From Jeanette: Behind the Scenes at Australasia Convention

20151015_093954

Hello, all you dear blog readers! I’ve just gotten back from another amazing trip to Brisbane, Australia. Despite how exhausting that long flight always is, Australasia Convention was absolutely exhilarating! I want to share just a few highlights from this incredible event with you to give you a taste of what it was like to be there.

?

First of all, Brisbane was a lovely location for us again this year. Everywhere you looked, there were trees and flowers blooming, like these Jacarandas, with their beautifully-colored blossoms. I was glad to have a few days to just enjoy being there and take in a few sights around the city.

Of course, we added a little color of our own to Brisbane thanks to this year’s colorful Up-inspired Convention theme!

IMG_0627

We had a lot of fun in our General Session—and I’m afraid we may have given Brian Holman a stomach-ache from all the goodies we made him eat on stage! The best part was hearing the room full of Consultants go wild when we announced our new Workshops Your Way™ and planner products. For those of you that weren’t there, don’t worry! You’ll be hearing more about these products over the next few months.

Unknown-13

Another highlight for me personally was meeting with these three ladies whose names were drawn to have a meet and greet with me. We had such a nice little chat together; they helped me feel the love of all our Australasian Consultants.

IMG_0706

Then on Saturday afternoon, I was able to join Monica on stage for a question and answer session with the Consultants. We had solicited questions from the Consultant base, and I loved the opportunity to be with Consultants and share my thoughts with them. We talked about everything from the book I’m currently reading (East of Eden by John Steinbeck—what an amazing story!) to the qualities that I feel are most important for Close To My Heart Consultants (vision, perseverance, and passion!). It was an incredible discussion for me, and it was over much too soon! Next year I’ll have to give myself more time!

Another wonderful part about Convention was the money our amazing Consultants raised for Operation Smile™—$12,000 AUD! What an incredible achievement that will do so much good for children around the world! I’m always amazed by the determination and selflessness of our Consultants.

IMG_0805

Lastly, I want to recognize my corporate staff who helped put on the event, especially the two Brians and Monica. The corporate staffers work so hard to make every event a success, and they did an excellent job this year. These three in particular work tirelessly in and out of the office and have done so much good for the company. I can’t thank them enough for their commitment and their love for Close To My Heart.

IMG_0815

So my Aussie friends, thank you for your graciousness in hosting us at Convention this year—I can’t wait to see you again next year in Adelaide!

With love,

Jeanette

Leave a comment

From Jeanette: It All Started With a Stamp…

Yesterday we observed one of my favorite celebrations here at Close To My Heart: Lynton Burger Day. This was our sixth annual Lynton Burger Day, a day for me to thank the incredible employees here at Home Office by feeding them burgers as big as their faces—or nearly anyway!

This year we had some special guests join us for the festivities. Australasian Managing Director, Brian O’Callaghan, and our new Canadian General Manager, Pierre Gelinas, were both in town this week for an international coordination meeting. Lynton Burger Day provided a nice break from the long hours of meeting and strategizing.

brianmonicapierrebrian

As I looked around at my employees and our special guests during this celebration, it was a powerful visual reminder of how far this company has come from when I first got into the business over thirty years ago. It sometimes catches me off guard, and I am filled with gratitude. Walt Disney liked to say that “it all started with a mouse.” Well for me, it all started with a stamp. An old-fashioned wood and rubber stamp that I just knew held so much creative potential in it.

It’s only fitting during this National Stamping Month to think back to those early days. In the beginning, I was drawing every stamp design myself—I prided myself on being a professional doodler! But I didn’t stop there. I also made the stamps myself, working late into the night to cure the rubber in the oven of my kitchen. The smell was terrible! I remember my children complaining that the smell would get into their clothes, and I would send them to school smelling like cooked rubber.

Jeanette archive picIt was a one-woman operation back then, and I did it all, which was both exhilarating and exhausting. Thankfully, we don’t operate that way anymore. We have grown so much that there is no way I could do it all myself now—and that is truly something to be grateful for. Now I have teams of talented, dedicated, intelligent individuals, each doing their part to carry this company forward. Our focus is to support our thousands of Consultants all over the world, who are an integral part of our success. Working together, we inspire others to embrace their creativity, to celebrate cherished relationships, and to make the world a more beautiful place.

That’s what I love about Lynton Burger Day—it celebrates the blessing of teamwork. It may have all started with a stamp, but it has grown into something much, much more beautiful.

Leave a comment

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

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!

Leave a comment

From Jeanette: Cause for Celebration

American Flag
As many of you know, the Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. I cherish the time I get to spend with my family and friends eating delicious food, watching parades and fireworks, and creating new memories together. I hope each of us will remember the reason for this holiday by thanking the incredible men and women who have served and currently serve this country to give us the freedom we enjoy. I am so grateful for all they have sacrificed to make this country the wonderful place it is.

I am especially excited for the Fourth of July this year because it means Convention is just around the corner! I can’t wait to see you all there. You are my inspiration, my motivation, and my second family, and each of you is truly worth celebrating!

As you enjoy this special holiday, I hope you celebrate your time with loved ones and hold them close.

I’ll see you in Anaheim next week!

With love,

Jeanette

Jeanette’s Challenge Sneak Peek and a Bonus Giveaway

Recognize this artwork? Chances are good that you’ve seen it before—if not on TV, then at one of our spring Making Connections events.

My Crush™ book artwork

My Crush™ book artwork

If you’re having trouble placing the paper packet these fabulous papers come from, it’s because they don’t come from a paper packet at all: they come straight from the new My Crush® For Him and For Her books.

Are you already imagining what crafty things you can build with these beauties? We hope so, because Jeanette’s next creative challenge is for you to do just that! This is the official announcement, so pay attention: your challenge is to create artwork using the papers you tear from one or both of the My Crush For Her and For Him books.

We know it’s a few days early, but no one ever complained about a little extra time to make a masterpiece, did they? The deadline is midnight on May 31, and we can’t wait to see what you come up with—so hop to it! The winner will receive TWO My Crush For Her books with which to make even more great artwork.

You still have the full seven days to finish Jeanette’s current challenge, and the winner will still be announced on Facebook on Monday, May 25. We’re just so excited to see the artwork you make with the papers from these books that the overlap seemed excusable. The challenge is on!

To get you pumped for this unique challenge, we’re also giving away 20 For Her books to 10 winners with this post. That means 10 lucky souls will get two books apiece with which to make the finest layouts and cards out there. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below telling us about your favorite way to use the For Him and For Her books: as mini books, on cards, or on scrapbook pages. We’ll announce the winners of the giveaway on Tuesday, right here on the blog.

Best of luck to you, crafters!

Leave a comment

From Jeanette: My First Scrapbook

There is a certain scrapbook on my shelf that stands apart from all the others. I’m sure you feel the same way about one or two of yours. It’s the one that holds so much of your heart that you rank it among your most prized possessions. Perhaps it holds the last photo taken of your mother or father, or maybe it’s the one that tells the story of your first few years with your children. For me, this scrapbook is special because it’s the first one I ever made. In honor of National Scrapbooking Day coming up this Saturday, I want to share with you the scrapbook that began my lifetime of memory keeping. Have a look! I’ve created so many scrapbooks through the years, but this is the one that started it all.

Artwork from Jeanette's first scrapbook

Artwork from Jeanette's first scrapbook

This book is heavy with memories. The photos, journaling, and doodles that live in this collection came straight from the heart of my 15-, 16-, and then 17-year-old self. This album is a flashback to high school! (It’s been awhile since you gave any thought to the 70s, hasn’t it?)

Artwork from Jeanette's first scrapbook

Artwork from Jeanette's first scrapbook

Artwork from Jeanette's first scrapbook

I started scrapbooking as a teenager, first, because I wanted to preserve the memories of some of the best times of my life. I also had a creative flair, and doodling, coloring, and lettering became an artistic outlet for me. Within the pages of this book, I could save not only pictures, but also the stories that went with them. I loved scrapbooking dearly when I was 17, but, my, how my love for it has grown! I had no idea then how what was once only a hobby would expand into my life’s work.

Artwork from Jeanette's first scrapbook

Artwork from Jeanette's first scrapbook

Even as a high school student, creativity was important to me. Being creative is not limited to the artists or the musicians—it’s something anyone can enjoy!

And preserving memories can and should be done by everyone. Look at the treasures I can enjoy now because I put a little thought then into remembering. Of course, this scrapbook was made long before archival-quality products existed. Just a few dime store markers were enough to portray the messages I wanted to live on through this book.

Artwork from Jeanette's first scrapbook

Artwork from Jeanette's first scrapbook

Artwork from Jeanette's first scrapbook

I created visual patterns and designs with simple hand drawings using those trusty markers, a little glitter, and a lot of white glue. The result was the forerunner to Background & Texture (B&T) paper!

Artwork from Jeanette's first scrapbook

Artwork from Jeanette's first scrapbook

Creating a “great” page of memories doesn’t require the cutest products or the most trained hand; it only takes a desire to share your story and a love for the message you want to share. This book is important to me because it’s filled with pieces of my past. This is my story, told the way I experienced it. Is that how you think of your scrapbooks? Do you gain a deep satisfaction and joy from recording your life according to you?

With National Scrapbooking Month just a day away, commit to making pages that are filled with more than simply highlights of a few fun days. Use them to bring to life the people and relationships that mean the most to you, because that’s what memory keeping is all about. And then, years down the road, you, too, can look back and feel as thankful as I do now.

Love,

Jeanette

Leave a comment

Jeanette’s Birthday Bundle Winners!

On behalf of Jeanette, we’d like to say thank you for the tremendous outpouring of love and birthday wishes we received from each of you! You knocked our socks off. It was definitely a very special birthday treat for Jeanette, so thank you! We’re so grateful to run in the same circles as you wonderful people. 🙂

And now, for the moment we’ve all been waiting for, here are the 10 lucky winners of Jeanette’s special birthday bundle!

Blog
Cheryl Bennett (March 30 at 1:16 pm)
Marilyn McLeod (March 28 at 2:06 pm)
Barbara Gentilcore (March 28 at 12:13 am)
Jacki Ballantyne (March 27 at 4:53 pm)

Facebook
Lynn Noyes (March 27 at 4:25 pm)
Julie Hughes (March 27 at 2:06 pm)
Tanja Cowdell (March 28 at 10:06 pm)

Instagram
(winners listed by username)
stefaniehaluk
artsymargi
msrshmallow2910

If you’re one of the lucky ones, send an email to ctmhblog@closetomyheart.com with “Jeanette’s birthday winner” in the subject line and your mailing address in the body copy.

Thank you for playing! And have a terrific Tuesday. You deserve it.

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