From Jeanette: On This Halloween Night

Tonight is the night all of October has been leading up to! And for many of you, tonight’s plans probably include trick-or-treating. I have many fond memories from taking my children trick-or-treating when they were young. I remember cold Halloween nights, bundled up in my coat, holding tiny hands as we walked from house to house, knocking on doors and collecting candy. I can still see the warm smiles of the jack-o-lanterns glowing on the doorsteps and the soft light spilling from the windows, illuminating the faces of the little ghosts, princesses, and superheroes that walked by.

Seeing children dressed up in costumes is one of my favorite parts of Halloween. It’s so fun to watch them transform into the characters they’ve always dreamed of becoming. When my daughter Aubrey was a little girl, she absolutely adored dressing up as Snow White—and not just on Halloween! There was a time when it seemed she was Snow White more than she was Aubrey. Every day she put on her little yellow and blue dress with the puffy sleeves and became a princess. It was so wonderful to see how very much she enjoyed her own imagination.

Now that my children are grown, I find the same joy in seeing my grandchildren in Halloween costumes. The smiles seem to never leave their faces! Here are a couple cute photos of them, all dressed up for Halloween.

Aren’t they the cutest? These little faces melt my heart. I’m hoping their Halloween night is a special one.

Wherever you are in the world, whether you celebrate Halloween or are simply happy it’s Friday, I hope you have something special planned for tonight. I’d love to hear what you’re up to! Tell me in the comments, if you want to share.

Happy Halloween!

Jeanette

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Crafting Adventure Winners

Oh, sweet candy corn! You guys blew our witchy socks right off with all the wonderful entries we received from the Choose-Your-Own Spooky Crafting Adventure contest. As promised, today is the day to reveal our five lucky winners! We chose one winning entry from creative challenges 1, 2, and 4, and two winning entries from creative challenge 3.

Now, without further ado, we are pleased to present the five lucky crafting adventurers!

CREATIVE CHALLENGE 1: Use three different Close To My Heart washi tapes to create a papercraft that can be used for goodies or given as a gift.

WINNER:
Lauren Moore
Halswell, Christchurch, New Zealand

Lauren Moore

CREATIVE CHALLENGE 2: Create an artistic masterpiece using at least two of the following in any color: Shimmer Trim, Sparkles, glitter gems, or sequins.

WINNER:
Vicki Wizniuk
Fort St. John, BC, Canada

Vicki Wizniuk

CREATIVE CHALLENGE 3: In honor of your intuitive password selection, create a card, layout, or other creation using each of the Close To My Heart colors that would comprise candycorn: Honey, Goldrush, and Colonial White.

WINNER 1:
Gina Brandstetter
Murfreesboro, TN, USA

Gina Brandstetter

WINNER 2:
Kristina Baldwin
Sunnyvale, CA, USA

Kristina Baldwin

CREATIVE CHALLENGE 4: To help you cope with your frightening memories from your night in the haunted cemetery, create original artwork using the Scaredy Cat paper packet and add either the Scaredy Cat Complements or the Scaredy Cat assortment. 

WINNER:
Karen Mosello
Highlands Ranch, CO, USA

Karen Mosello

Congratulations, winners!

If your name is listed above, please send an email to ctmhblog@closetomyheart.com with “Contest Winner” in the subject line. Please include your name, shipping address, and choice of any one Cut Above™ kit from the Annual Inspirations idea book.

Be sure to check out the blogs of each of the winners to see how they worked their crafty magic! The winning entries that have an accompanying Consultant blog post have been linked directly to the photo, so all you need to do is click on the photo to learn more. And just so you’re aware, two of the winning entries do not have accompanying blog posts.

Start revving your crafting engines for the next contest—it’s coming soon!

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Just a Little Christmas Crush

Um, we don’t know about you, but we definitely have a little crush on Christmas. Actually, it’s kind of a big one, so we decided to get some of our holiday jitters out by showing you one thing we’re extra excited about! Sure, we know it’s only October, and, no, we’re not skipping Thanksgiving. Don’t worry—all of that goodness is still to come.

We just know December is a month that will sweep you up in flurries of Christmas lights and wrapping paper and then, come January, drop you in a pile of memories, feeling breathless and completely exhausted in the most wonderful way.

Once it’s over, it’s difficult to recall exactly what all of those glittering December moments were made of. We can remember that they happened and we remember they were wonderful, but the details tend to get a little fuzzy.

Enter the My Crush™ Holiday Happenings book:

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Behind the adorable Christmas tree of this wire-bound book, you’ll find 30 pages in mixed styles, measuring 8¼” x 6½”, as well as multiple page protectors that also come in different styles.

Keep reading for tips on how to turn the pages of this book into your personal holiday mini album, so the details of your December will remain crystal clear.

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Click on any of the photos below for a closer look.

The My Crush™ Holiday Happenings assortment has the perfect mix of cards and stickers. Try adding tabs to the sides of your pages for a little variety. Here we’ve backed two tab stickers together to achieve a different design on each side.

Including pieces of the season, like gift cards, will bring back specific memories. You’ll love looking back at these odds and ends of life!

Save bits and pieces of seasonal goodness for your book that are unique to the holiday season. Here’s a bit of “junk mail” with a catchy phrase that prompted some insightful journaling! You can also add one of the My Crush™ Holiday Happenings badge buttons for a finishing bit of flair.

Use Shimmer Trim to attach one of your many Christmas to-do lists. Embellish your list with stamps and stickers while you’re at it.

Capture miniature moments and photos using the 2″ x 2″ slots in this page protector.

Some page protectors are perfect for slipping in photos along with the Picture My Life™ cards from the My Crush™ Holiday Happenings assortment.

The My Acrylix® Magical Moment stamp set is the perfect match for this book! Use it to document each day in December—or just the special ones.

Let your child write their Christmas wish list on the “Dear Santa” page. You will cherish those handwritten words for years to come!

The alphabet stickers from the My Crush™ Holiday Happenings assortment make great headings and titles.

This friendly quail is plump enough for you to jot down events of the season on her lovely calendar.

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Trust us, come December, you’re going to want this beautiful book by your side. With it you’ll be able to track the memories moment by moment, day by day, and then, after everything is over and it all melts away like snow on a rooftop, you can take out your book and remember once more.

So, what will your December hold?

For inspiration on using the My Crush Holiday Happenings book in an alternative fashion, read our newest post.

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My Story: Monica Wihongi

What stories are you bursting to tell? Don’t be shy; we know you have them. Do you have a few (thousand) that came about because of your connection to Close To My Heart? Good, because we want to hear them!

Whenever we post a prompt here, we want you to look back on your time with us and recall your fun, funny, or awe-inspiring memories—then send them in. We’ll take a handful of the entries that make us cry (or make us laugh until we snort, whichever comes first) and post them here for all to enjoy.

Of course, we believe in positive reinforcement, so all published entries will earn a Close To My Heart goodie or two, just for fun.

To start things off, we’re calling for entries that answer the question: How did you first get involved with Close To My Heart? Entries should be 300 words or fewer and may be edited for length, grammar, and clarity. Email your entry to ctmhblog@closetomyheart.com by November 7 with “How I Met Close To My Heart” as the subject line to be considered for inclusion on the blog.

And now, to get you sufficiently inspired, we’re sharing the true story of how Chief Communications Officer Monica Wihongi got her start. Enjoy! 

Monica’s Story
After I graduated from high school, I moved to Utah to attend college. Leaving Texas was a big culture shock for me, but I bravely made the move and immediately began working as a secretary for a small business. As keeper of the front desk, I got to see everyone that came and went through. A woman named Jeanette Lynton came in every so often to talk with my boss. I didn’t know what she came for, but I was enchanted by her beautiful eyes. That’s the first thing I remember about Jeanette: her beautiful, sparkly eyes.

On one of her visits to the office Jeanette sat in the reception area waiting to speak with my boss, so I asked her what it was that she always came in for. She answered that she rented some warehouse space from my boss, and was running her business from an office directly across the street. She told me she made stamps, and she kindly invited me over to visit her warehouse on my lunch break.

The first D.O.T.S. catalog Monica ever sawA few hours later, I walked into that building 100 percent sure that Jeanette Lynton made postage stamps. I thought, “Well, that’s nice. I guess someone has to make those little designs on all our stamps.” When Jeanette showed me the rubber and wooden blocks she used to make papercrafting stamps, I was both surprised and delighted. She showed me the catalog the company was currently using; I still remember what the cover looked like and everything! I thumbed through it, and after I was done I looked Jeanette in the eye and said, “I don’t know how, but I know that I’m supposed to help you with this.” And I did know. I instantly felt so connected to Jeanette and to her cause.

So Jeanette gave me a job, inviting me to start the following day. I told her, “Let me go back across the street and tell my boss I’m going to be working with you now.” My boss agreed wholeheartedly that Jeanette was a great woman, and said that I was free to start working for her the following day.

Monica and JeanetteI started the next day entering orders. Back then, all orders came by mail, and we would enter them into our computers by hand. It took me two and a half hours to do what I should have done in a half hour. I had no experience doing that kind of thing! Jeanette wisely asked me what it was that I did best, and I told her that I enjoyed taking phone calls. I then became a very happily employed Consultant Services Representative—the only one for the entire company, in fact.

Since then I have stayed with Close To My Heart, working in several different positions. I left for a short while after I got married, but one day I received a call from Jeanette asking me to return. “Can you just stay? Because I need you here,” she said.

She had to be flexible with my schedule because I was in school and starting a family, but she wanted me with her and I knew it because she let me bring my first baby with me to work for at least the first six months. In fact, all of my babies have come to the office with me for the first few months of their lives—and I have seven kids! Jeanette is a very family-oriented woman, and she has always respected me as a mother. Because of her I could and can still do what I’m meant to do (be a mother!) and also be here.

Wihongi Family 2014Now, several job titles later, I am still here, loving the company and loving working with one of my very best friends, Jeanette Lynton. I know we’re a papercrafting company, but our mission statement shows that we’re more than that. This is a place for people to feel connected both to their pasts and to one another.

For me, Close To My Heart is all about the people. I love the people I work with at the corporate office, and it is a great blessing to get to work with all the Consultants outside of the office—really, that is my absolute favorite responsibility. The people of Close To My Heart inspire me, and I love being around people who inspire me.

I have seen how Close To My Heart changes lives for the better, and we can all use a little goodness in our lives, especially in this day and age. I believe in Jeanette’s vision and the mission of Close To My Heart. It is truly touching hearts and changing lives—I know it’s changed mine for sure!


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A Spooky Crafting Adventure Contest

Are you ready to choose your own creative adventure? Grab your scrapbooking gear and buckle your seatbelt because it’s about to get spooky. This contest has a special twist and a spine-tingling prize. Follow these four steps carefully for a chance to win one of five Cut Above™ Treat Bag or Card Kits! Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Embark on the adventure by clicking on the image below. Follow the colored hearts and make decisions that will ultimately bring you to your individual creative challenge.
  2. Complete the creative challenge you are issued at the end of the adventure.
  3. Email a picture of your finished artwork to ctmhblog@closetomyheart.com before October 29 to enter the contest.
  4. Anxiously await the winners announcement that will come on October 30 after our panel of judges assesses the entries based on creativity, cleverness, and artistry!

Now that’s settled, let’s get going. Click anywhere on the image below to begin. Have fun!

Choose Your Own Adventure

 

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The final circle count is in!

Hurray! The day has arrived! Our first contest on the new blog has come to an end, and we had a lovely landslide of guesses. Thank you to all who participated.

The final count was 3138 circles.

Because a handful of you guessed amazingly close to that number, we’re going to award a prize to more than just the first place winner. Here they are, the star guessers:

Fourth place goes to Gina, who guessed 3112 circles (posted on October 3 at 11:54 pm).

Third place goes to Wendy Coffman, who guessed 3125 circles (posted on October 2 at 4:35 pm).

Second place goes to Mary Ann Kelly, who guessed 3147 circles (posted on October 2 at 9:31 pm).

And—drumroll, please—tied for first place, we have Amy Kaminski (posted on October 8 at 5:50 am) and Amber Willingham (posted on October 2 at 5:27 pm), who both guessed 3131 circles—only seven circles off! Wow!

Congratulations to all our winners! We can’t wait to send you a free 1″ circle punch. Please email ctmhblog@closetomyheart.com with your shipping address so you can get punching as soon as possible. Thanks again for playing!

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Didn’t win this one? Don’t worry—there are many more contests to come! Starting this week, you’ll have another shot at winning some wonderful free goodies from us when we launch the spookiest crafting contest you’ll ever encounter.

Until then!

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Treats Take Flight into Eerie Nights

Double, double, toil and trouble,
We’ve got new ideas a’bubble.
Add them to your craft regime
For cute new looks that make you scream!

We bring you the spells for two fun and simple handcrafted goodie bags you can fill with your favorite seasonal treats. Conjure some up for yourself to use as party favors or table decor.

. . . . . .

Your treats will fly off the table when you place them in these adorable broomstick bags! Use the box shape seen on page 67 of the Cricut® Artiste booklet as your base shape. Trim box into 1/8″ strips to form the bristles of the broom. Give your broom a handle by adding a knobbly twig.

Broomsticks

Broomstick Treat Bags
C1509 My Acrylix® Magic Potions, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, Z2197 Pear Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2640 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2191 Sunset Exclusive Inks™ Pad, 44751 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z3036 Flaxen Extra Thick Twine, Z3011 Scaredy Cat Assortment, Z2010 White Enamel Stars

Cricut® Shapes:
Artiste
1½” Accent 4 <6> (p. 36)
1¼” Shift+Accent 2 <#> (p. 33)
2½” Card <w> (p. 42)
2¼” Card <i> (p. 48)
4″ 3D Object <m> (p. 67)

. . . . . .

You don’t need Halloween-themed paper to make a Halloween project. The toothy grins on these treat bags were cut by the Cricut® Artiste cartridge and mounted on colorful sheets from various Paper Fundamentals assortments. Make your own by cutting out the box shape seen on page 75 of the Cricut® Artiste booklet and trimming the top edges in a jagged fashion. Fill them with wrapped treats of your choice and set them out for all to enjoy.

Treat Bags

Jack-O’-Lantern and Frankenstein Treat Bags
1386 Black Cardstock, Z2032 Paper Fundamentals Adventure Assortment, Z2033 Paper Fundamentals Whimsy Assortment

Cricut® Shapes:
Artiste
2¾” Accent 3 <Hallween> (p. 77)
3″ Shift+Accent 3 <Boo> (p. 77)
5″ 3D Object <FtherDay> (p. 75)

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G’day, Australia!

It’s been a right party at the first-ever Australasia Convention in the land down under! The excitement of Sticky Boy, crafting sessions, and good friends combined with the reveal of the newest idea book has made for a lovely celebration of the joy that comes from being part of the Close To My Heart family.

Here’s a small glimpse into what it’s been like, brought to you by some of our wonderful Close To My Heart employees that are helping out with Convention down in Australia:

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galaxy brisbane convention 027Look! Sticky Boy is a traveling boy now. 🙂

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Seasonal Expressions Sneak Peek

We have another little treat for you, but this time it’s a delight for your papercrafting palate, not your sweet tooth. It’s a small taste of the Seasonal Expressions idea book, hot off the press! This 8½” x 11″ page-turner packs a lot of punch within its 37 beautiful pages.Seasonal Expressions Sneak PeakOur lucky friends down in Australia get their copies at Australasia Convention today!

We can’t wait until we get to share them with the rest of you. Trust us, you’re definitely going to like what’s inside. We’ll be serving them up to the general public on December 1, 2014.

Mark your calendars—it’s going to be big.

*Editor’s Note: Close To My Heart Consultants can access Seasonal Expressions 1 in Online Office beginning on October 18 and they can order physical copies beginning on October 20. The remaining general public will gain access on December 1. Consultant preview orders can begin on November 1 and all other orders can begin December 1. Although the name and release date may connote a holiday theme, the products contained within Seasonal Expressions 1 are not holiday centered as the life of this idea book will extend until April 1, 2015.

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