Oh yes…shackles are loose – I am back!

I have to fess up – I have missed writing these blog posts!!!

I really just could not keep up with all I had on my plate these past two months but I am looking forward to getting right back into stamps of the month, project posts, the all new Seasonal Expressions II and loads loads more! I have had to rethink my approach to a few things and will hopefully cope better with the other job in the future. In the last two weeks I have had such awesome contact and support from CTMH sisters I really do feel in a happy place when I am with them. We really did feel special at the team builders event.

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If you have been following along with me on Facebook or Instagram you will have seen how we celebrated. Close To My Heart went out of their way to make sure we felt valued and special. #ilovesctmh Monica Rocked with us, teaching us how to not be afraid to hashtag and take selfies! You can see us all having some fun if you jump onto your favourite platform and search #ctmhteambuildersau  We also got to be informed and inspired, learned all about the value of popcorn, and of course we played with NEW product!

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April is going to be such an exciting month. Not only is it Easter and school holidays for us, we have the all new Seasonal Expressions II, we have National Scrapbooking Month in May, and some fabulous deals, stamps of the month and more. Only a few short evenings ago we hosted a very special launch of our new products in Mildura and I am pleased to share this photo with you. Our numbers continue to grow at these events and we continue to learn from the experiences so next time we can do it all better. What I loved about this event is to be in a room full of people who really do believe our pictures are worth preserving, a hand made card is worth making and even better, what we do is therapeutic for us!

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Everyone had a lovely time and two more awesome people have the Creative Hearts Team in the CTMH fanily since this event. I can’t wait to see them with their lovely new shoulder totes! If you would like to know more about joining in on the fun. laughter and camaraderie as well as getting yourself well on your way to owning and running a crafty business of your own let me know. You can also find out more right here.

We have an awesome shopping announcement starting tomorrow with our GRAB BAGS – you need to head to this site in the morning to find out more! Make sure you have created your online account at my online store at the creativeheart.ctmh.com.au  and follow us along in social media to find out what is in a grab bag for you! I do hope you get some awesome goodies. Remember to have your order included in a host rewards order! The more online orders there are the more opportunities to gain the Host rewards there will be. Of course if you would like to have a real gathering with a few of your friends over I am looking for you and I will drive to nearby towns within reason.  You deserve some special treats and I would love to help you and your friends make something special in time for Mother’s day! Contact me to find out about what is on offer for a free home class for you!

Be sure if you have Facebook that you follow me. I hope you have also spotted and followed Sticky Boy – if you are not sure just use hashtag #whereintheworldisstickyboy He is naughty and entertaining!  I am also on Pinterest and if you would like to be kept up to date subscribe so I get into your inbox!

Looking forward to a fabulous April with you – and my happy happy return to my blog. I have missed it. I hope you are happy to have me back!

Jen

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Sticky Boy Has Arrived in my Studio!

OMG I am so excited….if you are a CTMH sister who has been to a CTMH event you will get this. If not…imagine the fun! I am one of the many fully grown people who have looked and looked and looked…..on walls, on pillars, on tables, under tables, on railings, on mirrors, on glass, on pitchers, … in short…On IN or Under anything within cooee of a foyer or registration desk at one of our CTMH functions, looking for the elusive Sticky Boy.He comes in all sizes and loves to dress up! (my kind of guy 😉 )

Back in 2013 when my connection to the company started I was like many wondering ‘who or what is this sticky boy?’ Then I saw Him – elusive fellow he is,  and someone let me stamp him on my paper, but he wasn’t mine and I had only the stamped image to remember him by. Back then, I also watched the Sticky Boy Video, and learned the Sticky Boy Story. One thing is for sure, as far as acrylic stamps go I am in love with My Acrylix and truly appreciate the range by CTMH. Watch this video and you will see Sticky Boy at his best!

I did manage to get a teeny weeny Sticky Boy Dressed in Aussie slouch hat carrying a suitcase at convention but I am so afraid of losing him I keep him tucked in my convention attendance holder. Soon he will make an appearance on pages I scrapbook when I am up to convention USA in 2014. (I am working on it – up to week 3 of my trip!) So for this little cutie you will have to wait!

I am not going to repeat the whole sticky boy story here.  You can follow Sticky Boy yourself on Facebook or instagram – just look for the hashtag #whereintheworldisstickyboy and you are sure to find not only his story but some awesome artwork too.   I am very lucky to have an upline who was willing to share her stick boy with me. I am axcited to be able to share and pass on the legacy (or is that legend, cos Sticky Boy is a Leg (pronouncedd lej) ya know!)

So, this is where sticky boy is in my part of the world. #whereintheworldisstickyboy   Mildura, Australia. As soon as he arrived in my mailbox I started sharing my day with Sticky Boy. We went out to visit my parents.

The First artwork featuring my Sticky Boy –

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Make the most of your scraps – I love using them to make cards 🙂

 

 

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I used the scraps from my Year Noted paper I had cut Honeycomb style and the stamp set C1537 Honeycomb flair to make the card. It isn’t too late to get your Year Noted paper kit with qualifying orders. If you order online it can be sent right to your door (Australia Only) and you will be in the monthly host draw.

More artwork featuring Sticky Boy is to come since now I have that awesome task!

Have a great weekend Australia….

Close your eyes…imagine what you will be doing to celebrate being Australian! Stay tuned….

Jen

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16

Australasian Blog Hop Stamp Of The Month This Moment S1501

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Welcome to the first blog hop of 2015 by the  Australasian Close to My Heart Blog Hop group. If you have arrived here from Shaunna’s Blog, Passionate About Pages then you are in the right place. If you landed here by accident, no problem, please join in by following the link at the end of this post.


 

I am thrilled to share with you this mini album which features January Stamp of the Month S1501 This Moment.  S1501 available exclusively throughout January for $27 or for just $5 when you spend $75.

Love Notes Mini Journal

Ok I will fess up. I initially felt I had little use for this stamp set as I have no lover, no kids and my dogs can’t read a love note I might write. I did what I always do – I just stamped some of it out and an idea was born.

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URok is a deliberate choice – This book is meant to be an affirmation not a question:)

 

A little back story may help with why I did this mini album. It is no secret among those close to me I suffer depression. I am OK right now because I have awesome things to do with my time, (teaching people how to be creative is awesome) and great family and great friends supporting me. But I am not always ok. I am a single 50 something living at home in an empty nest with 2 dogs. I battle the black dog daily. While I occasionally have the company of my girls and grandson, I am very much alone and that sense of isolation can exacerbate any feelings of depression coursing through my veins.

I created this project while completely alone between Christmas and New Year. It is a time in which we reflect on what we have done and achieved and what we might like to plan for the years to come. I have promised myself to take some everyday photos to fill the pages along with completing the all important journalling. Maybe one day one of my offspring will treat it as a treasure once I have done those pages. But its purpose for me is in this moment!

My mini album therefore is intended to be an antidote to feeling sad. It is a very big Love Note reminder to take care of and love myself by being in the moment and appreciating that.  It gives me great pleasure to share with you my empty Mini I put together in just one evening using a few fun, well priced CTMH products.

Get your stuff together including a selection for For Always PML cards that speak to you.

Get your stuff together including a selection for For Always PML cards that speak to you.

All you need is the Hip Pics Mini Album Z1956, A la Carte For Always Picture My Life CardsZ3065 , Black Arrow Washi Tape Z2003, Black Shimmer trim Z1809, Marvy Uchida LePen journalling pen Z1979, Sparkles Black and Grey Assortment Z1754, Scaredy Cat assortment (Black Stars)Z3011, and an assortment of Black, White and Kraft paper. I have used just two inks, Black Z2105 and White Daisy Z2163. I added a piece of Black Twill Z1988 ribbon to my spine too. Get set to do each page as you feel as all these products coordinate completely with the for Always cards. The stamp set could well have been created from the same designs. I had a ball bringing these pages together.

Get over creative block! 

To begin with I stamped some of the titles and icons on black, white and kraft paper. This gets my creative juices going and helps push me past creative block! Then I knew how and where I wanted to place things on the album cover. I flipped through my For Always cards and chose those that were actually very similar and even the same in style with this stamp set, and fitted my colour scheme of black, white and kraft, as well as my mood and the thoughts I was feeling. I made no definite decisions yet but I had a nice little pile of large and small cards. I flushed out a piece of Black Fundamentals paper from my stash to use as well as I loved the Zing of the black and white chevron.

I like the hip pics pages but feel the pockets need a bit of stabilising. Fill each one with a piece of card 6 x 4 1/4. I mixed these up from my colours. Then I added PML cards. NOW is the time to stamp directly on the white space of your pages if desired. If you wait it can become a little lumpy bumpy and complicated. You can always cover it up if you decide you do not like it:)If you do need to support a page from lumps elsewhere slip your Versamat in there to help.

To adhere the PML cards into the album I simply hinged them in with black arrow Washi tape and used some scraps from fussy cut cards as tabs where needed. Once it was all stuck down I came back to decorate with more faux washi (scraps from cards!) I also did pen outlines, and stuck down some shimmer trim and gems. This little album is now ready for some photos and some reflection about what makes me smile, and what matters to me so in a moment I can be reminded to be in the moment.Here is how mine came together.

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Here Hello is stamped 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation.

 

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White pigment ink looks great on our Kraft card stock. Give it a try.

 

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I gorgot to do photos – the crds on the left fall down revealing my precious and grately appreciated first cuppa of the day.

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Here the photo of the day title is fussy cut from the card and popped on top – over the same card I cut it from with the hip pics frame in between.

 

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The love notes on the right included a little fold out note slipped into the pocket of the page. It is all set in place ready for me to write a nice love note.

 

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Shopping list – If you have a stash – your only investment might be this cute album and the PML cards

 

 

 

 

I would love to hear from you if you decide to take this or a similar approach with this stamp set. Please let me know if I have inspired you.

This Moment is only available until January 31 from your CTMH consultant. I’d love you to leave a comment before heading off to the next stop,

Lauren Moore- CTMH Craftings

If you get lost along the way please visit  Mandy – Hall of Indulgence for a full list of hoppers.

Have a Fantastic New Year!

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2

Lost in LA!!! The tail end of the adventure!

Grab a cuppa! I have a story for you!

Hi readers. I know it has been some time since I posted but I have been preoccupied with my Mexican Adventure, Close To My Heart Convention USA in Disneyland (more on these in future posts) and of course discovering something of LA in my last few days before heading home.

The end of Route 66

Santa Monica Pier – The end of Route 66

I have discovered today the beauty of Santa Monica Beach and city, and the eccentric,  eclectic Venice Beach. I saw something of these yesterday on tour but we were given just 20 minutes in Venice Beach and drove right by Santa Monica pier. From that experience I would say don’t choose this tour by VIP tours! However it helped to get my bearings on this enourmous city.  

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Today I ventured out on LA public transport, specifically the Big Blue Bus. It started well with friendly drivers telling me where to hop off in Santa Monica. I wandered down to the pier and enjoyed the ocean breeze and the atmosphere.

I have a video here

Then I could not quite decide what to do. Pay big bucks for the hop on hop off bus or just get the BBB to Venice Beach. I decided given the time of day it had to be Venice, that was around 1 pm.  Not enough time for hop on hop off back up to Sunset Strip. (Unfortunately, and I doubt now I have time to get bck there.) But the BBB had a route through to Venice so off I went. 

Anyhow, I loved my time at Venice Beach. There was a lot of quirky artwork, skaters, cyclists, entertainment and another awesome red hat. Here is a video of one of the musicians. I can{t quite work out the embed code yet. 

I had a big late lunch and decided it was time to find my way from Venice to Route 3 on the BBB.  I had two possible directions to head. I started right, looked at the map and the envisioned potential walk ahead and decided left was perhaps better. Who should I run into but three awesome Aussies from Convention just arriving at Venice Beach!

Back on  track,  an officer of the  LAPD advised me the main road I was looking for was a mile and a half away. I have no concept of that so I started walking….and walking…and walking. Three miles may have been closer to the mark!  

On the upside of this part of the journey I saw some nice homes in the streets of Venice Beach, and quickly changed blocks when I realised I was in ‘cool’ ( aka dangerous) territory.

Suddenly I found myself back in the city of Santa Monica! Not only was it signed, the whole look of the place with its smoke free streets, good pavement and quality of shops and homes dictated I had crossed some sort of border. I felt safe but the walking I knew was going to be a problem. I had to turn right on Pacific Boulevard. I did and there in front of me were hills….I can walk bumpy flat ground (and I had in the streets of Venice Beach where in some place poles and fences were so close my walker would not fit through) but hills are a problem.  

Big Blue Bus Routes....there are lots of them!

Big Blue Bus Routes….there are lots of them!

By now I regretted the decision to go left. I regretted not having a decent map or any concept of how big the distance was between key roads marked on the map. I thought about getting a taxi and then realised I was on the wrong side of the street to hail one…They do drive on the wrong side of the road here!  

By now I was pretty cross with myself, and a little anxious. Then I saw it!  A BIG BLUE BUS! It was route 8 and bound to get me to route 3 according to the map I had which I needed to get home. After 30 minutes wait, and dodging fruit dropping from the tree overhead, I began to get anxious. Not one BBB had come through, but I had seen 3 go the other way. Surely one would come or had they stopped for the DAY? How could I Check?  

In the burbs oi Santa Monica around 6 pm getting anxious about the next Big Blue Bus not arriving!

In the burbs oi Santa Monica around 6 pm getting anxious about the next Big Blue Bus not arriving!

Then I remembered Santa Monica City has free wifi…. it worked in the burbs where I was…My BBB arrived just as I downloaded the time Table!  The reason for such a wait….city Traffic!  Duh!!!  Lol. Of course. I am just a country bumpkin afterall and have no idea about such things in a city of millions. 

So as I write the draft of this post I am safely on route 3, discovering all the while I did not need to walk miles to key stops Afterall! !! Every major intersection I crossed over following my map intersected with this one!!!! If I’d only had a map or thought it through before embarking on my homeward journey. One final challenge awaits…a working public phone at the bus transfer station to call upon my hotel shuttle. I had not seen a phone there in the morning…I am worried.  (If not I will be offering so one some money to use their mobile phone!)Enjoy these photos.

Today was and adventure and I can’t wait to scrapbook it. This rapid bus is making lots of stops. Yep….I am a dill. So could have thought this through better. There was a shorter quicker way…to my right where I was headed in the first place! 


 

Postscript: I found phones and had just 3 quarters left to make a call. No change machine in sight and 2 are needed for the call.  The girl at the hotel could not hear me so she hung up. It is after 7 pm…getting late. I needed one more quarter…asked a guy if he had change. Nope. He suggested putting a fiiver in the coke machine to get change. The machines rejected my fiver. 7.25 pm… I emptied my handbag and luckily found another quarter and a better phone. Made the call, got connected. A 15 minute wait. 8 pm…collected and taken round the airport twice (another story) while another client was dropped off for a flight. 8.30 by the time I walked into the hotel! But…I made it! And through talking with the driver I now know exactly how to get to Michaels for their Independence day sale tomorrow!

PPS..Americans are already celebrating July 4 with fireworks and some are turning it into a 4 day weekend. Just like us…any reason to party or go camping!

 

Cheers

Jen

1

Mexico city brings the world to people!

20140525_173456 20140525_173507 20140525_173734Today I went out to see what the city had in store for me. I discovered they are in the middle of a three week long International Festival. . The world is here including Australia. The Aussies are dishing up crocodile nuggets and lamb pies. I asked where the beer was. They don’t have any. Meanwile I grabbed a nice French Merlot to sit back wth tonight. I have loads of photos both on my tabet and camera. Will see what I can share here.

I took a stroll down the main mall in the company of an American.  I lost her when she was taking a  block walk to her bank. All the internationals are here.Maccas KFC Starbucks Subway…. 7/11 will be my saviour if  I wake early again tomorrow.Hotel breakkie is 8 till 10. They didn’t tell me 8.30 on Sunday! And the coffee was the last thing brought out. It was brewed in a special pot uderr pressure.  I have ever seen anything like it. To top it off it would not pour so the waiter opened it up and dished it out by he mug full soup style. I was not the only patron waiting on that coffee! So, in my travels today I discovered7/11 right next door. They have coffee and never close:) Awesome!

I did what I  could to enjoy the expo but it was super crowded. Sometimes Rex (my walker) got me through a crowd, sometimes not. The pavement in he square is in appalling condition.  Rex needed 4×4 at times:) However there are signs around and building in progress with new pavement. If I come again it will all be fixed.

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I tasted some chilli but it was the hottest of one f the Latin American Countries!  Not quite ready for That!  I was entertained by Japanese schoolchildren in a drum performance, ripped off when paying to get to a toilet. (But is was clean and had disability cubicle) . I made my way into the magnificent cathedral just in time for one of the mass services and lit a candle for a friend recently passed. He would appreciate the cultures I am encountering. It was very moving. I recall as a child how devout I found Mexicans to be and had that spiritual connection again.

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Hungry I found cheap eats in a little alley. Chicken taco and quesadillas.  When they are authentic they are so much nicer than what we get at home! I took a break, my siesta time had come but 20 pesos was called consistently for the whole time by a street seller and he was sill at it as I headed out again.

The square was now jam packed. There were more drummers on stage. I was asked about where I got my dress from too! This set up a Spangles conversation! ! At  6 pm the military lowered the humongous fag in the centre of the square with military precision.  It is a huge flag as you will see from photos. Apparently it goes up again at  6 am.  After this I heard more drums and followed the sound to traditional Mayan dancing. Very colorful and fun to watch. Prowling their wares in the market led me to meet Aman, a very nice fellow who spoke to my  about Mayan and azteca cultures.  It was a lovely conversation and I purchased the Mayan symbol for wholeness from him. He made me the necklace and put it on for me. He taught me how to do a traditional Mayan greeting too.  I think this was the highlight of my day.

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I found a restaurant for supper and slowly headed to the hotel,  my body declaring enough for today.

More Photos to come when I work out how to transfer from my camera. Hasta Luego

Jen

 

Leaving on a jet plane

So just what goes through ones head when you finally hit the tarmac. I could have given a huge woop woop in celebration but instead I broke down in tears. This was it. A dream almost. 35 years in the making coming True! ! Of course I was happy but I was also now away from the pressure of everyday life. My house is packed and in storage. My temp accommodation is manageable thanks to my daughter. I have the sciatica threatening each day to worsen and prevent travel, and an amazing group of friends and relatives supporting me for this trip.

I am grateful.  I am humbled. A certain few know just how hard it was to give myself permission and spend money on me. My Mexican family connections are excited. I was, sitting on the tarmac, overwhelmed by all of the Emotions! !,, Now if this back pain would just go away lol…..Arriba! Next flight finally gets me to Mexico.

 

 

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 🙂

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 🙂  @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