Julie Reynolds: The 6 Connections of Convention

I’m so excited to share with you why I love Convention! As I thought about this topic, “connection” was the word that kept coming to mind. So, continuing with our Making Connections theme this year, here are six ways you’ll feel connected when you attend Convention!
1. TEAM Connection
Because so much of my Team is spread across the country, Convention is the perfect time for all of us to gather together. Sometimes we have huge, crazy Team meetings with my Upline, Karen Morris, and other times we have intimate gatherings with just my Downline over a pizza dinner. But Convention is always our best chance to all be together at one big party. It always warms my heart to have the opportunity to celebrate the success of my Team members with them.

2. WHY Connection
One of my favorite things about attending Convention is that I come away feeling equipped and excited to share all the new products and programs. Over the years, Close To My Heart has refined the art of this training. When they present us with a new product or program, they not only teach us how to use it, but also the “why” behind it. They share with us the decision-making processes that go into what we have to offer. They provide us with marketing tools and training that allow us to present Close To My Heart products with confidence. We leave Convention not only with bags of wonderful new goodies, but also with the knowledge of how best to share this company and its products with others.
3. CREATIVITY Connection
Creative genius abounds at Convention! Extravaganza is a must-see event for everyone. This spectacle of artistic display has morphed over the years. Although I love the organized calm of the current format, which works SO well, one thing I’ll always remember is the crowd around Stacy Julian’s booth back when she was a Close To My Heart Consultant. You were lucky if you could get close enough to see! (My claim to fame is that Stacy was once my Downline.) Excitement and creativity are contagious—and this is the perfect place to catch the bug!

4. INSPIRATION Connection
Some of the best nuggets of wisdom I’ve brought home with me have come from discussions with other Consultants during those in-between times, where I’ve huddled together in a few chairs between sessions with fellow Team members, or sat by the pool with people who have mentored me, like Sue Laufer and Lynn Como. I’ve asked them questions like “How would you handle this situation?” or “What has worked for you?”. Sometimes those unplanned conversations have provided the exact insights I needed for my business. It’s definitely a bonus blessing that comes from being at Convention!
5. HEARTBEAT Connection
Want to feel the heartbeat of the company? This is where you’ll feel it. You’ll feel it while you’re hearing Jeanette’s hopes and dreams for us, seeing what a difference we’re making through Operation Smile, and deepening your understanding that you are a part of something bigger than just a direct sales company. You can’t leave Convention without feeling the heartbeat, and knowing that YOU are a part of this wonderful energy!

6. WELCOME Connection
“You are welcome here” has long been our motto at Close To My Heart. It’s something we want to extend to our customers and Team members. After nearly 24 years with Close To My Heart, this is the feeling that is renewed within me at each Convention. With awe, I applaud the highest achievers, and come away encouraged that I can build on what I am doing now. I stand amazed at the brilliant art, and it inspires and leads me to my own creative ideas.
Although I’m not the highest achiever, I bring my own gifts and passions to Close To My Heart—and that is good. It is enough because I know it’s me, and I am welcome here.

You are welcome at Convention, too! Come and connect!

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Meaningful Mixed Media

We recently held our annual Team Builders event, an exciting two-day leadership training held in Salt Lake City for anyone with the title of Director or above. After an inspiring speech by our Founder & CEO Jeanette Lynton, along with other superb presentations given throughout the weekend, everyone in attendance was feeling a renewed sense of purpose and direction with their Close To My Heart businesses.

During the final session of the event, we all participated in an exceptionally unique Create & Take taught by our Creative Communications Manager, Jill Broadbent. Jill has been with Close To My Heart for nearly 11 years and has been playing a part in creative training at events from the start. Since this particular project was too much fun to keep to ourselves, we asked Jill to share a few pointers on how it’s done. Take it away, Jill.

Hello! Happy to be dishing on our recent creative project today. Typically, when I plan a project to teach Consultants, especially our genius leaders, I focus on planning something that will help their business. I look to teach a new technique, something that can be turned into a workshop or other creative opportunity. However, I had a unique vision for this project that would take us outside of our typical Create & Take realm. But it was beautiful to watch it unfold with this group of ladies.

Each attendee was given a 6″ x 6″ canvas display, a print out of various typed words, and a few basic pointers, but no pattern or strict instructions. Their mission? To create a representation of themselves through the usage of mixed media. With a stockpile of paper scraps, a few stamp sets, and some Mod Podge®, everyone set off in their own direction to create a unique piece of art. This pushed many outside of their comfort zones, yet they still embraced the challenge and the outcome was beautiful!


It was a wonderful way to end an extraordinary weekend together, and now I want to spread that joy. Here are the basics so you, too, can create your own mixed-media masterpiece. I’ll illustrate the techniques using the same artwork examples we shared at the event.

The beauty of this project is that as long as it represents your strengths, you’re doing it right. The key to making it eye-catching is to use varied textures and layers. I like to add a good number of papers, even Cricut®-cut shapes, and then incorporate background stamps and other images to add interest. This is a fantastic and creative way to use your leftover scraps and stray embellishments!

(Click on the photos below to get a closer look!)

To start, create a scene or an abstract background.

Next, add your “person.” I like to freehand a simple body and add layers for hair and clothes. You can do a full body or a simple close-up. Our B&T Duos™ papers make the best clothing! You can even run cardstock through one of our embossing folders to add texture to hair or detail to clothing.

The final and most important detail is to add your sentiment, or mantra, if you will. Take time to reflect and think of one sentence you can use to describe yourself. Make it personal and meaningful to you.

Finally, let me share a few pointers on making the most of your artistic tools. The ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ markers are the perfect way to add shading and detail to make your “person” pop off the canvas. Use whatever colors you like to highlight basic skin tones, and then use the colorless blender marker to add dimension to the chin, legs, arms, etc. Use rosy shades to highlight cheeks and coordinating shades to contour the clothing. I also like to use the Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ journaling pen to add detail and outlines. I prefer to keep my lines loose and whimsical, but draw yours however you wish.

At this point in your project, use Mod Podge® Matte to adhere your artwork to the 6″ x 6″ canvas display, and then add a complete coat to the entire project to seal everything in place. While the Mod Podge® is wet, you can add fun details using other Close To My Heart embellishments. Add some Shimmer Trim, Sparkles, twine, ribbon, or even Base & Bling charms for dimension.

But these are only suggestions! The best part about mixed media projects is the PLAY. So just start and see where your creativity leads you. Look for meaningful symbols you can add to your art that represent those things that are special to you—it’s an adventure of self-discovery. You deserve to take time to create something that celebrates the person you are, because who you are is a work of art all its own.

Thanks, Jill! Aren’t these projects beautiful? We can’t wait to see what you come up with. Feel free to use this Sentiments PDF from Team Builders. Once you finish your project, post a photo of your creation to the Close To My Heart Facebook page so we can all be inspired!

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