Thursday, July 20, 2017

My Story - Close To My Heart Convention 2017 Salt Lake City

CTMH Convention 2017 was held in Salt Lake City, Utah.  It was a fabulous event, and I want to share some of my personal photos and experiences with you.  I hope that you take a few minutes to share in my journey.  Maybe you will even decide that you would like to join my team and attend CTMH Convention 2018 at the 5 Star Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas.  I will post the link at the end of my post :)
Here I am with my friend Jill.  We flew together along with our good friend, Denise, who decided to sleep during much of our flights to SLC.  That's why she isn't in our selfie!
I had never seen the Rocky Mountains, and I was so very excited the girls let me have the window seat on our flight from Denver to SLC.
Although we were exhausted, we decided to explore Temple Square for a while after having dinner together.
On Wednesday, I attended CTMH Leadership day and got to learn from all of our very informative speakers including Brian Hollman.
On Wednesday evening, following leadership day, we had our Scattered Hearts Team meeting and party.  I was so happy to share the convention experience with Veronica, a member of my GIRLplusPAPERhearts Team as well as a friend of mine.  We originally met while attending a scrapbooking crop together.
Thursday was the first day of convention.  Although I was exhausted, I was so ready to take everything in.  We were given the new 2017 CTMH Annual Inspirations Idea Book, new products and a trip to the CTMH Home Office.
After enjoying a yummy boxed lunch, Veronica and I boarded a coach bus to the CTMH Home Office.  I can't imagine what it would be like to work at such a beautiful location.
Of course, I had to stop to have a picture taken with the mountains in the background!  Thank you Veronica for taking such a great picture of me.
Inside the CTMH Home Office, there were literally hundreds of pieces of artwork for us to enjoy.  My blog post would be miles long if I were to post them all!  Isn't this Create piece just gorgeous?
How about this 17 foot long mobile?  It was hand made and greets those that enter the CTMH foyer.  It was very impressive!
Under the mobile was this round display of CTMH goodness.  It was full of more beautiful artwork.
The grand staircase with custom wallpaper were the perfect spot for Veronica and I to have our picture taken together.
The CTMH Mission Statement turned into artwork.
As we traveled upstairs, we arrived first at the art studio.  I love the motto on the wall.  Did you notice that open desk?  I would love to get to work there.  I wonder if CTMH would ever consider hiring me lol!
I mean, who wouldn't want to work here?
Next stop on our tour!
Although we toured Jeanette Lynton's personal office, I wanted to respect her privacy and so I won't be posting those photos.  Off of her office was a dream of a crafting area.  It is part of Jeanette's suite. 
We really did feel welcome, and not just because of the lovely artwork on the door!
Here is the conference room.  I loved the soothing gray walls, but I adored the artwork there.  Later in the convention, I had the pleasure of spending some time with one of the artists, but that will be another blog post soon!
During the next few days of our convention, we had many guest speakers.  They were all wonderful.  One of the highlights for me was learning that Stacy Julian would be partnering with CTMH on a new line of scrapbooking products next year.  I loved hearing Stacy speak about her family.  Her children, with their triumphs and struggles reminded me so much of my own four kiddos back at home in NJ.  And I got to meet Stacy!  #StacyJulian 
On Friday evening, I was a presenter at the Creativity Showcase.  It was an amazing experience.  I spent the evening with the beautiful Alex Gaud, my teammate, and got to meet hundreds of my fellow consultants. The highlight of my evening was when I got a few moments to meet with Jeanette Lynton and her family.  It was completely unexpected and I was truly humbled.
I promise to do a full post on this CTMH No Worries layout very soon!
You might have already seen my blog post on this one page No Worries Layout.
On Saturday evening we celebrated the end of convention with a very special awards banquet.  Here I am posing with my very sweet roommate, Kelly. 
We had an absolute blast together.

Sticky Girl!  I had found her before the banquet, but my photos are out of order.  I couldn't find #stickyboy this year :(
Delicious salad.

Yummy dessert!
We each received an exclusive CTMH Convention 2017 Stamp Set.  Who tells your story?
Looking pretty!
Our dessert was on the table before dinner...this photo isn't out of order lol!
Here are some more selfies with my friends...
My amazing upline Barb!
Sock monkey!
Jamie, did you know I kidnapped sock monkey for a quick photo?
Avis, our new Operation Smile queen!
Katy, our retiring Operation Smile queen!
Maria, we just share so many of the same values that I just adore her!
Finally, a photo with my dear friend, Denise.  She loves me so much that she takes me all around the country with her, lets me sleep in her room when I don't have one the first night, she shares a mutual love of CafĂ© Rio, shares my secrets and she just gets me!  She is one of the biggest blessings that CTMH has gifted me with.
Here is a photo of me with my long distance friend, Liz Johnson.  At the moment we snapped this photo, we were up on stage singing and dancing with rock star Alex Boye.  Liz is a constant source of inspiration for me, and I was thrilled to meet her.  She is a genuine gem!
Kelly and I partied the night away, but got up early to experience the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  We decided to dress nicely, and we were seated down in the front center of the amphitheater that holds 30,000 if I remember correctly.  I do believe the ushers might have mistaken us for part of the church community.  We seemed to be sitting amongst the church families.  It wasn't until the performance was underway that we started realizing where we were sitting.  Yikes!  It was amazing though!!
And because we needed to push our exhausted selves even further, we went on a walking garden tour throughout Temple Square on a 100 degree day.
When we got back to our hotel room, Kelly booked us on one last adventure.  A private tour to the Great Salt Lake.  This was a natural wonder that I really, really wanted to experience.  I am so glad we went...even if we needed to walk across that black carpet of brine flies along the shoreline.  You see, they feed on the stinky, dead brine shrimp that are under them on the shoreline. 
We were lucky time wise that afternoon.  We ran into more of our team at the Great Salt Lake.  Here we are with our friend Tonya!  (I stole this photo from her!)

The next morning, I woke up way to early, caught a shuttle to the airport and stumbled upon my CTMH sisters, Briana and Dana.  We passed our time at the airport together.  Briana and I boarded our first flight to Denver together, and spent our layover in Denver together.  We chatted the hours away.  It was an absolute pleasure!

My trip was a whirlwind, but I loved and lived every moment to the fullest.  I can't wait until next year's convention so I can make even more memories!

If I have inspired you to join me on this amazing Close To My Heart journey, click this link and join the GIRLplusPAPERhearts Team!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

CTMH Convention Contest Layout

Each year, at CTMH Convention, there is a layout contest.  The theme of this year's convention and contest was "Who Tells Your Story?".  I struggle with this open ended contest each year.  You see, I would consider myself a clean scrapper.  What I mean by that is I like order to my pages.  You won't catch me doing lots of mixed media.  It's just not my thing.  I almost think this is a disadvantage when it comes to this contest.  Mixing up squares from many different paper packs is just about how far I will go, and that is what I did here.

The title of the page is "the AUTHOR".  
The text around the page goes on to say "I not only tell my story but I carefully craft it.  Much like all of the different pieces of paper on this page create a beautiful tapestry every person and experience in my life join together to create the symphony that is the story of my life."  

I cut these words around the perimeter of my page by using my Cricut and the font from the CTMH Artistry cartridge.  I backed the words with the now sold out Sea Glass Glitter Paper, a favorite of mine.  I also used it to mat my photo with.  The daisies were cut from the CTMH Flower Market cartridge.  (You may remember my Crazy Daisy Cards also made with the same flower.)  The title was cut with the same font and I used Gold Glitter Paper for some contrast and to pull in the gold polka dot squares from our Uptown Fundamentals paper line.  Additionally, I used papers from the Little Dreamer, Prickly Pear and Whimsy Fundamentals paper suites.  Don't be afraid to expand your crafting by coloring within the proverbial lines.  Mix up your CTMH paper packs to expand your horizon.

I didn't end up being one of the contest winners this year either.  I must admit that I am a little bummed, because, who wouldn't want a bag full of brand new CTMH products, right?  However, I don't consider myself a loser either.  After all, I am thrilled with the way this layout turned out.  We so rarely scrapbook ourselves, much less appear in a whole layout!  And those words couldn't be any truer...I do craft my own story to tell!!!  

Who tells your story???

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

CTMH Convention Swap Cards featuring Hello Foxy

Just a quick post with lots of artwork today!  I recently returned from the most amazing CTMH convention trip ever, in SLC, Utah.  I had wanted to make some cards to swap, but I was quickly running out of time.  Inspiration hit when I found a ton of cut up Enchantment Fundamentals paper that I was given at the 2016 convention.  I was supposed to make some cards with it back then, but I didn't love the cards and I was at Disney, so I simply never made them.  I paired those pieces with the June Stamp of the Month, Hello Foxy.  (I totally lifted the idea from another talented CTMH consultant, and now I can't seem to find her name :0 )  The stamped elements were all colored with our CTMH ShinHan markers.  I must admit, I love them more than my set of Copics, as I feel I have better control over the coloring with the shorter nibs. 

So, without making you wait any longer, here are the cards!