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.
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.
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.
“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,
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.
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.
Q. 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.
Q. 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.
Q. 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.
Q. 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.
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.
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:
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:
If your name is in the list above, please email your name and mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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*.
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,
*Products purchased in US states AL and MA excluded from donation due to state registration requirements.
Everything about Christmas fills me with wonder—its sparkling decorations, cheery music, and gift giving. The most wonderful part though is spending time with my loved ones, and I wish I could spend time with each one of you this Christmas, too!
Though we are apart, I’d still like to invite you into my home by showing you something special—my Christmas tree! Here are two pictures, one before it was decorated and one with all the trimmings:
I think Christmas trees are simply beautiful, and it’s magical watching a plain tree transform into a handcrafted work of art. Which decoration is your favorite? I can never decide between the gold striped ribbon, the pearl strands, the glittery red leaves, and the delicate glass ornaments. And of course there’s the golden star on top!
This is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. When I look at my tree, it fills me with joy and reminds me of the beauty in this world. All the troubles of life fade away with the glistening of those Christmas tree lights.
I hope these photographs light a smile on your face, and I hope your own holiday traditions bring you and your family closer together. Most of all, I hope you feel peace, happiness, and love this holiday season.
Here at Close To My Heart, we know that the Christmas season is a time for celebration! This week, we had our annual Christmas party here at the Home Office. It’s always such a pleasure to gather together as friends and coworkers, relax, and spread some Christmas cheer.First came a lunch catered by Tucanos Brazilian Grill, and boy, was it tasty! We enjoyed our meal with Christmas music in the background and icicle-style lights above our heads.
After the food, we celebrated employee birthdays and longevity milestones. We applauded people who have been with us for five, ten, fifteen, and even twenty years! The loyalty of our employees to this company always fills us with gratitude.But the party wasn’t over. Next, Monica and Brian began drawing names and giving out fabulous prizes to the lucky winners! By the time they’d finished, dozens of gifts had been handed out, which certainly upped the merriment!Does everyone look happy or what? We hope each of you get to enjoy your own holiday festivities and that you feel like you are a part of ours—because we know that we wouldn’t be celebrating together if it weren’t for this wonderful Close To My Heart community. Get in on the fun by checking out our holiday video, and Merry Christmas from Close To My Heart!