From Jeanette: Life Is Worth Sharing

With the reveal of our new idea books, I’ve been feeling especially sentimental toward this company and all it stands for. My wish is that these books will become something you cherish and return to again and again throughout the coming year. As we do with all of our products, we’ve put our hearts and souls into these books, and I hope you can feel it. I know that when I flip through these crisp, colorful pages, I’m filled with a resurgence of why I work so hard to do what I do.

Why am I so passionate about what I do? I know I’ve been asked that question on more than one occasion, and I’m sure our Consultants have as well. To answer it, we released a video that explains the “why” of Close To My Heart. Please take a moment to watch this video that has become so very dear to me.

Isn’t that beautiful? I also believe life is worth sharing—the laughter and the tears that make up life’s cherished moments and become precious memories. And what better way to share these beautiful bits of life than through memory keeping?

I know that this video will resonate with many of you who share my passion for preserving memories. If it does, I invite you to join me in my mission to promote this wonderful method of memory keeping by becoming a Close To My Heart Consultant. Now is a great time to take that leap! As of August 1, all new Consultants will receive a beautiful, redesigned New Consultant Kit*, which you can see below. This kit will give you all the necessities to get your Close To My Heart business up and running. You already have the passion and the skill for making and preserving memories—now it’s time to put it to work in a new way by becoming a Close To My Heart Consultant! Becoming a Close To My Heart Consultant is more than choosing a career path. When you join our wonderful company, you join a family.

New Consultant Kit

For those of you who are already with us, thank you for making this company extraordinary. Thank you for the years of dedication you’ve already given and the years of dedication to come.

I hope that each of you who share my love for beautiful artwork and memory keeping will share this touching video. Email it to your family, tweet it to your followers, post it to Facebook, Instagram, and your blog. Let them know why you are passionate about what you do.

I can’t wait to see what this next chapter at Close To My Heart holds for all of us!

With love,

Jeanette

 

*contents may vary

Leave a comment

Chris Hill: Why I’m a Close To My Heart Consultant

Thanks to our friend Chris Hill for answering our questions for today’s post!

Who first introduced you to Close To My Heart?
About 24 years ago, my neighbor invited me to a Close To My Heart party and I fell in love! I loved the designs, the concept—I loved it all!Unknown-1
Why did you decide to become a Consultant?
I wanted it all! I had joined other companies to get the product at a discount, and that was my original intention with Close To My Heart, but something was different this time. Close To My Heart was not like other companies. It was fun and exciting, so I joined and never looked back or regretted it for one minute.Unknown-17
What are the perks of being a Close To My Heart Consultant?
There are so many perks! Product discounts, friendships, sisterhood, customers, my Team, and relationships with the corporate team, who are the people that run the best company ever.
Unknown-14
What’s your favorite memory from Convention?
I have attended every Convention since I signed up (except the first one, which was only weeks after I signed up). I would never miss one! I jokingly told my children to plan babies and such around Convention because I didn’t want to miss one. My favorite memory is the year I was surprised beyond words when I was given the Spirit of Close To My Heart award. My husband and daughter were flown out to surprise me, and a fun video had been made about my family and years with Close To My Heart. What an honor! THAT was my favorite memory from Convention.Unknown-19
What’s the best part about going on an incentive trip?
We have earned 15 incentive trips! They are fabulous. The best part of these trips is spending time with my best friend, my husband. We have been to places we would NEVER have been able to go otherwise. These incentive trips are so fun because we travel with the great leaders from Close To My Heart, along with the other earners and their families. We have had such great times with our Close To My Heart friends on these trips!
Unknown-23
Which product is your favorite?
I could not even begin to name a favorite product. I use Close To My Heart products exclusively because I love the paper, the embellishments, the stamps, Studio J®, the albums—I just love it all!

Why do you love the Close To My Heart community?
Being part of the Close To My Heart community is fabulous. I have made so many friends over the years. The people at Close To My Heart are by far the most genuine people I have ever met. My customers, my Team, and other Consultants have become my dearest friends. I treasure being part of the Close To My Heart community. Through sad times and happy times, Consultants are always there for each other.
Unknown-8
How have you changed through your involvement with Close To My Heart?
I was never very outgoing before joining Close To My Heart. But being a Close To My Heart Consultant has helped me learn to talk to people and share what I love. I had always wanted to add a little income to our family budget, but also wanted to be a “stay-at-home mom.” This fabulous business helped me do just that. Over the years, I have learned how to streamline my business, and still be a mom and grandma right along side of it!
Unknown-13
What would you tell someone about Close To My Heart if you could only say one thing?
JOIN US!!! You will never regret it! This company is by far the best company out there in so many ways. Everything they do is done with the Consultants in mind. They have the best products and a generous commission plan. You will LOVE being part of this company!Unknown-4
Any last thoughts?
My family has truly been blessed by being part of the Close To My Heart family! I LOVE Close To My Heart!

Thank you, Chris! We love having you with us.

Leave a comment

10 Reasons Why Close To My Heart Consultants Live the Dream

Why should you join the Close To My Heart Consultant family? We’ll give you ten good reasons:

1. You work with beautiful products that practically sell themselves.
With unique papers, Cricut® cartridges, and exclusive stamps, our products will keep your memory keeping on-trend and downright fun. To make matters even sweeter, when you’re a Consultant you get these products at a great discount—and who doesn’t love a discount on beautiful products? The toughest part of your job will be trying to resist purchasing the whole idea book in one order!

2. You make friends that will last a lifetime.
No doubt about it, the people you meet as a Close To My Heart Consultant will change your life. Ask any Consultant—the trust, love, and unity you feel when you’re a Consultant is reason enough to join today. Your new community of friends, business partners, and mentors will be an incredible support to you throughout your journey. Close To My Heart will become your second family, and when you’ve got family, you’ve got everything you need.

3. Your job is literally a work of art.
With a job where you work with art every day, you’ll be living the dream! You’ll have a great outlet for sharing your artwork, your business supplies will include paper and stamps, and you’ll teach what you’re passionate about. This isn’t your everyday business; you make money by doing what you love!

Be Yourself Layout

4. We’ve got your back.
Throughout your entire journey with Close To My Heart, we at the corporate office stand ready and willing to help. You’ll have access to every form, flyer, and newsletter you need. With an entire online library of training videos, business classes at almost every event, and a Consultant Services department dedicated just to helping you, you’ll always know you have a place to bring your questions. And your Team members (and even other Consultants you haven’t met yet) will also always be there to answer your questions, calm your concerns, or simply lend a listening ear.

5. You’ll become the business guru you always knew you could be.
You’ll gain some serious muscle as you work on building your business—business muscle, that is. A lot of your experience will come through fun travel and trainings with people you love to be around. You’ll have plenty of opportunities for “work” that will usually feel a lot more like play!

6. You can rest easy knowing your business is built on a solid foundation.
Not only will you find stability in taking control of your own career, but you can rest easy knowing Close To My Heart has unmatched longevity and stability. Our Founder & CEO, Jeanette Lynton, has been in the papercrafting business for over 30 years—that’s a lot of business savvy! Even cooler: Close To My Heart functions free of debt.

7. We throw pretty amazing parties and you’re always invited.
We do ‘em big, we do ‘em small, but all of them are fantastic! From annual Conventions to regional events across the globe, there is always something happening with Close To My Heart. These events offer countless perks, such as business training, product training, creative sessions, networking opportunities, and TONS of fun.

Convention 2014

8. Sticky Boy. Enough said.
Come meet the world’s number one expert on clear, sticky, and sassy, the one and only Sticky Boy. You can’t help but fall in love with him immediately. Plus, if you attend Convention, you’ll have the chance to get your very own Sticky Boy to keep!

9. You have the chance to travel to exotic lands across the globe.
Who wants to go to the Caribbean on us? How about Hawaii? Central America? Abu Dhabi? If you work hard, we’ll make sure you’ll play hard. Guaranteed.

10. You get a free shoulder tote if you sign up this month!
Yes, that’s right—the adorable, trendy shoulder tote is yours when you join in the fun. Better yet, joining this month gives you the opportunity to earn its magnificent matching organization piece: the rolling tote! Could there be a better way to get your business in order right from the beginning?

Shoulder Tote

You see, when it comes to business opportunities, it doesn’t get much better than Close To My Heart. Get in touch today to join the family! We can’t wait to meet you.

Leave a comment

Safe in the Arms of an Album

Last month, Monica came into my office with her arms full of two Ruby Floral albums filled with Memory Protectors™. Not knowing what those beautiful covers held within, I was intrigued as she set them in front of me. I opened them up and, to my surprise, found pages upon pages of well wishes from and photos of some of my dearest friends. Without me knowing about it, my executive team had started collecting these handwritten notes from Consultants starting back at Convention 2014, then added notes from Close To My Heart employees as well. With the final product ready at last, they presented to me one of the most wonderful gifts I have ever received!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As I first flipped through the pages, I was speechless. I read every message, memory, and expression of love for hours on end. I adored the many pictures from Convention, complete with so many of your smiling faces! I was overwhelmed as I read the heartfelt messages that so many of you wrote to me, each one beautifully showcased on a Picture My Life™ card and slipped into a pocket Memory Protector™.

I promptly made a place for my new albums on a shelf in my office where I can access them easily throughout the day—and trust me, I’ve opened them almost every day since then! Thank you, my dear friends, for your love. Your words have really touched my heart.

I love my new albums for reasons deeper than just having pretty packages of sweet notes. Because a real friendship lives behind each card, these albums have become the protectors of dear relationships. Your handwritten words are symbols of the great influence you have had in my life, and I’d do anything to preserve them. While I hope that I will never forget them, willpower isn’t enough; I know I’ll eventually need a refresher. We all do! Albums are the guardians I trust to preserve my real, living, breathing relationships.

Once you’ve put your memories to paper, you can feel good about a job well started—but not quite done. Until your pages have a place to call home—a sturdy, attractive, well-balanced album—you haven’t finished the job. Would you ever plan, prepare, and serve an important meal and then leave it out to spoil? Definitely not! You’d immediately make sure it had a home in some hungry tummies, then promptly seal up whatever is left and refrigerate it to enjoy again later. Your memories need the same kind of tender, loving care.

Putting your moments that matter most into one of the new Close To My Heart albums will give you the satisfaction of a job well finished. You can be sure that your memories are safely at home within their sturdy (and incredibly cute) covers. Then all you have left to do is enjoy them for the many years to come!

I know I’ll be enjoying my new albums in exactly this way, and I know you’ll experience the same kind of joy with yours.

All my love,

Jeanette

Leave a comment

Karen Morris: Memory Keeping Matters to Me

Thanks to our friend Presidential Director Karen Morris for contributing today’s post!

“I will always remember this moment.”

Hasn’t everyone experienced special times that we savor and simply KNOW we’ll never forget? But the truth is, memories fade and those moments are lost. That’s why I am passionate about memory keeping—the complete package of photos accompanied by journaling. They say, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but not really—photos need your words. Saving memories in photo albums and scrapbooks keeps those “snapshots of time” real and everlasting.

I’ve been a memory keeper for as long as I can remember. In my younger years, I started with diaries, adding photos here and there. In my early adult years, I was caught up in the “magnetic photo page” craze and that is where my creativity blossomed as I cut colored index cards to create journaling spots. (Pretty lame compared to all of the creative options we have now, right?)

Today I love and use three types of memory keeping: traditional 12″ x 12″ handmade scrapbook pages filled with photos, notes, and embellishments; pocket scrapbooking with Picture My Life™ scrapbooking programs, which have helped me catch up on several travel albums; and, last but not least, digital pages from Studio J®. As you browse my albums, you’ll see a mix of all three styles and it works beautifully!

Memory keeping took on a whole NEW meaning for me when I became a grandmother for the first time—of twin girls! Babies change so quickly. I adored the sweet smell of a newborn and simply couldn’t get enough. One of my favorite pages is one I created when the girls were newly born. I titled it “Who Knew,” and added words from my heart: “Who knew I’d love this ‘grandma’ thing so much! I figured there would be joy. I didn’t anticipate this immediate, head-over-heels, unconditional love. I didn’t expect every waking moment to be so consumed with those sweet babies. I remember being amazed at the birth of my own children. But the birth of twin granddaughters seems, well, indescribable…magical, precious, delightful. Life will never be the same again, nor would I want it to be. These baby girls have brought a brilliance to life that I never knew existed.”

Who Knew page by Karen Morris

A few weeks after creating this page, I jotted my feelings in a notebook so that I could capture the day’s emotions for a layout to be created later: “February 12, 2007. This is my first trip away from my granddaughters. Who would have guessed it would be so hard? Those sweet angels have captured my heart and I am going through withdrawals. Okay, so the plane is still on the tarmac and I haven’t officially left town. I’m still missing them—their big observant eyes, the drooling milk mouths, the way they snuggle so closely when I hold them. My sweet angels. Our miracles. I love you and will return in 72 hours and 37 minutes. ~Grandma Karen”

Precious page by Karen Morris

Fast forward several years later to an impromptu lunch with my son, daughter, plus my four-year-old grandson—just the four of us. We went to a favorite sandwich shop and Gavin was in such an animated mood that day that I pulled out my camera phone and began snapping away (mostly unnoticed by anyone). One of the first things I did when returning home was to quickly create this Studio J layout titled, “That’s My Boy.”

That's My Boy layout by Karen Morris

Our family also includes the four-legged variety. Currently we have a cocker spaniel and three shih tzus, each with their own personality. Being that they are part of my life’s experience, I also do pages about them. When we unexpectedly lost a previous family pet, Murray, at a young age, I created this tribute to him.

Murray layout by Karen Morris

Scrapbooks are fun to browse through—my grandchildren love seeing pictures of themselves and family members at much younger ages. We love those walks down memory lane and relive stories together through these books. Our conversations consist of, “Remember when…,” “I loved the time you…,” and, “Look how much they’ve changed since….”

There’s also an even more practical side of memory keeping: these are the best reference books ever! More than once my husband and I have pulled out a scrapbook to find a specific memory. “What was the name of that restaurant we particularly enjoyed in Hawaii so we can return there on our next trip?” (By the way, it was the “Winds of Beam Reach” on Kauai, since closed, but they served the absolute BEST blackened Ono I’ve ever encountered!) Or we check dates of the last cruise and locations visited. (“What was that jewelers name on St. Thomas?!”)

I create memory books and fill them with what matters to me. They’re a chronicle of my life, my experiences, and my heart. What matters to you?

Leave a comment

My Favorite Stamp Set: Sing Glory

A few weeks ago, we called for artwork made with your favorite stamp sets, and you answered the call! We were  surprised to see that so many of you selected the exact same stamp set as your favorite: My Acrylix® Sing Glory—a Hostess Rewards set! In celebration of this timely trend, today we’re featuring three different cards made with this same set, but done by three different artists. A huge thanks to our readers for sharing their talents with us!

Card using Sing Glory stamp set

C1587 My Acrylix® Sing Glory, X7162B Pear & Partridge Paper Packet, X7187B Yuletide Carol Paper Packet, 1386 Black Cardstock, 1388 Colonial White Cardstock, Z2105 Black Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2118 Desert Sand Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2012 Sequins Gold Assortment

Our first card was made by Amie Kiger. The Sing Glory stamp set is Amie’s favorite Christmas stamp from Annual Inspirations, so she made sure to grab it first while planning her Christmas workshops.

Amie found her inspiration on page seven of Annual Inspirations, then gave the card her own personal touch. First she pulled out a retired B&T paper from the Pear & Partridge kit and combined it with the sheet music B&T from the current Yuletide Carol kit. The musical notes of the paper fit the trumpeting angel and sentiment perfectly, don’t you think? We love the subtle imagery!

Amie used Desert Sand ink to stamp the angel image and black ink to stamp the “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” sentiment, with a slight overlap of corners. Her choice of embellishment, the sequins gold assortment, gives the card some sparkle and follows the card’s glittering theme.

Card using Sing Glory stamp set

C1587 My Acrylix® Sing Glory, X7187B Yuletide Carol Paper Packet, 1273 Desert Sand Cardstock, 1388 Colonial White Cardstock, 1245 Olive Cardstock, 1282 New England Ivy Cardstock, 1272 Cranberry Cardstock, X5927 Ruby Cardstock, Z1830 Brown & Tan Glitter Paper, Z2105 Black Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2012 Sequins Gold Assortment, Z2023 Bling Gems Gold Assortment, Z1686 Cricut® Art Philosophy Collection, Z1921 Baker’s Twine Neutral Metallic Assortment

Cricut® Shapes:
Art Philosophy
Shift <Leaf3> (p. 46)
Shift <Flower7> (p. 39)
Shift <Flower4> (p. 28)
<Shape8> (p. 47)

Our second card was handcrafted by Nicole Robinson. Nicole started with the Yuletide Carol paper packet, which you can see for yourself on page 61 of Annual Inspirations. Her layering of cardstock and B&T brings the eye to a focal point: the embossed angel stamped image on its own piece of Colonial White cardstock! Nicole chose to stamp the “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” sentiment in black ink on a Cricut®-cut shape, ink the edges, and attach it at an angle.

The red floral accents Nicole crafted are a fun spin on the holly leaf sentiments of the stamp set, though they are not actual stamps from the set. What a clever idea!

Card using Sing Glory stamp set

C1587 My Acrylix® Sing Glory, 1275 Outdoor Denim Cardstock, 1388 Colonial White Cardstock, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, Z2140 Outdoor Denim Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2111 Chocolate Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z1985 Gold Shimmer Trim, Z1926 Quatrefoil Embossing Folder, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

Our third card was submitted by Kara Davies. Her take on the stamp set is crisp and clean, and it uses just the “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” sentiment as a focal point, without an additional stamp in the background. Kara stamped her sentiment in Outdoor Denim ink, which coordinates with the quatrefoil embossed Outdoor Denim cardstock in the background. A single piece of gold Shimmer Trim across the middle adds a pop of sparkle and dimension.

Three spins on one very glorious stamp set. We love the versatility of our My Acrylix® stamps, and we hope you do too!

Leave a comment

Kristina Livingstone: My Thoughts on Gratitude

Thanks to our friend Senior Executive Manager Kristina Livingstone for contributing today’s post!

During this time of year, we’re reminded to take a pause from our busy lives, sit down with our family and friends, and give thanks for all we have. As I think about all I have to be thankful for, I don’t even know where to begin. I have incredible family and friends who are always there to support me in everything I do. I’m surrounded by amazing people, I’ve experienced incredible things, and I’ve made memories that will last me a lifetime. I try not to take even a second of it for granted.

One thing I’m grateful for all year long is the opportunity to be a Consultant for Close To My Heart, which I have been for almost 10 years now. This experience has afforded me the benefit of additional income as well as the opportunity to travel to places I never imagined I would visit. It has helped me learn and grow as a person and brought so much more to my life than just income and trips. It has brought people into my life that I would likely have never met otherwise. It has allowed me to be a part of their lives and them a part of mine, and that is what I am most grateful for.

Consultants

People ask me why I do this, and the reason is simple: I love it. It’s about so much more than the products offered by Close To My Heart. It’s about the relationships Close To My Heart has brought me and the things I’ve learned because of those relationships. I have learned that when we serve others, we receive so much more than we give. I have learned that the more we help empower and show gratitude toward each other, the better off we all become.

Kristina

Being a part of the Close To My Heart family has brought me to some of the people I cherish most in my life—they have become true family. I have learned from, laughed with, cried with, and grown with fellow Consultants whom I consider to be my closest friends and confidants. I have met customers who have welcomed me into some of the most intimate times of their lives and, in so doing, have shown me how much I have to be grateful for every day.

Kristina and Team

I recently held a weekend retreat for my customers, and as I was walking through the room looking at everyone working on their projects I felt very grateful that I was there to be a part of it all. I was in a room full of people who started as my customers, but whom I now count amongst my dearest friends. Through their scrapbook pages, I have watched their families grow each year, and I have grown with them. I have seen scrapbooks expand, spanning the entire childhood of countless children. Those scrapbooks have captured first teeth, first steps, first goals, marriages, graduations, and too many holidays to name! I have also seen scrapbooks made in memoriam of lives—some fully lived, and, unfortunately, some that were cut much too short.

Regardless of the scrapbook, each album seems to revolve around one thing: gratitude. We scrapbook the moments of our lives that we are most grateful for, the ones we cherish the most. When we create a scrapbook and record the lives of our loved ones, we create treasures that will tell our stories as they are passed on from generation to generation. To say that I am grateful to play even a small role in preserving these memories is an understatement.

Consultants

I feel that gratitude is a choice. It’s a conscious effort to wake up each day and choose to be thankful. I have found that serving others through what I do is something I’m eternally grateful for and something that brings me happiness. I have found that when you make serving others a priority in your life, you begin to want less and appreciate more. You also inevitably become the recipient of someone else’s gratitude, and that’s something that is truly priceless.

Leave a comment