Thanks for the Memories, Anaheim Convention 2015!

Whew! Can you believe that it’s almost been a whole week since we said goodbye to each other at the end of Convention? We’re still trying to recover from the whirlwind of papercrafting bliss that was Convention. Some bags are still unpacked, some Consultants are still sleeping sound in their beds, and others have visions of Disneyland® churros dancing in their heads. Having fun is a lot of work! But it’s worth every minute. 🙂
For all of you that attended, we hope you had fun because we sure did! Before life gets too busy again, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and revisit some of the highlights of our week spent next door to “The Happiest Place on Earth.” Shall we?

As usual, Sticky Boy was up to his usual shenanigans. This year Sticky Boy decided to be a little less sticky and a little more sweet by posting hints about his hiding places on his Facebook page. This sent more than one Consultant racing down the halls in hot pursuit of his latest revealed location. Some were victorious; others barely missed him. He frequented the nooks and crannies of the hotel, popping up on drinking fountains, flower vases, and elevator walls. It was quite the hunt! We can’t wait to see where Sticky Boy will travel this year with his newfound friends and his little heart balloon in tow.

We raised enough monetary wattage to light up a whole lot of smiles. Between the Base & Bling necklaces, the auction, and the 5K run, we raised over $40,000 for Operation Smile™! Thank you to everyone one who was generous enough to donate to this important cause. After listening to Monica share stories from her Operation Smile mission in Mexico and showing us a special video featuring celebrity Kate Walsh, who went on the same mission as Monica, each of our hearts beat a little faster for Operation Smile and its unique quest to change the lives of children by giving them back their smiles. And, as a special announcement, we unveiled the new Operation Smile™ t-shirts, which will be available for order July 23! We will donate $10 of every shirt purchase to Operation Smile.

Love was in the air. With the theme of “Make It from Your Heart” combined with motifs from the movie Up, we should’ve guessed that something truly magical was going to happen. During the dance on Saturday night, Monica’s husband Jody Wihongi took the stage and sang “Marry Me” by Train. That was our first clue. After he finished the song, Monica invited one lucky Consultant up to the stage who was then surprised by her boyfriend who came from behind the stage, got down on one knee, and proposed! We were thrilled to have the opportunity to play a part in this special moment.

We got to hang out with Jeanette Lynton. When Jeanette Lynton takes the stage, you know you’re in for a treat. It’s always inspiring to hear and simply be in the same room with the visionary who gave this company its wings. She chatted with us about future plans for the company, her favorite movie, and what her children and grandchildren have been up to lately. She also gave a bit of advice: “I wish you would stop saying ‘I can’t’,” she said. “Because you can!”

It was a paper feast for the eyes. In addition to unveiling loads of new products, we also hosted a number of artistic showcases where Convention attendees were able to feast their eyes on art made by fellow Consultants, as well as all the exclusive art from the new idea books. And if that wasn’t exciting enough, there was plenty more to be seen in business and Extravaganza classes.

Oh, yeah. We released new editions of these things called idea books. Ever heard of them? We’re sure this isn’t interesting to you, so that’s why we left it for last. Just kidding! The release of not one but TWO new idea books was met with quite the enthusiastic response at Convention. After we released the beautiful Annual Inspirations 2015–2016 idea book on the first day, there was one question left lingering in the air: What about Christmas? Well, the next day this question was answered in a magical way when, amongst flurries of snow and the jingle of bells in the ballroom, we unveiled the Holiday Expressions supplement!

*Both of these idea books will be available to all Consultants on August 1 and to customers on September 1.

Thank you for another wonderful Convention! All we have left to say is that we can’t wait until Convention next year at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida. We’ll see you then!

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Tweet, Tweet . . . IT’S CONVENTION TIME!

Leadership Day
Convention is finally here, and we’re as happy as a lark! Leadership Day’s been a hoot so far :). To see more fun photos and news from Leadership Day, follow #ctmhleader on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

To you Convention-goers packing your suitcases right now, we can’t wait for you to join us in Anaheim! Tweet, post, and share your adventures with #ctmhconv2015, #makeitfromyourheart, and #stickyboyctmh. For those of you unable to attend this year, we will miss you terribly! However, we have good news: You, too, can join in on the Convention fun by following our social media channels as we show off new products, programs, and idea books! For minute-to-minute updates, check out what we’ll be chirping on Twitter. You can also follow the same hashtags above on Instagram and Facebook for even more inside peeks. And, of course, Sticky Boy will be up to his usual mischief, so be sure to keep your eyes on him!

We’re going to get back to the party now, but don’t forget to check the blog next week for an exciting recap of Anaheim Convention 2015!

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The Ultimate Convention Tip List

Can you feel it? The electric excitement in the air that tingles all the way down to your papercrafting fingertips? We sure can! This feeling can mean one thing and one thing only—it’s nearly Convention time!

Convention Excitement
In an effort to release some anticipation so we don’t burst, we’ve compiled a list of tips for you to read before Convention. How crucial you deem these tips to be is completely up to you. 🙂

  1. Bring your running shoes—better yet, bring your tracksuit! When the race to find Sticky Boy begins, you’ll want an athletic edge to be able to sprint to this adorable little guy once you see him. Don’t know who Sticky Boy is? Do yourself a favor and check out this spunky stamp’s Facebook page. Really, right now. Do it. You’ll thank us later. Your running shoes will also come in handy for the Operation Smile 5K on Saturday morning!
  2. Tell all your friends and family not to worry when you don’t respond to their texts, phone calls, and emails during Convention. No, you didn’t get sucked into a Cricut® machine or embossed to a card. You’re just having loads (paper loads!) of crafting fun and taking a well-deserved vacation.
  3. Starting today, prime your finger muscles with some conditioning exercises. They’ll be doing a crafting and note-taking marathon! Our favorites? The “adhesive slide,” “scissor crunches,” and the “ink-n-stamp.”
  4. Bring a pack of pens and paper for keeping notes. Say it ten times (if you can!) then do it. Better yet, bring the dazzling notebook you ordered as a logo item. You’ll be inspired by so many amazing ideas at Convention that you’ll write a novel with all the novel ideas you’ll get!
  5. Understand that Artwork Awe Syndrome is a real disease, and that there is nothing you can do to prevent it. AAS’s primary symptoms include stopping dead in your tracks, dropping your jaw, gasping, and staring with widened eyes, accompanied by temporary disorientation and an inability to speak or form coherent thoughts. AAS is caused when one sees exceptionally beautiful, fun, or innovative papercrafting artwork. All Conventions goers experience AAS at some point, so don’t fret when it hits you. Everyone will understand.
  6. Leave extra space in your suitcase. No, not for your shoe collection (though we totally wouldn’t hold it against you if you did). We’re talking about space for all the goodies and giveaways we’re going to share with you!
  7. Pack a flashlight. Your creative gears will be turning so rapidly that when your roomies go to bed, you’ll be wide awake crafting under the covers.
  8. Be prepared to feel very, very important. Like, Disney princess important. People will come up to you and ask for your business card. They’ll “ooh” and “ahh” when you share your unique crafting ideas. You’ll attend a glamorous Awards Banquet, which is basically a ball. And you’ll be staying in luxurious hotels. If these don’t make you feel important, we don’t know what will.
  9. Go to your crafting space and pull out your Christmas stationery. You’ll see so many new and exciting Close To My Heart products at Convention that you’ll want to write them all down and mail your Christmas wish list to Santa right away!

We love Convention!
Is it obvious that we’re a bit giddy in anticipation for Convention? Maybe a little too giddy. Giddy enough to have made up this entire list. For some actual tips about how to best prepare for Convention (especially for you first-timers), visit our Close To My Heart Facebook page. There you will find really fantastic advice from our lovely Consultants on the June 20 post.

For now, we’ll try really, really hard to contain ourselves until Convention. Wish us luck. See you in Anaheim!

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From Jeanette: A Case of the Convention Butterflies

It’s that time again. The time of year when Convention is so close I get butterflies! Everyone at Close To My Heart has been fluttering around the office preparing for our favorite event of the year. Whether it’s ordering t-shirts, designing posters, shooting videos, crafting Base & Bling necklaces, or writing awards scripts, it seems that every person in the building is busy creating to make this Convention the best one yet.

We snapped a few candid photos to give you a sneak peek of what’s been going on around these parts. Don’t worry; we didn’t reveal anything major; we are saving up the secrets to all our Convention surprises—big and small—until we are with you at the Disneyland® Hotel.

Logo Items

Logo items, anyone? If you ordered some, they’ll be arriving in your arms shortly!

This year I’m especially looking forward to the meet and greet opportunities of Convention. I feel so privileged to get to spend some time chatting with the contest winners about life, business, and all things paper and ink. I wonder who they will be!

Final Preparations

The Events team is hard at work putting together the final pieces needed to throw the greatest party of the year.

Being surrounded by your positive energy and enthusiasm is another reason why I look forward to attending Convention. When I see your lovely faces beaming up at me while I’m on stage, it makes me incredibly happy. I hope you realize you are the reason I do what I do.

Designer

Our artists and designers are hard at work putting the finishing touches on all things Convention.

But the meet and greet contest is only the beginning. Convention is always a never-ending flow of prizes, awards, and freebies that rain down in some way or another upon all in attendance, and this year they will be bigger than ever! Flights to the Brisbane Convention, free incentive trips, Instax cameras, and loads of new products—it’s Christmas in July! 🙂

Boxes

We’ve got loads of empty boxes just waiting to be packed with goodies to be shipped off to Anaheim in only a few short days.

And, of course, how could I not mention Disneyland itself? Basking in the California sunshine at the “happiest place on earth” is a guaranteed recipe for fun. Because this will be our last year celebrating Convention at Disneyland, things will feel a little bittersweet.

Here's a look behind the scenes at one of our recent video shoots.

Here’s a look behind the scenes of one of our recent video shoots.

I’ll miss this wondrous sunny paradise, but I’m excited to experience the adventures the new locales will bring in the years to come. Next year we’ll be back at the beautiful Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, but for now, I’ll soak Up 😉 every minute of Anaheim I can get.

Awards

The awards are about to be etched with the names of this year’s winners! So exciting!

If you haven’t already registered to attend Convention, know that today is the last day to do so! We would love for you to join us at the greatest party of the year. You can register here. If you’ve already registered, I’ll see you next month at Make It From Your Heart Convention 2015!

Sticky Boy's countdown chain

Of course, Sticky Boy has his own countdown for the big event. 29 days left!

We’re counting down the days. ❤

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