From Jeanette: Celebrate With Me

As I’m turning one year older today, the importance of memory keeping is readily on my mind. Time really does fly by (and it seems to accelerate with each passing year!), which is why it’s so important to tell our stories and preserve them in albums so they live forever.

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that memory keeping is at the heart of everything I do. I feel like it’s my mission in life to help others realize the importance of preserving memories—and to show them how to do it in a fun and fulfilling way! From sharing this company’s message about memory keeping with our “Life Is Worth” video and telling the story of how I started this company in my basement, to talking about the importance of documenting the little things that make us unique (like my love of “I Love Lucy”) and inviting you to submit your scrapbook stories through Stories from the Heart, this blog is such a wonderful place to get inspired and connect with others who share your passion. It’s where I can share with you my thoughts and feelings about memory keeping, and it’s where you can see beautiful artwork and learn techniques and strategies to make memory keeping a reality in your life.

Exclusive stamps from Close To My Heart Founder & CEO Jeanette Lynton #ctmh #closetomyheart #jeanettelynton #myacrylix #convention

To celebrate my birthday and the importance of memory keeping, I want to give away some of the exclusive mini stamps we give to Consultants who ask a question during the Q&A session at Convention. On the blog, I’m going to give away 25 of the Make It from Your Heart stamp you see here. To enter to win, please leave a comment below explaining why memory keeping is important to you and subscribe to this blog to receive inspiration and tutorials straight to your inbox. To subscribe, click on the blue button that says “Subscribe to list” on the right-hand side of this page.

At 11 am (MDT) tomorrow, I’ll select 25 random commenters (who must also be subscribed to the blog) to receive this fun stamp. And for a chance to win the other two exclusive Jeanette stamp sets you see below, head on over to our Facebook and Instagram accounts—I’m giving away a grand total of 75 stamps!

Exclusive stamps from Close To My Heart Founder & CEO Jeanette Lynton #ctmh #closetomyheart #jeanettelynton #myacrylix #convention

I just want to finish by saying how much each of you mean to me. I am so grateful for all the years of friendship and for the years of friendship to come. You have truly made my life a beautiful one, and I’m so grateful to have you in my story.

Sending you all my love,

Jeanette

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From Jeanette: Stories from the Heart

jeanette-lynton

Preserving memories is my life’s work. It’s at the heart of everything I do, from my own personal scrapbooking to the vision I have for this company. The milestones, the every day routines, the light in a child’s eye as they discover the world—these are the moments, stories, and images I seek to capture. And when I do, I carefully place them in scrapbook albums for safekeeping. Though they may just look like pretty paper and photos to someone else, they are my most prized possessions. The stories they tell are my personal history and the history of my family.

It is because of my passion for memory keeping that I’m excited to launch a new series of blog posts called “Stories from the Heart.” I want you, my readers and dear friends, to look through your old scrapbooks, find a page or layout with a story you want to tell, and then share that story with the world through our blog.

Stories from the Heart is a celebration of memory keeping, a reminder of why we do what we do, an opportunity to share the beautiful stories that fill our scrapbooks.

To launch this series, I want to share the story behind one of my favorite scrapbook layouts. 🙂

Founder & CEO Jeanette Lynton explains why the stories behind our scrapbook pages are so important. #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeepingmatters #scrapbooking #jeanettelyntonWe were doing a photos shoot for the 1998 September & October edition of I Love Remembering, a magazine subscription we published back in the day.

Founder & CEO Jeanette Lynton explains why the stories behind our scrapbook pages are so important. #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeepingmatters #scrapbooking #jeanettelyntonThe photo shoot was in western Utah (basically in the middle of the desert!), and we were taking pictures of my daughters, Aubrey and Rachel, in an abandoned pioneer schoolhouse. They had on these adorable matching outfits, including hand-stamped sweaters and backpacks, which were back-to-school crafting projects we’d be featuring in the magazine article.

Founder & CEO Jeanette Lynton explains why the stories behind our scrapbook pages are so important. #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeepingmatters #scrapbooking #jeanettelynton

The two photos on the right page of my scrapbook layout are some additional photos taken from this photo shoot. I loved all the pictures we took that day, and I wanted to preserve some of them in my own scrapbook.

The photo of the girls hugging absolutely melts my heart. It perfectly captures the love these sisters have for each other to this day. No matter how different they may be, they always have each other’s back.

In contrast to these professionally staged photos, the big photo on the left page was completely unplanned! It was a scorching hot day, and after wearing those hand-stamped sweaters, Aubrey and Rachel were melting like popsicles! They went to find some shade in the schoolhouse, and when they came back out, they had taken off their little sweaters, and this beautiful scene appeared: The rustic blue door, the sunflowers Rachel was still holding from the shoot, the sweet, tired looks on their faces—it was such a perfect moment, so I had to take a picture.

I think part of the reason I loved this shot was because it captured their cute little personalities. Rachael is staring at the camera head-on with confidence, holding the bouquet of flowers like a professional model. My sweet Aubrey is more shy and subdued, and you can see that in this photo by the way she is holding herself, legs turned in, arms tucked behind her back. She is my gentle, darling girl.

It’s still amazing to me how grown up they look in this photo. I remember being there and thinking, “I can already picture what they will look like as young women…my goodness.”

Those are the stories behind these scrapbook photos, and I hope you enjoyed hearing them. I know I loved going down memory lane as I remembered the stories of how these photos came to be.

I want to hear your stories now. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and I want to hear your thousand words! Your stories are beautiful and deserve to be shared. Help me celebrate memory keeping—and help others realize the full value of this art—by submitting your stories to us. Read the bottom of this post to find out how.

Before I sign off, I just want to take a moment to thank you all for your friendship. One of the beautiful things about memory keeping is that it brings people together, and I’m so grateful for all the wonderful stories and memories I have with you.

Wishing you my love as you tell your stories,

Jeanette


If you would like a chance to share your story on our blog, here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Find one scrapbook page or layout (please just one!) that you’d like to share.
  • Tell us the story behind the photo. What was happening? Who is in the photo? Is there something funny that happened before or after the photo was taken? Why is this photo meaningful to you?
  • Take a high-resolution photo of yourself (you can even be holding the pages or your entire scrapbook!).
  • Take a high-resolution photo of the layout or page on a flat surface (use natural lighting to improve the quality, and take the pages out of the protectors so they don’t reflect in the flash).
  • Email the photos and story to us at ctmhblog@closetomyheart.com with the subject “Stories from the Heart.” If we decide to share your story on the blog, we will contact you!

We can’t wait to start reading all your stories! 🙂

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From Jeanette: Merry Christmas

jeanette-lynton

This Christmas season, my heart has been filled with overwhelming gratitude for each and every one of you.

I love this company more than words can describe, and I love what you have helped me create: a warm, compassionate community where anyone who wants to preserve their memories and discover their creativity can find friendship, confidence, and inspiration.

I feel incredibly blessed and grateful to God for the opportunity to start this company and connect with amazing people around the world. You inspire me, and I treasure every moment I get to spend in your company.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday alongside family and friends as you celebrate He who makes it all possible. Know that you are loved.

Merry Christmas,

Jeanette

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From Jeanette: Getting the Whole Story

jeanette-lynton

I’m a big fan of “I Love Lucy.” I watch it almost every day, and regardless of whether I’m having a good day or a bad day, it always lifts my spirits. I have wonderful memories of watching this show and of how it became part of my family’s life, too. My youngest daughter, Aubrey, has grown to love it as well. It’s something we share, and I love that.

Today is National “I Love Lucy” Day, so I thought it would be a great time to share about how this television show is a part of my life, and how even trivial things like the TV shows we watch can become cherished memories.

We often think about scrapbooking as a way to document important life events: births, graduations, weddings, holidays, and so on. These are the natural moments and milestones to scrapbook, especially for beginners who need a place to start. However, it’s important to remember that scrapbooking is so much more than documenting a series of events: It’s about creating a personal record, so when your children and their children look through your albums, they get to know what you were like—your personality, your habits, your likes and dislikes, and your stories.

Close To My Heart Founder & CEO, Jeanette Lynton, shares her thoughts about what memory keeping means #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #journaling #stories #paper

That’s why I especially love scrapbooking as a form of memory keeping. Even the beautiful artwork you create is a reflection of who you are! You’re unique, and so are the ways you choose to document your stories with paper and ink.

Close To My Heart Founder & CEO, Jeanette Lynton, shares her thoughts about what memory keeping means #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #journaling #stories #paper

“I Love Lucy” is a part of who I am, and I want my children and their children to think of me each time they come across an episode.

So how about you? What TV shows, books, or other forms of entertainment are a part of your life to the point that telling your story would be incomplete without them? Write those things down and consider adding them to your scrapbooks! Then take it another step further and try writing down a list of other objects, routines, likes, dislikes, and stories that are a part of who you are. Start documenting these things in your scrapbooks to preserve your memory. I know this will bring you and future generations so much happiness.

Wishing you love as you tell your stories,

Jeanette

P.S. I’ve love to see your list, the photos you take, and your scrapbook pages. Share them on social media by using the hashtag #memorykeepingmatters.

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You Asked, Jeanette Answered

Get to know Jeanette Lynton! #ctmh #closetomyheart #jeanettelynton

One of the best parts of Close To My Heart Convention each year is the Q&A with founder and CEO Jeanette Lynton. To give our blog readers a little taste of this experience, we’re having our own mini Q&A here on the blog! You’ve submitted your questions (thank you for all the wonderful comments!), and we’ve chosen some of our favorites to ask Jeanette. Here are her responses!

 

Q. Jeanette, do you remember exactly where you were when the thought first came to your mind to create this business? And your first reaction to that thought?

A. I have shared with many of you my experience of the first time I saw a catalog with rubber stamps in it at the hair salon. I had to have the one that reminded me of doodles I made in eighth grade. My love for stamping evolved into creating the stamps myself. As I showed friends and saw their enthusiasm, the formulation evolved and became bigger and better as it grew into a full-fledged business.

Get to know Jeanette Lynton! #ctmh #closetomyheart #jeanettelyntonQ. Jeanette, all those years ago when you were creating rubber stamps at your kitchen table, did you ever think D.O.T.S. would become the Close To My Heart of today? What did you dream for this company you started?

A. YES! I saw a great vision for the breadth and scope of this company and what we would have to offer. I am so happy with our company and our Consultants. We have built a legacy company here. I also feel we have just scratched the surface of what I envision and know we can accomplish together.

Q. If you could sit down with a brand new Consultant and a Consultant who has been with the company for 21 years, what advice would you give to each?

A. I hope they would both know and live their “WHY.” If you run with that passion and never forget how you felt at the beginning, you will succeed in whatever it is you are doing with your Close To My Heart business. That is why so many have stayed for 20 plus years—there is something for everyone, and the community and friendships are such a huge part of the business. Whether you are here because you are an avid crafter and you love the products or because you want to build a strong Team, you are welcome here.

Q. The next generation doesn’t seem to see the value in memory keeping. All their pictures are on phones. How can we help them understand those pictures need to be preserved for their families?

A. Technology is great and we should use it, but it is ever changing and we can’t completely rely on that to be our legacy. Will your grandchildren even know what these social media outlets are and will they even be around? How will they find your memories if those social media outlets are the only place they live? I think everyone, at every age, should make a goal of printing photos monthly. We also have been creating products to better involve this next generation: Picture My Life™, Instalife™, and My Crush® all appeal to this younger demographic who are looking for someone to show them how to document their photos and stories. It is important to get outside of our comfort zone and share what we have with everyone. They need us, and we need them.

Get to know Jeanette Lynton! #ctmh #closetomyheart #jeanettelyntonQ. After two years of being with Close To My Heart, I have decided to make my craft passion a business. So when you plan a couple of workshops and almost everyone cancels, or you find a very keen customer that wants to join but then backs out, how do you not take it personally, and what would you do to bounce back?

A. It is all about perspective. If you work with people, there will always be things you cannot control—that is the nature of working with people. You can’t be offended that what you are offering doesn’t work for them. Everyone has their own daily lives and schedules, and sometimes it just doesn’t work out like we hope. You can always follow up with those who cancel. Maybe they just need to wait for the right time. Maybe they won’t be the right fit at any time—that’s okay, too. Just refocus and keep trying. I experienced this myself and found that more times than not, I was faced with rejection. I didn’t let it stop me though. I continued to share my passion until I found someone with a similar passion. They are out there! When I would have one successful Gathering, I would let that fuel me to the next, no matter what else happened. I stayed positive.

Q. What is your favorite way to relax and just unwind?

A. “I Love Lucy” reruns are my daily laughter fix. I watch an old episode every day, just for the therapy that good laughter brings. I listen to classical music to relax. It soothes me and helps clear my mind. To inspire me, I listen to great talks by spiritual leaders. And to learn new things, I listen to audiobooks. I also love to read a good cookbook. I am always dreaming up and planning ideas for parties at my home—all the details from the menu to the place settings to the decorations. I like dreaming them up even if they don’t always take place!

Q. Can you remember the very first scrapbook layout you made? And what were the photos on it?

A. The ones that stand out are the first years of high school, starting with my sophomore year. I did go back and scrapbook my younger years later, but when I started scrapbooking, I was a sophomore. My first layout didn’t have photos. I used my high school colors for papers and my school ID as my photo. The first layout I did that included photos showed me in costume when I played Minnie Fay in our school’s production of Hello, Dolly! I’ve even shared some of these first layouts on this blog before.

Get to know Jeanette Lynton! #ctmh #closetomyheart #jeanettelyntonQ. Has there ever been a time when your creative side went blank? If so, what did you do to get the ideas back?

A. Everyone has creative blocks—it has happened many times to me over the years. I would be creating patterns for books and thinking of new products, and then I would get stuck and frustrated. So, I would force myself to walk away for a few days. That’s hard to do when you are addicted to your craft! Do it as long as it takes though, and you’ll find that you come back with fresh eyes and a fresh perspective.

Q. Do you find yourself taking fewer or more photos than 10 years ago?

A. I’ve always made sure to take enough photos for a two-page layout. Now it is easier because of the digital aspect. You can take a lot of photos and pick the best ones for your pages. You can also easily share photos with others and that gives you so many options.

Q. Will we see you at Convention this year?

A. I plan on attending and look forward to being with each of you!

Q. Jeanette, are you an animal lover? Do you prefer dogs, cats, or perhaps something more exotic? Do you own any pets?

A. I used to be an animal lover and had my share of them with little kids in the home, but now we don’t have any pets and I like it that way. Rachel, my daughter, has a crazy dog named Charlie. She thought she was getting a puppy, but she got a Velociraptor instead! He comes to visit every week and that gives me my animal fix.

Get to know Jeanette Lynton! #ctmh #closetomyheart #jeanettelyntonQ. What are some specific dreams you have for your company in the future?

A. I know this company can expand throughout the world. We are taking it one day at a time, to see what is the best fit for Close To My Heart. We have so much still to offer the world. Like our mission statement says, “We show you how to celebrate relationships through discovering your creativity, to preserve and share the moments that matter most.” We need to share this beautiful vision with more people. We are working on it every day through our product selection and our beautiful Consultant base. We are making such a difference, especially as I think of all we continue to do for the children who are blessed through Operation Smile™. We are touching so many lives, and I want to thank you all for your support and generosity.

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Ask Jeanette!

Want to ask Jeanette a question? Head on over to the blog to find out how! #closetomyheart #ctmh #craftingtips #craftinginspiration

Each year at Convention, we hold a Q&A with our Close To My Heart Founder & CEO, Jeanette Lynton. It’s always a highlight of the event, which is why we had the idea of sharing this great experience with everyone who visits this blog!

Here’s how our blog Q&A will work: In the comments below, please ask Jeanette a question. It can be about crafting, business, life—anything! We’ll choose our 10 favorite questions to ask Jeanette, and then we’ll post her responses on the blog later this month.

Make sure you leave a question in the comments below before Thursday, April 14. Then stay tuned to read her answers.

Ready, set, GO! 😀

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From Jeanette: Thank You!

I want to thank everyone who posted or mailed a birthday card for me. I was overwhelmed by the beautiful artwork and thoughtful messages you shared—you truly made my birthday one to remember. I am grateful for all you do to make Close To My Heart feel like family, lending your time and talents to help lift others up.

I want to share some of the beautiful artwork you created. I know it will inspire our readers, just like it inspired me. Here are just a handful of the beautiful birthday cards:

Happy Birthday Jeanette! #cards4jeanette #closetomyheart #happybirthday

A post shared by Nancy Ball (@ballisticdesign) on

I wish I could share all of the artwork here! It was so fun to look at your sweet cards. Each one of you is unique, and I can see that through your artwork—it represents you!

As was mentioned on the blog before, we have selected 20 random people who have posted a card. These 20 winners will get the Penelope paper packet and the Penelope Complements. I’m lucky enough to get to announce them today! Here they are:

  1. Jenifer Benner
  2. Tanya Armitage
  3. MaryJo Boyus
  4. Rachel Stribling
  5. Jen Patrick
  6. Jen Burkhart
  7. Sassy’s Creations
  8. Dawn Montagano
  9. Ellen Jarvis
  10. catscrapbooking
  11. Shirley Ross
  12. stampinbuds
  13. kigz55
  14. jrans2
  15. crys_daus
  16. scrapstampshare
  17. joaniestanclift
  18. peachypapercrafts
  19. ballisticdesign
  20. gabbysews

If your name is in the list above, please email your name and mailing address to ctmhblog@closetomyheart.com using the subject line “Birthday giveaway.” We can’t wait to send you your prizes!

I just want to close by telling you again how grateful I am for this act of kindness. Your cards touched my heart. I am so lucky to have each of you as part of our Close To My Heart family. Know that I care about you dearly.

Sincerely,

Jeanette

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Shhhhh! It’s a Birthday Surprise!

Jeanette-Lynton-Birthday-Surprise-Cards-4-Jeanette

We sure love our CEO and founder, Jeanette Lynton. As a pioneer in the stamping and papercrafting industry, she has put so much time and heart into helping others discover their creativity and preserve their memories. She truly is one-of-a-kind.

Jeanette’s birthday is in March, and we want your help in giving her a birthday surprise to remember. As you know, a handmade card speaks a thousand words, so here’s what we’d like you to do:

Create a birthday card for Jeanette, snap a photo of it, and post it to Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #cards4jeanette. Feel free to post a message to Jeanette with the picture if you’d like.

On her birthday, we’ll show Jeanette all the cards you have made by searching this hashtag on social media. Beautiful artwork made by people she cares about so dearly will be sure to touch her heart.

We’ll also randomly select 20 people who have posted a card and give them a prize. We’ll announce the winners on the blog on March 28.

Make sure to post your cards before then, and thank you in advance for your help in celebrating the extraordinary life of this special woman.

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From Jeanette: Share the Love through Operation Smile™

I consider my grandchildren to be among the greatest treasures in my life. I never could have imagined the joy that those precious smiles bring to me. I’m sure that those of you with children and grandchildren can relate! Even those without children of your own know just how priceless and special a child’s smile is. And that’s one of the reasons that Close To My Heart has been partnered with Operation Smile™ for so long.

Operation Smile is an international non-profit organization dedicated to helping children with cleft palate, cleft lip, and other facial deformities receive lifesaving and life-changing surgeries. They are truly a special organization. At our last Convention, we shared a video of an Operation Smile mission, and I want to give you all a chance to see it now:

Watching this video brings tears to my eyes every time. The work this organization does is absolutely incredible, and I am determined to do what I can to help this incredible organization succeed.

Since February is the month of love, we thought it would be a wonderful time to really focus our efforts on expressing our love for Operation Smile and the dear families they serve. For this purpose, we’ve created the My Acrylix® Share the Love stamp set, and for every stamp set sold, we will donate $7 USD to Operation Smile*.Help a child by purchasing the Share the Love stamp set benefiting Operation Smile! #ctmh #CloseToMyHeart #OperationSmile #operationsmile #sharethelove #donate

This stamp set is only available during February, so be sure to get yours while you can. There are also many other ways you can help Operation Smile throughout the year. You can purchase the My Acrylix® Animal Greetings stamp set, which you can use to create this adorable children’s book and many other wonderful works of art. This stamp set is sure to bring smiles to many children’s faces!

We also have a selection of t-shirts to help promote the Operation Smile mission. For every t-shirt you purchase, we will donate $10 USD*.

Another way to help is to round up your order totals. When you do this, we will donate the difference. Each surgery is only $240 USD, so small donations can really add up to make a big impact.

Finally, if you or someone you know would like to make an outright donation to Operation Smile, simply talk to a Close To My Heart Consultant, who can walk you step by step through that process.

We’ll be sharing some more stories this month to show what some of our awesome Consultants have done to support Operation Smile, as well, so be sure to check back with us throughout the month.

My friends, you already add so much goodness to this world. Donating to Operation Smile is simply a way to extend the reach of your goodness. With all my heart, I thank you for all you have done, all you are doing, and all you will do for people, both around the corner and around the globe. Your selflessness inspires me.

All my love,

Jeanette

*Products purchased in US states AL and MA excluded from donation due to state registration requirements. 

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