Do you have a photo of the single best moment of your life?

And if so, how do you share it?’

My CTMH director shared this post with our team and it is heart-warming to know that we can find a photo that in a specific moment in time we might define as our single best moment in life. I suspect in a year or two some of these photos could be replaced with another ‘single’ best moment as our life continues and perspectives change. The more I think about it the more I have decided I would struggle to pick just one as you can see below.

Is it the birth of my child? Seeing one of them all dressed up like a princess for her Deb ball? The birth of my Grandson?….I would easily make a book of the single best moment of each year, but for a lifetime I would be hard pressed to choose just one defining moment. What would you choose? Why? How would you share it with others?

I guess this is why I scrapbook. Every photo I put into an album is there to show some aspect of my life I want to share with the fuuture generations of my family. It was fantastic seeing how people looked over my albums at my 50th birthday! There is a shelf of books of moments for future generations of my family to enjoy. Their story is preserved in pictures, with words, and with journalling, all lovingly embellished so the record was both enjoyable to create and will be enjoyable to read.

I am not sure who will enjoy my scrapbooks, or when – but they have been created to record my defining moments! I am proud to share them even if my handwriting is crappy. The important thing is, my family will know what I thought was important to celebrate and acknowledge.

So…did you see the original tweet or share your photo?

Here is the film clip about a tweet that got ‘hot’ on twitter. The fountain of humanity – alive and well ūüôā

Phots of life’s best moments

Do you have a photo of the single best moment of your life? 

When Sports Illustrated writer Richard Deitsch saw this photo on Twitter two weeks ago of brothers celebrating Yale University’s national hockey championship, he was inspired.¬†

Deitsch sent a Tweet of his own, asking his followers, “How many of you have a photograph of the single best moment of your life?”¬†

Within minutes, answers, in the form of photos, came rushing in: Parents’ first moment with a newborn, the moment he asks and she says yes, the moment of homecoming from the danger of war. Dozens, then hundreds of photos streamed in, in what Deitsch describes as a “fountain of humanity.”

So…Do you have one single defining moment captured in a photo? what might it be? Perhaps you can tweet it ūüôā ¬†@nenifoofer #definingmoment or head straight to the man who began this¬†@richarddeitsch

All of the photos could be defining moments for me. If I had to choose just one and one only I am going to have to say the sponsorship for International Exchange and tripping off to Mexico. That experience changed me completely and opened my eyes to a world I could never have imagined. I felt honoured and humbled, I learned a new language and I suddenly understood what poverty, and faith, and cultural tradition really was. (At 15 I also found a fun way to live;) )

But really…how do you choose from these moments? They all matter – and they are all recorded in a scrapbook!

Seeing my daughters dressed as princesses for their Debutante Ball

Seeing my daughters dressed as princesses for their Debutante Ball

Being nana - A defining moment the day my Grandson was born
Being nana – A defining moment the day my Grandson was born

Capturing my parents cuddling on the beach in their late 60's

Capturing my parents cuddling on the beach in their late 60’s

Having two beautiful girls all dolled up in beautifully crafted dresses made by my sister

Having two beautiful girls all dolled up in beautifully crafted dresses made by my sister

Being sponsored by Rotary to go on Exchange to Mexico

Being sponsored by Rotary to go on Exchange to Mexico

Seeing my daughters graduate Year 12

Seeing my daughters graduate Year 12

Turning 50 in grand style

Turning 50 in grand style

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What is in the box?

There is nothing like the excitement of opening that first deliivery from Close To My Heart and I was very lucky that team member Sandra, who was the first in my team to get her box, brought it to my place to share the grand opening!

Here is ‘the box’ – we all got one eventually!

Getting a box like this one is very exciting!

Getting a box like this one is very exciting!

I was just a bit excited about getting my box!

I was just a bit excited about getting my box

So Now we get to peek inside….nope…group photo!

Myself and my first two team members - we get together regularly to crop and share ideas.

Myself and my first two team members – we get together regularly to crop and share ideas.

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Of course the bubbles are out! We are about to discover stamps, new papers, new embellishments, new design books and a whole new way of doing business!

Sandra reads her CTMH welcome letter

Sandra reads her CTMH welcome letter

There are lots of goodies in the consultant kit!

There are lots of goodies in the consultant kit!

There are new things to learn, new language to get used to and smashbooking to do:)

My first Crushbook page

My first Crushbook page

My second Crushbook page - just waiting for a photo

My second Crushbook page – just waiting for a photo

Workshop on the go kit page layout from Laughing Lola

Workshop on the go kit page layout from Laughing Lola

 

Another double from Laughing Lola. I have plenty left fr more pages and cards!

Another double from Laughing Lola. I have plenty left fr more pages and cards!

Page layout for boy using Chantilly

Page layout for boy using Chantilly

Cards made with Chantilly, inspired by the cardmaking program book that came in my kit

Cards made with Chantilly, inspired by the cardmaking program book that came in my kit

Since receiving my kit three more wonderful people have joined my team! I am very excited to have them aboard and can’t wit till they have the opportunity to feel the excitement that goes with opening their box. It is currently such extraordinary value I would love to tell you more! You can visit my website Jen’s Creative Classroom¬†to become a consultant,¬†¬†contact me below or me direct on email nenifoofer@gmail.com to find out more about our opportunity, my crops, workshops and gatherings.

Wishful thinking? Dream, Dare and Do

I am outside a mega crop! there are 100 scrappers inside!

I am outside a mega crop! there are 100 scrappers inside!

I have had some of the most wonderful days (or hours) ¬†‘out’ scrapbooking with other like minded scrappers who enjoy recording memorable moments, sharing their stories in scrapbooks, playing with paper and decoration and dealing with the internal negative voice that says our personal handwriting is not neat enough! Sometimes a nice intimate class of 3-4 people does the trick of bringing calm, colour and joy in our otherwise chaotic world and lots of laughs and giggles for good therapy too. Then there are those big events….I so want to see that happen again one day in Sunraysia and surrounding areas too!

Little workshops can work well in anyone’s home. A few friends getting together regularly to scrap, perhaps taking turns hosting is an unofficial ‘club’ . The women provide each other with very important therapy. They share tools, they encourage and support each other with ideas, maybe they swap papers, embellishments, and even show each other the latest technique spotted on a video seen online.

 

 

 

Our tables didn't stay this tidy but we had a lot of fun!

Our tables didn’t stay this tidy but we had a lot of fun!

Another look at our Robinvale group

Another look at our Robinvale group

They laugh, giggle and have fun. We do not do enough of this. Far too often i hear I would love to but I do not have time. Women who gather like this see value in the gathering Рthey make time for themselves and dare to do it. Of course they also share their secret stash secrets too (secret from partner that is)  because they are daring enough to have a secret stash!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Myself and my first two team members - we get together regularly to crop and share ideas.

Myself and my first two team members – we get together regularly to crop and share ideas.

I have a little group like this – we are all dedicated scrappers and we also all have now joined Close To My Heart. Being a new business in Australia I am really looking forward to scrapping together and developing our understanding of our products and business model at the same time. We get together weekly if we can and just chill, share ideas and knowledge, and make each other cups of brew (tea or coffee). Sometimes we also take turns with my babysitting so my grandson’s mum can get her pages done too! The few hours we spend like this is fun and relaxing. It is even more fun because we are using new toys! (We have stamps now:) ) Someday soon we will also have a Cricut machine to play with.

We have a whole new range of papers, embellishments and page layouts to try, not to mention cards to make. AND…we need a team name! I am looking forward to a brainstorming sesh for that one! We have supported each other as a team and I look forward to doing this with our CTMH products and businesses. There is no doubt about it. Women need fellowship, an outlet to share, AND an outlet for creativity. Scrapbooking and papercraft provides a vehicle for this and sharing and camaraderie is central to fun in our little group. We ¬†have had to make the ‘sacrifice’ of time out for ourselves to ensure ‘life’ doesn’t get in the way but it is very very worthwhile!

There are lots of goodies in the consultant kit!

There are lots of goodies in the consultant kit!

OK…so little workshops could work for you. Regular get togethers, your favourite snacks and beverages, and a consultant is all you need. Yes, consultant! You need a consultant so you get the goss ¬†on what is coming and access to the latest products, information and rewards! You consultant is your guru and guide. She may not be expert, but she is your link to all the resources and ideas. If you have a group and don’t have a consultant consider inviting someone like me along. I can pop in and out quickly with the latest news and product samples, teach a technique and make plans for next visit. It will be easy, fun and one of the group can get the benefits of hosting!

So what about a BIG one?

I love that I can keep working at my scrapping and papercraft with my team, but my dream is the BIG Crop. This is my Dream, Dare and DO! ‘Why?’ you may wonder! ¬†Well there is

  • lots of eye candy
  • lots of ideas shared
  • lots of freebies and give-aways if you happen to get one of the lucky door prizes
  • Lots of happiness and buzz (so good for the soul in a busy life)
  • lots of laughter and
  • occasionally even a few quick challenges just to spice up your approach to album making!
  • Chocolate….

Shouting yourself a Big Crop Day is like taking a day off just for you. Arrange the child care and focus on yourself and your project. You enter a whole new stress free world and go home having accomplished something to show those who care. Imagine getting among 50-100 people all doing what you do! Your world of papercraft becomes a whole lot more fun.

Big crops happen regularly in the cities. They range in price for the day depending on your welcome gift, catering and venue costs. ALL the work is done for you. You can just sit, scrap, chat, eat, scrap and chat some more. Don’t forget the chocolate! Breakout sessions show you new ideas and techniques. Product displays give you creative inspiration and seeing walls filled with page layouts and tables covered in cards and off the page projects will get your creative juices going!

Wall of page layout ideas to inspire.

Wall of page layout ideas to inspire.

In crop events there are always bonus tips and techniques like these paper flowers! Everyone is willing to share how they do something!

In crop events there are always bonus tips and techniques like these paper flowers! Everyone is willing to share how they do something!

Newest products on display at the Adelaide Ideas Extravaganza crop

Newest products on display at the Adelaide Ideas Extravaganza crop

Lots of scrapbooking and chatter going on here!

Lots of scrapbooking and chatter going on here!

It is a fest of creative inspiration. But the BEST bit is being among like minded devotees of photos, memories, storytelling and papercraft. You don’t feel weird. You do not feel like the only woman whose partner scrutinises how much ‘stuff’ you have and if you happen to have a craft room or shed for ‘her’ you will be the envy of others. (Watch out they may invite themselves over for a visit and their partners will curse you for putting big ideas in their heads!)

I have fond memories of big events like this on various occasions as a consultant and more recently attended events in Adelaide that were attended by over 80 scrappers – consultants and their customers – and had a ball. Six hours goes way too fast! We have managed to have smaller versions of these with combined crops of local Mildura consultants and our customers go home grateful to have had a day out, to have learned new things, and have some fun, That photos of me playing in leaves comes from one of these events as we let mother nature provide us with the photo opportunity!

So… I dream of making these bigger! Imagine a really juicy creative play day!

Perhaps I should explain Juicy!

Juicy is a term I have learned from PLANET SARK. (Your Home for Dreaming, Daring, and Doing!) ¬†I first read her work ‘Succulent Wild Women’ and while I have not been totally wild with a journal and coloured pens I have wanted to. I have found the answer for me has always been in my scrapbooking. It is good for the soul!¬†Picking up from the SARK philosophy, Creativity is juicy; Journalling is juicy; Colour is juicy! Put all that juicy goodness into your memory keeping and you will have fun and one day your family will have juicy fun pouring over the pages you have made with fun and love.

P1020015 P1020014And Yes! I do want to see at least 50 attendees at a big CROP. I know there are many more than 50 scrapbookers in Sunraysia and surrounding areas so I dream of having a day where at least 50 of these delightful memory keepers are together for a day of fun and sharing. I dare to and I am going to do it. I have found a well lit venue with a perfect kitchen, plenty of no limit parking  and flat access for trolleys and wheeled bags. ( There are no steps or stairs to drag trolleys over! ) All I need are the juicy scrappers and their enthusiasm who will come along to play. We will have a ball! We will be like kids on a big play date! Maybe we will find some of our own lost in childhood creativity!

Wishful thinking? Too ambitious? That is my negative self talk talking. If the city girls can do it so can we country gals! How about it? If there were big Crops would you go? Have you been to one? What do you remember most about such events?

Please pop your comment below- I would love for you to share your experience with me!

Gallery

Mystery creative workshop

I had a fantastic play date today with my long time friend, patchwork teacher and fellow CTMH consultant Sandra Boutlon. She had been planning this little treat for us ‘creative’ girls for some time and her effort stands out in the crowd for the personal touch. We arrived to find we each had a very large box and a glue stick. The box was gorgeous and ¬†full of goodies. I was excited to see I now have my very own Paris Box!

My smashbox and clean workspace

My smashbox and clean workspace

Now I tend to tell the truth and here is no different. Sandra had told me about all the bits and pieces she was collecting and this phrase smashbooking first entered my lexicon at a market about 6 weeks ago when a customer sifted through my baggies and found a couple of scrap bags, a few card kits and some leftover ¬†ST Pat’s dies cuts I had made with my Silhouette cutting machine. I asked if she was a cardmaker. ‘No’ she said. ‘I do smashbooks. They are like scrapbooks but also very different’.

I mulled this over, asked Sandra if that is what we were doing and got ‘kind of but don’t go looking’ or I would ‘spoil it’. Hmmmm…..Curiosity never killed my cat! So I had a poke around, joined a couple of facebook groups but avoided You Tube. There is a group for smashaholics on FB and now I know why!

If you have been following me you would also no I am now a Close To My Heart consultant eagerly awaiting the arrival of the precious first kit. In that kit is the¬†My Crush‚ĄĘ Modville Book and¬†My Crush‚ĄĘ Besties Assortment. This has all us Aussie consultants scratching our heads a bit. We are so used to our ‘normal’ scrapbook albums just for photos and photosafe embellishments that consist of CM brand pages, protectors and strap bound cover we have no idea about the lumpy bumpy stuff. As a consultant we all stood by the flat scrapping that was CM with only a¬†slight¬†third dimension from a foam square or a little bling with an epoxy gem or pearl here or there – a ‘smash’ book was¬†foreign¬†to many of us and many have wondered what they were. Some are even a little uneasy about all the new ‘creative’ stuff we are going to get. I am not…I can’t wait to sink my teeth into this!

Sandra is demonstrating a basic Manilla folder smashbook

Sandra is demonstrating a basic Manilla folder smashbook

I tried to help some sisters on discussion boards but words do fail to really describe these pieces of art in any kind of quick post in a discussion forum. Off I went to You Tube to find out more…(yes Sandra…I bowed to temptation and went to do some research!)

Smashbooks vary a lot. Variations are sometimes called art journals, or junk journals. They include much more than paper! I won’t define them here…but will direct you to my video list on you tube that has the videos I have liked (and will) and listed under smashbooking so far. Take a look from here.

Back to my fun day! My box of goodies contained:

Scrapbook paper, paper scraps, bits of exercise book paper, a sheet of postcodes, an empty box, some envelopes, some old CM workshop vouchers, my original invitation to Sandra to my birthday party, some punchies, tiles and phrases cut from nagazines

Fabric scraps in red, red hat print, ribbons and lace to coordinate, a red artificial rose, pipe cleaners, a bag of buttons, some lovely red silk….

Some really stiff board, an empty box, and empty pillow shaped chocolate box printed with red roses on a silver background…

A funny little tupperware ruler corner maker thingy from when Sandra was a Tupperware rep. (You learn something new every day. I didn’t know this about my friend!) This came in handy for spreading glue and flattening folds.

What is in the box?

What is in the box?

Red Hat!

Red Hat!

Can you see where this was all headed? I have just become a Red Hatter, and Sandra has given me a whole box of goodies to celebrate both that and my milestone 50th birthday.

So…I had a lot of….red and purple….junk!

Most of it was scrap something. The kind of stuff we often hoard and then in a moment of clean up and downsize frenzy turf out to the garbage, ready to be recycled. We all got similar things in our boxes but Sandra focussed on that personal theme- the end result being we had very different looking products at the end.

Just as well there were only 3

Just as well there were only 3

But, there was more, and it wasn’t steak knives. I secretly harbour just a little envy for Sandra’s Shed. It is a tin shed, fully lined, airconditioned and chocablock with goodies. Most of this is sewing related, but there were loads of ribbon and trim, scrapbook paper, bits cut from magazines, old notebooks, paper labels from haberdashery and a few wall paper sample books. These were my favourite of the day! ¬†All of this ‘junk’ was made available to us along with old manilla folders (recycled from the days of needing to keep office for a patchwork shop many moons ago) that were the base of our smashbook pages.

On the initially very clean and tidy table were trays. One had some ink pads, one had some printed duct tape (a recent find), one had rulers, pencils and other tools. There was a sewing machine set up and several cutting boards. We were given a jar with some PVA glue in it and a brush with a recycled Jenny Craig food tray with a bit cut out for a brush rest…we had almost all we needed for our very first smashbooks!!! The final touch was baby wipes. Top tip of the day – these are great for wiping PVA glue off your hands!

So off I went deciding to do bigger pages. It was to be about red hat and turning 50 all at once. I knew I would need big pockets for my favourite cards. After showing us examples and illustrating possibilities and the ease with which we could throw together a little note book, make a funky tag, recycle something we never thought of recycling before, and being innovative with design and free to embellish as we pleased Sandra let us loose.

Creativity is messy

Creativity is messy

The room smelled deliciously of PVA glue, fresh apple cinnamon cake, and coffee. There was the sound of happy chatter, the sewing machine and a constant input of tips and ideas from Sandra. We were like little kids on craft day at school! The table became an unwieldy mess of junk as pieces of art were made. And after those few hours quickly went by I HAD to pull mine out when I got home and add  my from my own scrap stash Рmy red hat stickers, my bling (all good Queens need bling) my cards, and I was even tempted to break out the paint brushes! I had all these creative juices going I did not want to stop.

Clearly I have stopped now – my journal is all done bar the finishing touches. I would like to finish off some edges and for that I will need to go do a little shopping. Or I can just wait till my Washi Tape arrives in my kit! Then I need to put one final binding on it to hold it all together and it will be done.

There has never been a better time...

There has never been a better time…

Age doesn't matter; Be rewarded

Age doesn’t matter; Be rewarded

Mini Journal

Mini Journal

So…I have smashed today and had a ball. And yes I have journalled in it. There is some sentiment and record in it but not as much as I would like to do. For now it is big enough and I am pleased with my first efforts at this artform. All I need to do is open up an inserted notebook and do some more journalling for it to be just right and worthy of reading.

When my My Crush Book by CTMH arrives ¬†(a premade, predesigned journal by Close To My Heart) ¬†I am more likely to have less lumps and bumps and more artwork in the form of stamps, drawing and I may even dabble in some watercolour pieces to put into it. I can’t wait to see if it is all I imagine it will be! I am so excited to be moving beyond the scrapbook page and into other areas of creativity! Lot’s of people say they are not creative – I have news for you…You are! If you don’t have time that is different, but I believe it is important to let your inner child go get creative at least once a month to keep that bit of your brain nourished ūüôā

If I leave my stuff right where it is right now all around my workspace I may just start another one! Tomorrow is Sunday…I think I will!

More decoration in the mini journal

More decoration in the mini journal

The Happiness graph

The Happiness graph

Be rewarded reflection

Be rewarded reflection

What happened to good old letters?

What happened to good old letters?

Play in the leaves

Play in the leaves

Bling it up

Bling it up

It is about Hattitude

It is about Hattitude

Birthday pockets

Birthday pockets

It's Fat!

It’s Fat!

PS I will learn how to get these photos better grouped one day!

A new year, a new beginning!

What an exciting day! The beginning of the financial year has never been an exciting time for me but today is different! Today I officially joined Close To My Heart as an independent consultant AND I got new old wheels which are not as old as the adventure bus!

The Bus!

The Bus!

Let me explain!

Around the same time as Freaky Friday when we lost CM, I also had to give up my car. Since then I have been in ‘Keep Calm and Scrap on’ mode and “”Yep you can borrow the bus until you buy more wheels” mode to get around. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved the ”Adventure before Dementia” bus that belongs to my dad but it did make nicking down to the supermarket for two litres of milk a chore after a while. With my arthritic right knee, clambering up into the driver’s seat became more than a bit of a chore!

Adventuring in the bus between cars

Adventuring in the bus between cars

However, the BUS, as I now fondly call it, got me around, took me safely to Adelaide and back and for a few nights even became my home away from home. After all, it is built for camping in right? Maggie and Macey didn’t like it much – I ended up putting the leads on them to coach them up into the bus rather than chase them and pick them up!!! It was cosy enough to sleep in and while I didn’t use the shower, the porta loo was handy.

Well today, July 1, the beginning of the financial year in Austalia, I thankfully was able to bid the bus goodbye – for now. I am sure to holiday in it sometime . That will be fun. I have gladly embraced my new regular vehicle to get around in! I am not sure how well I will fit my new CTMH goodies into it but that problem is for another day.

A New Year, a new beginning.

A New Year, a new beginning.

The other piece of magic that happened today was an end to the waiting for Plan B, the Wigwam. I signed as a consultant with Close To My Heart and as in previous posts clearly I am excited to begin the financial year with a new business along with hundreds of other ex CMC’s who have been waiting with me while the super leadership team went to work. Now there will be another long wait…for my Kit! But I am ok about that. I ¬†have a lot to do to get my customers connected and my team organised. I have workshop dates, bookings to check on, flights to make sure are ok and and and….I need a list!

I am busy, but thankfully so. I now have a clear direction and some good wheels to help me travel the path. I am on my way in the CTMH family and I anticipate it will be a lot of fun. I am looking forward to adding stamping and crush books to my repertoire,  playing with washi tape, using a Cricut machine and meeting lots and lots of new people and rekindling connections with previous customers and new consultants. If you would like to join me on my journey please drop me a line.

The new year has begun – not with the bands and fireworks of a traditional new year but plenty of joy in my heart as I would have if there was a big party and lots of fireworks!