’s baby book. I did a pocket-page style baby book for JJ’s first year, and had a plan to do the same for Austen… It just hasn’t gotten done yet. So, I’m excited to use this kit and finally get Austen’s book done (he’s just turning three, so it’s about time!)! The kit has products to create 10 coordinating 2-page layouts (including die-cuts, stickers, instructions and page protectors!). I’ve also ordered the coordinating Picture My Life: The Story Begins (Baby Boy) set. My plan is to mix the layouts and pocket pages to get the album complete. Make sure to follow my blog to see how it turns out!

I so wish I had a little girl to scrap, as I love the Baby Girl kit, too! These kits would also be great as a baby gift for an expectant mother (having a baby is how most people start scrapbooking!), or you could even make the scrapbook yourself to give as a gift to someone who has had a baby! (I may do this with the Girl kit, just so I can get my hands on it!)

3. Block Alphabet Thin Cuts – I love all of the Thin Cuts that CTMH has come out with, but this Block Alphabet one has to be one of my favourites. Again, I love the flexibility that it gives for creating titles. You can create out of any colour cardstock, or pattern paper, or even background stamps (like the coordinating In the Background set!) I admit, I do have an electronic die-cutting machine, which gives so much flexibility for creating titles, but sometimes just using a manual die cutter is quicker and easier than getting everything all set-up with my computer. This set is definitely up next of my ‘to buy’ list!

4. Beautiful You Stamp & Thin Cuts Set – Love that we now have some layering stamps in our Idea Book! If you’re unfamiliar, these are stamps that work together as a set – in this case, 3 different stamps layer together to create one beautiful flower with different layers of colour. And thanks to our clear acrylic blocks it's so easy to align the stamps perfectly for a clean, beautiful final image! And I’m now becoming spoiled since we offer so many coordinating thin cuts to go with our stamp sets. It makes it so easy to stamp and die-cut to add to a scrapbook page or cards! (The flowers and leaves added to the layout above are from the stamp set and coordinating die.)

5. *Make It from Your Heart: Volume 3 – This volume of Make It from Your Heart includes 36 two-page layout patterns using standard photo sizes, as well as artwork inspiration demonstrating how to incorporate additional photos using our Pocket Plus and pocket page Memory Protectors. I really love how these pages are printed on a sturdy cardstock and 3-hole punched to fit into one of our 6x8 Everyday Life albums. So easy to pack up and take with you to a crop or a friend’s house for some scrapping.

6. *Rose Embossing Folder – As soon as I saw this folder used in the artwork sample on page 99 of the Idea Book, I knew I had to have it! (Photo above - showcasing the Beautiful You stamp once again too!) I love the subtle look of embossing a piece of White Daisy cardstock, then lightly sponging over it with a colour of ink that matches your project.

7. *Adventure Fundamental Paper Pack – If I had to choose one, I think this one is my favourite fundamental pack from this year’s Annual Inspirations. (Although I really, truly love them all.) I just love the brighter colours of the Adventure collection, and I love the watercolour rose designs featured on a few of the pieces (and the hearts, and stripes!) This is the first of the Fundamentals packs that I plan on designing a workshop for!

8. Constellations stamp set – This, of course, is totally subjective, but I have a thing for stars, and for constellations. I decorated my old room at my parent’s house with glow in the dark stars mapped out in various constellations so that when you turned off the lights, you were surrounded by stars and constellations. So as soon as I saw this stamp, I had major heart eyes! I love that there are a bunch of constellations already made up, and also some individual stars, so you can stamp your own constellations out yourself (if you’re a star nerd like me!) Can’t wait to order this stamp set!

9. *Sending Prayers Stamp set - I really love the lettering this stamp set is done in, and it's always nice to have a set with these sentiments in your stash, for those times that you need to whip up a sympathy or 'get well soon' card in a hurry. I need to have a card-making session to get some of these done up!

10. And finally, the Punny Pals Operation Smile stamp set - I'll be totally honest, I'm not typically into cartoon-y image stamp sets - but, come on! These are just too cute to pass up! And I totally love all the 'punny' sayings to accompany the images. And don't forget the fact that $7 of the proceeds of each set goes to Operation Smile - a non-profit organization that provides surgeries to repair cleft lips and palates for children all over the world. Such a great cause. Will definitely be adding this set to my collection soon :)

So, that is my Top 10 'Gotta Haves' from our new 2017-18 Annual Inspirations Idea Book. As you can see indicated above, I already have a fair share of these sitting here, ready to be used to make some fabulous projects! Look out for some new and exciting stuff coming up on the blog soon!

If you 'gotta have' any of these items (or any other amazing Close to my Heart product), be sure to check out my shop at craftwithnicole.closetomyheart.ca, or feel free to contact me at anytime!

Thanks for stopping by!

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