Monday, September 11, 2017

Card Kits by Mail are going away! Last Chance!

I'll be giving up my Card Kits by Mail after four years.  This will be the last set of kits and they will be all Christmas cards!   Buy them here.  

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Why Scrapbooking is Important

When I was young I lived on a street named Steuben Avenue in a place called Urbandale, part of Battle Creek, Michigan.  Our street was small with just five houses.  The people at one end were quite old so of no interest to the children in the neighborhood, in fact I couldn't even tell you their names.  The other four houses were our neighbors, The Campbells, the Dawes, the Thielmans and the Wilsons, my family.  Across the street was a huge field with an enormous hill that we used for sledding, fort making and hiding out from our parents.  

Those were the days before cellphones and computers when you actually knew your neighbors and spent the entire day outside coming home only to eat and possibly go to the bathroom (although a lot of times we just use the field or our friends' bathrooms).  We played football in our front yard in the fall and baseball in the backyard during the summer. We rode our bikes down to the local Catholic church to use their basketball hoops in the winter, and then, of course, we filled in with kickball, kick the can, and hide and go seek in between.  

Tim and Terry, and their sister, Chris lived to the left of our house.  The boys were my constant sports companions and I always appreciated the fact that they let my sister and myself be the only girls on the field -- back when girls in sports wasn't really a thing.  They were just a bit younger than me, a year for Tim and maybe two for Terry.  Chris was older and into working on her suntan with Maureen Campbell.  Every day they'd lay out in the sun on their back porch getting more golden each day of the summer.  Even after almost 40 years I still remember what their backyard looked like.  Their dad was meticulous in the care of his lawn.  It was always perfect and he and the kids were always working on it.  

His name was Larry.

Today I'll be attending his funeral. I'm 56 and I haven't seen those neighborhood kids in 38 years. I live over an hour away from Battle Creek now and I debated whether I would go to the funeral and almost decided not to attend but then I realized that this would be the only time, for the rest of my life, that I would get a chance to see these "kids" again. This was not a moment to miss and even though it will be a sad day, it will be good to see these childhood friends.
The past is important. You are who you are because of the people you spent time with and the experiences you had. It's important that we don't take our past for granted and more important that we don't forget it. As scrapbookers it's our job to preserve our history. Our hobby is a gift, a gift to ourselves and to others because in this selfie Instagram world, pictures are being taken but not developed, not kept. It's up to us to protect those memories. The memories I shared above could be easily lost with my rapidly aging memory.
But not if I scrapbook them.
Each time you take out your adhesive, your favorite pattern paper and your journaling pen, you are protecting history from disappearing from your memory and sharing it with future generations so that they know not only their own past but yours too. With pictures or without, record your history. Make it pretty or don't, but get it down on your pages. Just like I know I would regret not going today, I know that you will regret not having your stories recorded. Memories fade but scrapbooks are forever.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Do you know what an epiphany is?

I remember the first time I finally understood what the word, "epiphany" was.  I had heard it so many times in my life but had never looked up the word.  Once I got it, I remember thinking of all the times I'd had one.  

Since then, I've had many.  I remember watching an Oprah interview one time and she was talking about how Maya Angelou had said that your face should always light up when your child walked into the room.  At the time my kids were still young and I was struck by that statement.  Was my face lighting up when my kids came in the room?  I knew the answer wasn't always yes, I know a lot of times I was brushing them off because I was "busy."  I changed that day and made up my mind that when my kids were talking to me that I would give them my attention. I still do even though they are adults. I wasn't always perfect but I definitely had become a better mother due to that one statement.

Recently I've had another epiphany.  One of my uplines was talking about the letters MMFS and what they mean.  The letters stand for "Make Me Feel Special."  She said to picture those letters stamped on every person's forehead.  

The truth is, they are figuratively stamped on all of our foreheads. Everyone wants to feel special, feel seen, feel heard.  My new mission is to make them feel that way.

As a Close to my Heart consultant I have learned so many lessons that I believe have made me a better person.  This is just another example.  I will now walk around "seeing" MMFS stamped on everyone's forehead from the clerk at the store to every one of my customers and team members.  

I know that people have a big mental block about signing up for a direct sales team like Close to my Heart but let me tell you that what I have gained from being in this company goes so far beyond cash or a free trip. 

I have made friendships with some of the best people there are.
I have become a person who listens (a big deal for me).
I have become a leader and learned so much from my team.
I have found my heart is much more open than it was before.
I have learned how to write essays!
I have received great joy from helping others.

And so much more (I could really fill a page)!

Close to my Heart is an adventure that's worth taking.  

If you are still nervous about it, please realize that there is no downside, you don't like it, you leave.  

That's it.


If you do like it, it is going to enrich your life in ways you can't even imagine.  

So if you've ever thought about it, even a little bit, sign up for my team today.


Friday, April 7, 2017


It’s that time again! there will be another one-day flash sale on my website starting Friday, April 7 at 3:00 pm MDT (2:00 pm PDT; 4:00 pm CDT; 5:00 pm EDT) and ending at that same time on Saturday, April 8. This sale will feature a 30% discount on selected products and product bundles from Annual Inspirations and Seasonal Expressions 1. ONE DAY ONLY!!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


- Everyone who signs up in April will be a consultant receiving a minimum of a 22% discount at least until the end of September (the usual 6 months). Of course you will want to stay past that (and it's easy to do!), but that much is guaranteed.
- Anyone who signs up in April can order from FIVE different idea books in that time frame. There will be two annual catalogs and three seasonal mini-catalogs available from April to September (last month of Expressions 1, Expressions 2, Holiday Expressions, 2016-17 Annual Idea Book and 2017-18 Annual Idea Book!).
- New consultants get to start ordering from the new product in Expressions 2 at a discount in April vs. waiting until May and paying full price as a customer.
-New consultants get to start ordering Live Beautifully items NOW.
- Consultants who sign up in April get a FREE Cut Above kit of their choice.
- Consultants who sign up in April still have an opportunity to sign up for convention (registration closes April 30).
- Consultants who sign up in April get Seasonal Expressions 2 catalogs in their kit. This gives them an opportunity to get people excited about the May product release...BECAUSE, in May, when a hostess submits $350 in orders she gets a FREE Live Beautifully Cut Above kit. More FREEEEEEEEE stuff. Not to mention that at that level of sales there's one half priced item and $60 in FREE product. There's also $5 put in the New Consultant's SPC "bank account" when you reach $350 in sales (and it goes up to $25 at $400!). Did you know that Consultants can also be hostesses? SCORE!
- Consultants who sign up in April get a chance to attend TWO consultant training camps, three day scrapbooking and stamping weekends with training, artwork to make and lots and lots of fun and bonding with your fellow team members!
-Consultants who sign up in April give themselves the BEST chance at a really strong start with many excited hostesses for gatherings in May because of the May specials! You have April to book up that calendar for May and insure GREAT sales, which equals a GREAT start!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

10 ways to get more done at your next crop!

1.  Pre-plan - Don't be the person who decides what to pack on the day before a crop.  A few weeks before the crop, start making a list.  That list will be your guide and you'll find yourself updating it often if you put it in a place you see every day.  Ideas will come to you and you'll be able to add them easily. 
2.  Pair down -  Do not take every supply you own.  Get that idea out of your head that you "might need it".  Let's be real, if you forgot something, about 20 people in the room will have it and be happy to share.  Unless it's your photos, most other things can be found among friends.
3.  Set a goal -  As a former teacher, I'm all about objectives.  What is your main goal for the crop?  If it's a certain album finished or 100 new cards made, write it down.  Post it next to your "to do and to take" list to help yourself stay focused on what you really want to get done.  When you get to the crop, feel free to share your goal with your friends.  It will make it easier if they know why you are busy and will help keep you on task if you have accountability buddies.
4.  Ease up - Once you are at the crop, let go of some of those perfectionist tendencies.  Remember that layouts and cards are about love, not about each detail being perfect.  Go easy on yourself and just choose to do a little less than perfect.
5.  Take breaks - You will not be at your best if your back is aching or your eyes are struggling to stay open.  Sleep when you need to for as long as you want, take a nap in the middle of the day when you need a break.  Can't sleep, find a comfy couch and just chill for awhile, read a book, listen to music.  You will return to your crafting refreshed.
6.  Eat good stuff - I understand that eating junk food at crops is the norm but if you really want to feel energetic, you will want to avoid those foods that are full of fat and sugar (yeah, I know it's hard).  Fat especially requires a ton of energy to digest so you will feel sluggish while that's happening.  Eat lighter, eat healthier and you will be amazed at the energy you'll have at the crop.
7.  Keep it simple - Complicated cards and layouts are for a place where you aren't distracted by music, conversations and noise.  Save those for another time, bring your easier pages and cards to the crop.  Think of techniques that are mindless, like fussy cutting or coloring.
8.  Stay hydrated -  Drink lots of water.  Dehydration makes you tired, hydration does the opposite.  Pop, alcohol and tea dehydrate you so if you are drinking them, drink a glass of water in between.
9.  Be comfortable -  Let yourself be comfortable at crops, no makeup, sweats, and ponytails are all appropriate here.  
10.  Have fun - Even if you blow one through nine, it's okay if you have had a great time with your friends.  It's really what crops are about anyway!!

Monday, March 13, 2017

10 Things to Absolutely Take to a Crop!

1.  Photos!  There are so many times I've been at a crop and someone has actually forgot her photos, yikes!  Help yourself out by keeping photos on a service like Google photos.  It's good for more reasons than just if you forget your photos.  They are precious, make sure you always have backup.

2.  Adhesive!  And not just a little adhesive, take a lot, it's the one thing you are most likely to run out of.  Make sure you have your tape runner, pop dots, glue dots, a glue pen and maybe even a Xyron.

3.  Paper Trimmer!  Don't forget spare blades too.  You aren't going to get very far if you don't have your trimmer with you.

4.  Scissors!  Bring both a small sharp pair (non-stick) and long scissors.  It's very hard to cut straight with small scissors and difficult to cut intricate projects with the large ones.  You need both.

5.  A Good Black Pen!  Even if you aren't big into journaling, outlining, marking sizes, and just taking notes are all reasons you need a good pen.

6.  Ruler!  Okay, maybe you are not obsessive about things being straight but a good ruler will help you line up photos and mats, help you cut just the right size, and give you the perfectly drawn straight line.

7.  Hand Lotion!  I recommend the Udderly Smooth brand.  When you are handling paper the moisture in your hands gets sapped away.  Also, most venues for crops have very little humidity in the rooms which further dehydrates you.  You'll need lotion and this type absorbs quickly and doesn't stain your paper.

8.  Cup Holder!  For one thing it helps with space if you hook your cup on the side of the table instead of taking up precious room on top.  Also, spills happen, don't let them happen to you.  If it contains a garbage bag too, even better.

9.  Snacks!  I know this sounds simple but the truth is, even if people bring snacks to share, YOU know what snacks work best for you, whether it's your favorite candy or if you like to stick to healthy snacks.  Unless there is a sign up where you can see what snacks are being brought, make sure you have what you need.

10.  Realistic Expectations!  Before you goal, decide what you want to get out of the weekend.  Is it to finish pages or is it more about socializing.  Do you want to organize or take classes.  Once you've decided your objective, pack accordingly and take it easy on yourself. If you don't get 50 cards done, it's okay!  It's more important that you had fun!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Why most people fail at direct sales

This may not be for all of you....

I know that not everyone on my list has ever thought about signing up to be a consultant for Close to my Heart or any other company.  However, I bet a lot of you have either been a consultant for some direct sales company or considered signing up.  This newsletter is for you because I'm betting you wonder either why you weren't successful or, if you've never signed up, is it even possible to be successful.
Here's the Truth
There are really three main reasons people don't succeed in a direct sales company and the good news is that they all can be fixed.

1.  People give up too soon.  Imagine that instead of a direct sales business that you were setting up a store on Main Street in your town.  You would have researched and realized that there was no way you could start up a brand new business and be in the black right away.  It would take a few years because you would have to build a regular customer base and those don't happen right away.  You need to market your store, advertise like crazy and not just on facebook.  You would have to hire a good crew and be there to supervise them.  You would have to figure out how to arrange the products, what types of sales to have, teach your people how to help customers.  You might have a lot of people in the first few weeks who come in out of curiosity but after awhile that would wane and you would have to figure out how to find new people.  Most of the time it takes 3-5 years before you start seeing a profit.  

So, if that's true for a regular business, what would make you think you would do any better in a direct sales business.  It's the same folks, it takes time and effort and hard work and perseverance.  If you know anything about people who start new businesses you know they spend a LOT of time working in their stores, it can be non-stop for a long time.  It's the same for you!  Success isn't handed to you, you work for it!

2.  People don't train.  When you get a regular job you are trained, right?  This is no different except, because you are the boss, you have to do most of your own training.  Yes, the direct sales company you sign up for will have training too and so will your upline and you absolutely need to go through it but don't stop there.  We are lucky enough to live in the information age on steroids.  We have YouTube, Facebook, online information, books, articles, it's a treasure trove of information that you can use all with the click of a mouse.  Google is your best friend if you let it be.  Never stop learning about how you can do better in your business.  Train yourself and do it constantly, you can never get too good at your business.

3.  Lastly I think that people don't take time to find just the right person to sign up under.  Did you know you can actually interview the upline you want?  An upline is the person you sign up under and it's their job to help you with your new business.  They should be a mentor and coach all at once.  Unfortunately many people in direct sales will go ahead and sign up people but then really do nothing with their fresh new team member.  Sometimes it's out of neglect but other times it's because they just don't know what to do.  This is why it's important for you to make a good choice BEFORE you sign up.  

Many people decide to sign up for someone at a home party.  I wouldn't recommend that you do that until you've done your research.  That means not signing up the night of the party.  I know this goes against what every potential upline would want me to say but it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of the party and not find out about what kind of leader that consultant would be. Instead, find out about them.  The first place to look at their website, their facebook page, their blog, twitter, whatever else they are using for their business.  If their last blog post was last year, that's telling you something.  If you go to their website and they haven't even set up an "About Me" section then are they going to take care to help you do one?  If you do like what you see on their social media, it's time to give them a call.  Here's some questions to ask:

Do they have a customer newsletter?  How about a team one?  Do they have a team page where they can train everyone at once?  How long have they been a consultant?  Are they a hobbyist or a business builder (most important question you can ask, if they are hobbyist, how are they going to help you be a business builder)?  If they are business builder, how many people do they have on their team?  It's okay if it's just a few but then ask how are they training them?  Do they have team meetings?  How many times have they attended their convention?  Have they earned awards or trips in their company?  Do they have team conference calls? What would they recommend as the first steps you could take?

They don't have to have perfect answers in all of these areas, they just need to have the right answers for you.  If you need to be pushed, then a laid back person might not work for you.  If you like systems, make sure you choose someone who has structure to her training.  If you like to fly by the seat of your pants (like me), then you may like someone who will help keep you on track but not freak out if you do it your own way.  The more information you get, the easier it is to make a choice.

Direct sales isn't easy but starting up a new business never is.  If you believe in your product and in yourself there is absolutely no reason you can't do well.  It's 100% up to you.
So, if Close to my Heart is the place you would like to be and you are looking for an upline who cares, who will lead and mentor you  and who knows what it takes to be successful, I ask you to consider me.  The majority of my time is spent helping out my team and I would love to have you join.  This is a great time to start because we have TWO THREE DAY consultant training camps coming up this summer and fall AND a new catalog launch THIS month and it's not too late to get in!
Here's the link to join, there is no risk, if it doesn't work out for you, you still get to keep your kit and there is no pressure for you to stay.  If you really want to make a go of it, I'm here for you, if you just want to be a hobbyist, we can have a lot of fun just enjoying papercrafting.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Do you have a vision?

This is my vision board!  I absolutely love it!  It hangs in my bedroom where I can see it every day.  

It was very easy to make.  I bought a bulletin board and some see through tacks.  I then went to Pinterest and searched for vision board ideas. Up popped tons of vision board ideas, not only for the vision board set up itself, but actual ideas for what to put on a vision board.  I was amazed that nearly all of my dreams were already pictures, labeled in really fantastically artistic ways.  I took screen shots of all of the ones that pertained to me then uploaded them to print out at my local drugstore.  

Once they were developed I set at a table with my paper trimmer, the tacks, and the bulletin board.  Just like when making a layout, I trimmed the photos that needed trimming and then just started tacking the photos down. Since they already were so nicely labeled on Pinterest, I was able to attach them keeping the actual descriptions of my dreams showing and overlapping the photos where needed to make the pictures fit together neatly.  I did make up just a couple of my wishes on my own computer using a free website called PicMonkey, printed them out on photo paper on my own printer so I could attach them too.  Putting together the board took about two hours.  

Why is it important to have a vision board?  

A vision board is a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on a specific life goals.  Goals that you have vaguely running around in your head are unlikely to come to fruition.  Goals that you can see, be constantly reminded of, and attach emotions to have a much better chance at becoming real!  
Your vision board doesn't need to be made like mine.  It could be in a mini album or even in a decorated box but it needs to be looked at often, every day, which makes a board on the wall so much better.   I know your dreams are important to you like mine are to me so why not put them up so you can make them come true?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Not so random acts of kindness

I have a son, age 18, who is always a bit of a pain when it comes to Christmas and birthdays. My family and myself are always asking him what he'd like for a gift and he always says he doesn't need anything and it gets so frustrating because we obviously want to buy him a nice gift. This year, he finally asked for something. We have a local Mexican restaurant that we go to all the time. We love, not only the food, but the waiters who work there. They are just the nicest bunch of gentlemen who go out of their way to remember us, joke with us, and especially practice Spanish with us (my whole family has taken Spanish at some point in our lives). Anyway, Sam told us that instead of gifts for Christmas he wanted a $100 bill so that he could give it as a tip to one of the waiters. The whole family really got behind this idea and we were all excited when we went to El Rodeo a couple of days ago to give this tip. Sam was very specific that he didn't care which waiter ended up at our table and he also did not want to give it to him personally because, he told us, that wasn't the point, it wasn't about getting recognition for it. (Yes, I love my son.) So, just to make sure the waiter knew it wasn't to pay the bill or an accident, Sam wrote the word "tip" on a little piece of paper. He set the $100 bill on the empty basket of chips with the tip paper on top and we got up, paid our bill and left, never looking back at the table (he wouldn't let us). What's my point? This is a special memory for our family. We will remember it a long time but wouldn't it be even better if it were written down. Isn't it an important enough memory to have a photo with it (even if it isn't the actual photo of the waiter, the $100 or even us sitting at the table)? Isn't this the very reason we scrapbook, to capture and preserve our memories FOREVER? Just saying.......

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Take More Pictures (before it's too late)

I've had several friends recently lose their mothers. It's something I think about all the time because my parents are in their mid-70's. My dad has had some heart issues and my mother has beaten cancer. At 56 I'm very aware that the people I love will not live forever but it doesn't make it any easier to think about. When my mother was going through her cancer treatments I kept realizing that I didn't have a lot of pictures of her. I had tons of my kids, my friends, my scrapbooking buddies, but I didn't really have many of my mom (or dad) except from Christmas Day and possibly a few from Thanksgiving. I often imagine what would have happened if she hadn't made it through cancer and how I would regret not having more photos. Well she did make it and I learned my lesson. I now take more photos of not only my mom and dad but of all my relatives when we get together. I also take even more pictures of my kids and my friends. There aren't a lot of things you can control in life but taking pictures and scrapbooking them is one. Do not let the important and not so important moments of your life slip away because you forgot to pick up a camera. Don't let the memories escape because you didn't write them down. I promise you, you will regret not taking enough pictures but you will never regret taking too many. Get your supplies to preserve those memories here.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Don't let memories slip away

Have you seen the wonderful movie, Inside Out? It's a Disney film that depicts little characters inside your head, each representing an emotion. They take care of people and help direct them in life. They are in charge of more than just emotions and decisions though. They are the caretakers of memories. Two of the characters are the Mind Workers. They go through the mind of the little girl in the movie and get rid of the old fading memories with a big vacuum. A friend of mine, Blythe Shupe, was telling me about how she equated these little guys to scrapbooking. We started talking about how sad it was that these Mind Workers were getting rid of memories that might have been important. The fact is, not all memories are important but we don't always get to choose the memories that fade. I just turned 56 and I can tell you for a fact that it's harder and harder every day to remember things that happen, not only a long time ago, but also in the near past. There are so many memories that I definitely don't want to lose. Luckily, we don't have to. We have the best memory keeper in the world. It's called scrapbooking. We can capture our memories and preserve them, with or without a photo. It doesn't matter when you start either. It doesn't matter if you are "behind" or if you go in order at all. What does matter is recording the memories so they don't disappear, in your mind or in the minds of your loved ones. Scrapbooking is so much more than pretty papers and bling. It's history, your history. Don't lose it. Set aside time to write down the memories that you deem most precious, scrapbook that memory before the Mind Workers take it away.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Open House Page

About a year or so ago, my team and I decided to do a Facebook page together. We felt that running an excellent, inspirational, papercrafting page would be easier for all if we had many hands making light work. During the month of January we shared a different product a day from our brand new catalog. During the month of February we have been sharing a crafting technique per day. In March we will be doing a whole series on how to use up your paper scraps. My team is multi-talented so you get a variety of points of view on our page and lots of artwork and tips! I highly recommend you stop by and check out our page, we find it unique in the way we present and share. It's a private page so you will need to request membership but I will approve you right away. Enjoy!! Click here!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Sweet Sale! Tomorrow only!!

Well this is unexpected! Yesterday I get an email saying that Close to my Heart is going to have a flash sale for just one day only, the sweetest day of the year, Valentine's Day! It starts on February 14 at 3:00 MST (2:00 pm PST: 4:00 pm CST; 5:00 pm EST) and will end the same time on February 15. There will be 30% discount on selected products from our Annual Inspirations and Seasonal Expressions 1 catalogs! Remember that shipping is charged on the full retail price of each item but even at that, you will be saving a lot!! To see which items will be discounted during this sales, visit the shopping cart on my website anytime during the Sweet Sale! All items are available while supplies last so don't delay, get in there early! Paper packs tend to go first so make sure you check this sale out as soon as it opens! I wish I could tell you what's in the sale but they didn't even tell us so it's going to be a great big surprise for everyone!! See you tomorrow! MY WEBSITE!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

We have an incredible deal if you sign up to be a consultant for Close to my Heart in the month of February.  Sign up and in addition to the consultant kit (worth $200), the $50 gift certificate for select product credit, and a discount, you also get the stamps of the month for February, March, and April (a $53.85 value)!   Along with all of that, you get me, your coach, mentor, leader, and my awesome supportive team to help you through your journey!  Don't be nervous, we are here for you!

If you were a consultant before, you have an even better deal!   Join for $50 and you get $50 in select product credit to use right away PLUS the three stamps of the month for February, March and April. For just $50 you are back in and you don't have to make your first minimum until June 30th!!  You know there's no pressure and we want you back!!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

I did it!

If you want to be on the winning team, click here!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Shipshewana Scrappers Retreat!!!

You are invited!
SHIPSHEWANA - October 21-23, 2016 

 We just finished another super fun weekend with our Shipshewana Scrappers and we want to invite you to join us for the next one!





This will be SPOOKTACULAR!!


Join us for a relaxing weekend of cropping, games, fun and an opportunity to get those photos preserved or cards made.  Everyone at the crop gets a full table to themselves plus electric outlets on your table for your Cricut machines and laptops!  Need a break from cropping?  Shipshewana is a shopping mecca with wonderful flea markets, boutiques and even a scrapbook store!
$170 per person (4 per room)
$185 per person (3 per room)
$215 per person (2 per room)
$310 per person (1 per room)

Cost Includes:
Lodging for two nights at the Farmstead Inn in Shipshewana, Indiana (there will be two queen size beds per room)
Hot Continental breakfast from 6am to 10am, Saturday and Sunday
Pizza on Friday night
Lunch and dinner on Saturday
Cropping from 4 p.m. Friday - 4 p.m. Sunday - 24 access!  (Noone will be let into cropping room until 4 p.m. on Friday)

See you there!!

Please join us on the Shipshewana Scrappers Facebook page!