Friday, May 19, 2017

My Vision (Gratitude) Board

Today, I did something that has been on my {non-priority} to do list for a while and it was a surprisingly moving experience.

Have you heard of a Vision Board? According to Jack Canfield, Vision Boards are "inspirational collages which serve as your image of the future - a tangible example, idea or presentation of where you are going." Your Vision Board "should represent your dreams, your goals and your ideal life."

This popular concept has been presented to me many times, especially since I started being my own boss and took responsibility for personal development. This year, I joined an accountability Facebook group for Close To My Heart consultants who have a goal to become a director by the en of 2017. One of the first assignments we were given was to make a Vision Board. Mentally, I have struggled with how to approach this assignment for several reasons.

First, it has always seemed like a fluffy exercise and not really necessary for the goal setting process --- I'm more of a spreadsheets and list kinda girl. I'll be honest, I feel pretty intimidated when I see Pinterest-worthy vision boards. Also because I was brought up to believe in contentment and making the best of circumstances, I've felt like focusing so much on {material} dreams makes someone ungrateful.

Today, I decided those excuses really don't make sense and it was time to give it a try.

So I quit Googling and Pinteresting beautiful boards. Instead I cleared off a bulletin board in my office and worked through Jack Canfield's 6 simple steps for creating a vision board. It turned out to be a great experience. Although I thought I knew what my goals were, working through them visually really helped me process why I wanted to achieve them. Also, I realized my goals are very tied to where I am which gave me a deep sense of gratitude. Instead of making me feel like I have a long way to go, it made me realize that I am on a path and LIFE IS GOOD, NOW!

My board is focused on four areas of my life: Experiences, Memory Keeping, Achievement and Family.


My husband and I love to travel. We like to see new things and also just like the experience of walking, talking and absorbing our surroundings. When I think of vacation, I dream of long walks on the beach, hiking through trees, tasting new flavors and meeting new people. I experienced this most recently on the Close To My Heart trip to Puerto Vallarto and I'm working on earning the trip to Thailand in 2018.

The cluster of images in the top left corner of my Vision Board remind me how my business supports our adventures. My business also supports our non-CTMH travel and other extras, so I've included a travel savings jar.

Memory Keeping

I've always loved pictures. I love seeing how people and places changes (and sometimes stay the same). I love looking at pictures of events and recalling how the experience felt. I love learning about my heritage and knowing what my great-great grandpa looked like. I love seeing how characteristics have carried down through the generations.

This corner reminds me how important it is to record today's events. One of my goals is to take the time to keep up with my personal scrapbooks. In addition to the memory keeping side of scrapbooking, I also get joy from the creative process so I've tucked a few pieces of scrapbook paper into this collage. It also reminds me that my first goal when I joined Close To My Heart was to pay for my habit. I find myself taking for granted the access I have to the most beautiful scrapbooking supplies.


The images in the top right corner represent the satisfaction I receive from a job well done. I want to wake up energized for the work planned for the day and go to bed feeling accomplished. It reminds me that success is in the little things. It also represents the people who are part of my business: customers, team members and consultants who have become dear friends.

The flower name badge on the right reminds me of the people I have met though my business. Sitting down and creating with someone gives you a unique opportunity to get to know them -- I love that about this job! The teal heart dangle is a reward we get when a new team member reaches certain sales goals in their first few weeks. It is here to remind me to invest others. The picture of the director's chair represents all the perks that come with achieving director status at Close To My Heart.


The last corner focuses on my family and my role in the home. A few years ago, I made a choice to leave a successful job to focus more on home life. It was a difficult decision but the pay out has been great. Of course, I can paint it as a sacrifice, and in many ways it was, but my life is so much better with a slower pace where I have the ability to enjoy the little joys of life.

As I look at the picture of my family, I'm reminded how important it is to make them a priority. Today was the last day of my daughter's junior year, so college really is just ahead. The sign reminds me that I don't want to miss a moment of this season of our life.

My Gratitude Board

I was not expecting this experience to change my goals or how I feel about them. In fact, I expected that it would make them feel distant and make me feel unsatisfied with my current life. I found the opposite to be true. As I pulled together these pieces of my "ideal" life,  I was overwhelmed with gratitude. I realized that I am living my dream. Although I have goals and hopes for the future, I am on a path that will logically lead to where I want to be. This gave me a deep sense of peace.

What about you?

Have you made a Vision Board? What was your experience like? Tell me about it in the comments. I'd love to see yours, so please post a link so I can check it out.

4 Retiring Items you DON'T want to MISS out on!

This month we just introduced a new Seasonal Expressions Idea Book that contains lots of summer crafty goodies in fun themes like UNICORNS, LUMBERJACKS, CACTUS and BEACH. This book will be around for four months, then we'll switch to a brand new Holiday Expressions catalog.

In addition to these seasonal books, our catalog cycle includes an Annual Inspirations Idea Book that is live from August through the following July.

This means that the current annual book will be retiring on July 31. Recently, Close To My Heart announced which items will be retiring from this book and now all of these items are available only while supplies last. This means that once the current inventory runs out, they are GONE FOREVER!

View all remaining retiring items>>

While I was expecting the Fundamentals line of products (paper, complements & ribbons) to be refreshed for the new year, there were some sad surprises for me on the list.

1.  How To Books 

The five original (big) spiral bound "How To" books are retiring! I LOVE these books and am glad that I'll still my copies on my shelf.

In addition to complete layout and card directions (from cutting to assembly), these full-color books are filled with tips and techniques to make your projects extra special.

There are two card making books, Wishes and Originals. And four scrapbooking books, Magic, Imagine, Cherish and Reflections.

2. State Stamps

These M-sized state stamps are a bargain at just $2.95 each and include the shape, full name and abbreviation of each state. Did you know we also have stamps for the Canadian provinces, Australia and New Zealand? Get them before they go!

3. Sea Glass Everything!

True to its title "Color of the Year" Sea Glass is going to retire after just one year. This light teal blue (or is it green) has been featured in many of our products this year -- it's amazing how well it coordinates with just about everything!

But like all good things, Sea Glass is coming to an end. You will find glitter paper, solid cardstock and inks on the Going Soon list.

4. Ruler and Stitch Guide

I hate it when some of my go-to products are retired.

For example, our clear ruler 14" ruler is going away! I use this ALL THE TIME and trust me, you don't want to miss your chance to own one. This ruler (along with my Versamat) is the reason things on my layouts line up properly. This ruler works so well for two reasons: it's clear and it's longer than 12". Other rulers just don't do the trick.

The Stitch Guide and Foam Mat are also retiring! This mighty combo allows you to create great dotted designs. I am really not happy to see these items go!

Other Retiring Items

In this post, I've touched on just a few of the items that are retiring. There is so much more!!! All of these items are conveniently located under the "Going Soon!" section of my website. Although the official retirement date is not until July 31, these items have already started disappearing as supplies run out. So check it out and get your order in before it is too late.

May Specials

Before you check out, be sure to check out the other May specials including the exclusive Live Beautifully line and the Stamp of the Month.

Seasonal Expression 2 Launch & Projects

In March, Close To My Heart held events around the country exclusively for consultants. I was so excited when the announcement came that there would be one at Union Station in St. Louis! Based on my past experience at Close To My Heart events, I expected to be inspired, learn, see friends and enjoy getting creative. I was not disappointed.


Members of the Home Office team traveled to the various locations to present. Our host from Home Office was Tiffany Young who started the day with an inspirational message. We were challenged to find new ways to grow our businesses in today's market. 


One of the best things about going to a Close To My Heart event is the community. It was great to see old friends and meet new ones. 

Attendees signing "Close To My Heart"

This event was extra special for me because I was joined by my team members Ann, Faye, Barbara, Lori and Joan! Yay Treasure Keepers!

The Treasure Keepers Team


I was truly suprised and honored to receive two awards for highest sales among those in attendance. To remember these achievements, I received beautiful layouts!


The main event at this launch was the brand new Seasonal Expressions Idea Book. Although these products were not available to the general public until May 1 (to consultants on April 1), we were given the opportunity to make some fun projects with them. I am FINALLY able to share them with you!

Little Dreamer Cards

Little Dreamer Card

Jack Layout

No Worries Cards

Team Building

After the meetings, my team went across the street to Sybergs to relax and visit over a yummy lunch.

Then we headed to my house for an afternoon with more creating. One of the projects we made was this layout using the Live Beautifully paper and stamp set which is exclusively available in May 2017 to celebrate National Scrapbooking Month.

All in all, it was full, but great day! The best part of it all is spending time with others who are passionate about memory keeping and being creative. If you would like to be part of it, you are invited to attend our next team meeting in July -- as either a team member or just to check us out. This meeting will be immediately after our annual convention so there will be A LOT to share! 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Trade your STASH for CTMH CASH on June 24

Mark your calendars for the first annual Show Me Scrapping Yard Sale on June 24, 2017. As paper-crafters, it is easy to accumulate extra paper, ribbon, embellishments and other supplies. As the saying goes, "one scrapper's trash is another scrapper's treasure". Do you have some treasures lurking in your craft supplies that just don't fit you anymore?

Whether you have left-overs from a specific project, your needs have changed or accidentally purchased duplicates, I invite you to participate in this exchange as shopper and/or a trader.

Whether you are a scrapbooker, card-maker, stamper or other paper crafter this is your chance to get great deals on scrapbooking, card-making, stamping or paper crafting supplies. This huge sale will have items from multiple crafters' stashes so there are way to many items to list!

This is your chance to clear out the corners of your scrapbooking space to make room for some fresh products! Here's how it works:
  1. Request your unique number.
  2. Go through your stash and sort out the things that you no long need. 
  3. Mark these items with your number and price.
At the yard sale, you'll get a credit based on the sale of your items to buy NEW Close To My Heart products from my inventory or an order!

In addition 10% of all sales will be donated to Operation Smile! This organization goes to countries around the world to give children life-changing surgeries. Learn more>>

Request your unique number to be a trader. >>>

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Take 2: Another Live Beautifully Workshop is Scheduled!

Because several couldn't make it to the National Scrapbooking month workshop in early May, another one will be offered on June 3! At this workshop, you have the opportunity to make a set of cards or scrapbook pages (or both) using the lovely Live Beautifully papers. Both options include full color directions, plus I'll be there to help you complete your projects.


When you sign up to make the card-making option, you wil make 20 cards appropriate for many occasions including Birthday, Thank You, Encouragement and Friendship. Since the sentiments will be hand-stamped by you, they can be customized to suit your needs.

Your kit includes paper, card bases, envelopes and all embellishments needed to complete the cards. Stamp sets, ink pads and other tools needed will be avaialble for your use.


Whether you are a scrapbooker or would like to make one special book, you will love the Live Beautifully scrapbooking kits. The best deal is to sign up to make a Complete Album because you will take home a beautiful scrapbook ready for your special photos. Or if you print or gather your pictures before the workshop, you will have a completed album!

This MEGA kit includes all of the following:

- Album (post or ring bound)
- 10 memory protectors (holds 20 pages)
- "Cut Above" layout kit to make 5 layouts (10 pages)
- "Enhanced" layout kit to make 5 layouts (10 pages)
- Journaling pen
- Tape runner

You can click on the links above to see the Cut Above layouts and most of the Enhanced layouts. These kits are availble separately, however, the MEGA Complete Album kit is just $20 more and you get over $50 in additional product! That's a savings of over 60%!

Here's the final layout in the Enhanced layout kit:


DEAL #1:  The stamping on this layout is from the May Stamp of the Month, Live, Love Laugh shown below. This stamp set is just $5 for all attendees whether they sign up for the card-making OR one of the scrapbooking options. (Be sure to let me know you'd like this add-on when you sign up.)

DEAL #2: Everyone who signs up for both the Card-making and the Complete Album workshop will get the Exclusive Live Beautifully stamp set for free! This stamp set is a $17.95 value and includes the lovely flowers and sentiments below.

If you can't make it to the June 3 event, all of these workshop options are available as workshops to go! Email me for details.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Collection of the Month: LIttle Dreamer Bonus Stamp in May

Each month at Show Me Scrapping, we focus on one of the Close To My Heart paper collections. As a reward for purchasing the workshop for that collection during the month, I included a special freebie gift!

This month's collection, Little Dreamer, is filled with Unicorns, rainbows and all things 80's. Perfect for pictures of your pre-teen, girlfriends or summer. In May, when you order the Workshop Your Way (or a total of $26.95 from pages 4 - 13 in the Seasonal Expressions 2 Idea Book), you will get the Just For You stamp set free! This M-size stamp set is not available for purchase and includes these fun phrases: "For My Friend", "Thainking of You", "Just for You" and "You're the Best".  (Please call or email your order to me to take advantage of this offer.)

This workshop includes the following coordinating items:
- Little Dreamer Paper Pack (12 double-sided sheets of printed cardstock) 
- Little Dreamer Complements (stickers and white & purple glitter chipboard pieces)
- Little Dreamer Glitter Gems
- White & Gold ribbon (5 yards)
- 4 sheets solid cardstock (1 Thistle & 3 White)

On my resources page, you can print directions to use these products to make these three 2-page layouts.

Two sheets of paper in your workshop are filled with Picture My Life cards -- portrait on one side and landscape on the other. You can use these directly on your pages or put them in divided memory protectors or pocket plus protectors.

The instructions also include details on how to make 9 cards (3 of each design) using your left over paper!

To make the cards you will need these additional supplies: Little Dreamer Cardmaking Stamp + Thin Cuts, Ink Pads (Black, Lagoon, Thistle & Whisper) and White Cards & Envelopes

If you have questions about the bonus stamp set or any of these projects, please just let me know.

National Scrapbooking Month: Exclusive Paper pack, stamp set and Layout Kit

National Scrapbooking month has officially begun! To celebrate, we are offering an exclusive new line of products called "Live Beautifully". This collection includes a paper pack, stamp set plus Cut Above Scrapbooking kit. I invite you to celebrate your beautiful life with this lovely new collection from Close To My Heart!

Shop Live Beautifully products>>

There are three exclusive Live Beautifully products available only in May.

Live Beautifully Paper Pack

The Live Beautifully paper pack includes 16 lovely pages that include foral, geometric, watercolor and script prints. 12 of these pages are double sided and two have gold foil accents. Whether you are a scrapbooker or card-maker, you are going to love these papers!

Shop Live Beautifully products>>

Live Beautifully Stamp Set

The coordinating Live Beautifully stamp set includes flowers and leaves along with empowering messages. These sentiments are scales to work on both scrapbook pages and cards.

Shop Live Beautifully products>>

Live Beautifully Cut Above Scrapbooking Kit

Our cut above kits are a great way to get your pages done quickly without sacrificing beauty. This kit includes materials to create 5 decorative layouts (10 pages). You can see pictures of the completed layouts in my April 23 earlier blog post

Shop Live Beautifully products>>

Bundled Savings

Save 20% off the Cut Above kit when you buy it as part of an album bundle that includes an album, tape runner and journaling pen. This bundle is availble with your choice of album: black post bound or gray D-ring album.

If you are anxious to get your hands on these products, I have a few spots left in my National Scrapbooking Month workshop tomorrow (May 6). You can sign up on my Events page. 

How to get it FREE!

You can also receive the Live Beautifully Cut Above layout kit FREE when you join my team, the Treasure Keepers or by hosting a qualifying party this month.

DEMO: Signing up for Events using Yapsody

For my local events (workshops, classes & events), I have been using a program called "Yapsody" for a few months. This program allows you to set up an account so that you always know exactly which events you have signed up for. It also helps me know who is signed up, send emails to attendees and print registration lists.

This program if fairly easy to use, but there are a few things that are not completely intuitive. Tonight, I'd like to address some of the issues that have come back since we have started using Yapsody.

Thank you for everyone who has given it a try and provided feedback to me! 

Please watch this video to learn more about the registration process.

To get started go to where you will see a list of all of my upcoming workshops. To view the events on a calendar, click on the square in the top right corner of the screen.

You can use the steps below to sign up for all of the events you'd like to attend on a single order. You can even include registration for friends on your order! I would suggest that you create a Yapsody account so that you can access all of your registrations in the future.

Visit my events page>>

Registering for an event

Step 1:  Click "More Info" next to the first event you are interested in attending to see additional details about the event.

Step 2: Click on "Get Tickets" to see pricing.

Step 3: If you would like to register for additional workshops, click on "Save and Continue Shopping", otherwise click on "Next Step".

Step 4: If you have an account and are just signing up for yourself, you do not need to fill in the attendee information page. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "Next Step".  At the bottom of the next page also click "Next Step". (You do not need to print tickets.)

Step 5: Review the items in your cart and enter promo codes, if applicable. Then scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Checkout".

Step 6: Click on "Check out with PayPal" and enter your payment information. Note that you do not need a PayPal account! You will be able to check out using a credit card, however I'll receive the funds through PayPal.

If you have an account, you will be able to log back in later to review your registrations for past or future events.

I hope this demo and tips help you use the Yapsody system. Please continue to give me feedback about how it works for you. I hope to see you at an upcoming event!

Visit my events page>>

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

NEW Ready To Assemble Layout Kits on Etsy!

I'm excited to announce that I've reopened my Etsy store and have added 8 ready to assemble layout kits. These two page kits cover a number of themes from a farm visit to engagement to everyday life. Each kit includes pre-cut papers plus a variety of die-cuts and embellishments to complete the pages.

Here are a few of the kits now available for order:


Shop my Etsy Store now>>

Each layout includes photo mats in standard sizes (5" x 7", 4" x 6", 3" x 4", 4" x 4" and 3"x 3") which allows you to easily add additional pictures using Flip Flaps. High quality, new Close To My Heart materials were used to create the layouts. In addition to pre-cut papers, the kits include a variety of elements like stickers, chipboard, diecuts and other embellishments to complete the pages as shown. Each kit also includes a photo of the completed pages.

When ordering, you have three choices for how much assembly is already done for you.
- "Ready to Assemble" gives you maximum FLEXIBILITY. Under this option, you will receive all the pieces needed to assemble the layouts as shown, but since they are not attached, you can rearrange them to suit your needs.
- "Assembled" is a time saver! All you need to do is add your photo and journaling.
- "In Protectors" is the final option. Under this choice you receive Assembled pages in Memory Protectors so you can add them to your albums immediately.

All of my kits are designed and created by me. As handmade items, there may be slight variations that do not distract from the quality of the product. All of my kits are created in a smoke-free home and are shipped in sealed ziplock bags and stiff envelopes or boxes.

Please check out my Etsy Store. If you would like to see me post additional kits, please make my store a favorite by clicking the button. I'd also appreciate your "likes" on my kits.

Go to my Etsy Store now>>

In the comments below tell me what other themes you'd like to see in future layout kits. Thank you for looking!

Keep creating,