Happy Birthday CTMH Australia!!

Happy Birthday to The Creative Heart, The Creative Heart Team, to Close To My Heart Australaia  and all my  #ctmhaustralasia sisters!

It has been two years since I started with the awesome company Close To My Heart and I could not be happier! I am grateful Jeanette created this company with its central messages and that Brian went looking for a good company to take us into in 2013.

Would you believe two years ago I could not stamp to save myself? I even had to give myself permission to use stamping in my scrapbooking! Since then I have learned the joys of the Cricut, made flowers, and made use of my knowledge of painting and other mediums to make some pretty creative mixed media pieces and taught classes, workshops and more. I have been on trips away and found the rewards are much more than where the money is.

Most important to me is the new family I have.  I have met some awesome #ctmhsisters and had heaps of fun at conventions, retreats, crop events, my classes and launch events. Sisters are always there with help and support any time of day and my amazing Presidential Director visits our little country town during the year too! I have the Mantra ‘Everyone is welcome here’. I have grown a team of ‘sisters’ who watch out for each other and share and care for each other. I have done my best to be a good leader and while not being able to meet everyone’s needs I have done as good as I could at the time.  I could not be prouder of my team and how they have grown with me.  Just yesterday I had one very excited team member who made her first quarter work for her. I was like a proud mum. It warmed my heart to hear her excitement!

I could gush for ages about how awesome this company feels – but will let these photos do that work. Here are some snaps of where the Creative Heart Team has come over the last two years. If you would like to be part of the fun we have be sure to drop me a line. You can of course join any time right here.

 

I was just a bit excited about getting my box!

I was just a bit excited about getting my box!

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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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My goal was to fill this workshop space.

 

To infinity and beyond

To infinity and beyond

If you want o know more please contact me. if you want to see more head to the video post about sticky boy!

If you want o know more please contact me. if you want to see more head to the video post about sticky boy!

Proud to wear the manager ribbon - it is real :)

Proud to wear the manager ribbon – it is real 🙂

Sarah Shipton our Senior Director, Sandra Boutlon and Amy Langford, members of my team and myself.

Sarah Shipton our Senior Director, Sandra Boutlon and Amy Langford, members of my team and myself.

Monica is an awesome powerhouse of a woman, a pocket rocket. She is an awesome working mum and advocate for the company. It was a pleasure to be in her company.

Monica is an amazing woman, a pocket rocket. She is an awesome working mum and advocate for the company. It was a pleasure to be in her company.

Be You

Be You

This is the finished page.

A mixed media page

Launch event 2014

Yay- we are reaching that goal!

 

classroom classes

In my home classes

 

Pink decoration, Pink Food, projects using pink and a goodie bag with the Pink Ribbon Motiff are all a feature of this event!

Pink decoration, Pink Food, projects using pink and a goodie bag with the Pink Ribbon Motiff are all a feature of this event!

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OMG!!! We are full!

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Leaders Conference

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I LOVE teaching people to craft. Did you know that? lol

The Aussie Contingent

The Aussie Contingent in Disneyland 2014

Convention

Disney 2014

convention

Disney 2014

convention

Disney 2014

convention

convention

convention

convention

convention

convention

Disneyland CA 2014

Disneyland CA 2014

 

We Sparkled and Shone!

Wow! How awesome is it to have a Founding Director visit your area to present a workshop! I was really excited to have Diane Lampert come to Mildura and help us launch the Holidays from the Heart products at our Sparkle and Shine event. We had many customers and consultants come along and get inky with trees and baubles and some great artwork was produced. I would like to share with you some photos from the event. I have written about my dream to fill the venue with scrapbookers and card makers and I am so glad to say that on this occasion we did achieve the highest numbers yet!

Holidays from the Heart on show

Note – I was busy running around helping with the event so I only have a few photos and none of me – I hope the photos by others will come through soon and I can add them in here.

Gathering Diane demonstrates gathering cards

 

As a consultant I learned a lot. Our customers had FUN! Many chose to join the CTMH family taking home the best deal we have. It was a fabulous day! Thank you so much to all customers, consultants and especially Diane for coming to visit us!

kits

 

As you can see the venue is well lit – it is also air conditioned. We have playdays here every month so if you are local to Mildura be sure to drop me a line and find out more about the next one. Playdays are also available in Wentworth, Merbein and Robinvale. I am happy to come to the Riverland and down to Ouyen too! To keep up to date with events follow my page on Facebook and sign up for my newsletter.  For more ideas using the products in the holidays from the heart guide and the sparkle and shine paper check out my Pinterest Board.   If you would like to know more about the best deal contact me now! I would love to tell you all about it! (Australian residents only)

Next Mildura Playday is October 26th

First Wentworth is November 9th

Next Robinvale is November 16

Next Merbein Nov 17

If you are local why not come along and join in the fun. It is so relaxing to ink it up and get photos and precious memories preserved in albums!

Sparkle and Shine with your gift giving this Christmas

This is the time of year when we should be thinking about anything we plan to give that might be hand made is underway and CTMH have made the simple gift of giving a hand made card or gift box a breeze with this delightful short time only collection available from October 13th.  Come along to our Country Road Show event in Mildura Monday October 21 and not only see the products, create with them! You will take home samples including card, a page and an off the page project!

Remember these products are available from October 13 and available while stocks last.

Imagine one of these trees on your table center at your Christmas function!

Sparkle and shine catalog available soon

Sparkle and shine catalog available soon

Let us show you how!

Mildura, Monday Oct 21. Two sessions 2 pm and 7 pm. Bookings via links below.

Mildura, Monday Oct 21. Two sessions 2 pm and 7 pm. Bookings via links below.

To Book in for this event you can

1. Purchase your ticket online right here Be sure to choose your session.

2. email Jenny nenifoofer@gmail.com for bank or paypal payments

3. Phone Jenny 0400253422

It would be awesome to welcome those of you from around the region too! Why not car pool and come for the day, join us for dinner and scrap as well? All those prebooked will be in a special prize draw!

By the way, when these products go live on October 13 if you purchase $130 worth of product in an order you can get and star item free! Make your wish list up right now!

To make the table center with my help  check your inbox for this months newsletter or follow me on Facebook.

Continue reading

Having fun with Artbooking

Have you discovered the joy of Artbooking? I have and I am loving it! It is playful, random and fun!

Artbooking is scrapbooking, journaling and being creative and arty all rolled into one. You make the book, you create the embellishments (and add from your stash) and your very best friend is the Cricut Artbooking cartridge by CTMH!

It has awesome pre-designed shapes in a number of sizes so you can create a journal of photos and memories in a number of ways. I still see myself very much a beginner in all this but I wanted to share with you what I have done so far with a 3 ring Kraft folder, my Artbooking cartridge, and papers from my stash. Most of this has been created with cardstock and papers from the Chantilly paper pack.

The cover made with a frame from the Artbooking Cartridge.

The cover made with a frame from the Artbooking Cartridge.

So I have the Cricut ExpressionII- and the CTMH Artbooking Cartridge collection which includes precut chipboard shapes and three stamp sets- and a project with a purpose. This little journal is going to record my journey as Carer for my parents. The journalling is what will really matter and I won’t be sharing those pages. However, I have made a start with some photos of my parents, and the family they brought into being. I explored a few things on the cartridge and got my head around ‘real dial’ size and other such matters. These page elements all had to be done at the right size so the pre cut holes line up with the rings.

Ok – so this is what it all looks like so far.

This is the title page - not as wide as some of the other pages but I actually like that they stick out.

This is the title page – not as wide as some of the other pages but I actually like that they stick out.

 

I am enjoying the stamps that came with the collection too! Here are the following pages – with tabs and lacy edges and more!

artbooking 5artbooking 6

 

 

 

 

 

The titles have also been cut with the Artbooking cartridge.

artbooking7artbooking8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love the overlays in the Artbooking cartridge – the hexagons and lattice above can be made to fit any page and I have seen awesome artwork done with these on scrapbook pages too.

artbooking 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are blank – still to be filled with photos and love. I did these just because I wanted to see how they cut! In future I will have a bit of a plan for each page I do. I may also replicate the many ideas shared by CTMH on the Artbooking Made Easy series on You Tube. They have some awesome ideas and the ongoing series is an inspiration to us all!

Imagine making something just like this one by CTMH design team

07 – Cricut Artbooking Beauty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagine feeling this clever! You know you can!

Here is a video showing you more

If you are in the Sunraysia region a class in Artbooking is right here in town in Mildura. Why not book into one and get a guiding hand to get creating a gorgeous Artbook just like these ones? I can give you a supply list on your inquiry and classes are just $10 per session. Of course if you do not have the cricut or the cartridge yet you can use mine! I will also be able to assist with artbooking projects on play days even though artbooking will not always be the focus. Play days occur each month in Mildura, Merbein, Robinvale and we are just launching in Wentworth.

For a complete list of classes and play days complete the form below. Be sure to sign up to my newsletter for the latest news and specials coming up including our super special Warm Holiday Wishes from the Heart Brochure, available to customers from mid October.

I hope to see you in classes and one day when I am brave, if prompted enough I just might have a go at a how to video! Start commenting and requesting and some magic may happen!

I dare you!

Artfully yours

Jen

 

The Country Road Show – Part1

This is a totally unabashed plug for a fabulous event coming to Mildura. It is the 

 

Close To My Heart Country Road Show!

(applause…louder!!!)

We country folk live over 4 hours drive from the nearest capital city (Adelaide) and even more the capital of our own state (Melbourne). Often feel we miss out simply because there are awesome things going on in the cities that we just cannot get to. We may not have the time, the fuel money or family needs may come first, preventing us from attending some wonderful events. This is true of  many major events, but for the scrapbookers, stampers and cardmakers in Sunraysia it is particularly so as we rarely get the opportunity to go to workshop with well known and respected representatives of a company. So

I AM EXCITED!

The Sunraysia consultants from Jen’s Creative Hearts Team are very pleased to be hosting Close To My Heart Sr Executive Director Diane Lampert in town on Monday 21st October for a make and take fest!

Consultants Amy Langford, Myself and Diane Lampert at Creative Kickoff in Melbourne. We look forward to Diane Joining us in Mildura for a fabulous creative play session.

Consultants Amy Langford, myself and Diane Lampert at Creative Kickoff in Melbourne. We look forward to Diane joining us in Mildura for a fabulous creative play session.

I have absolutely no idea what she has in store for us but that doesn’t matter – I know it will be good because of all the noise and back chatter about how awesome events have been around other major centres! Everyone who has been to one of these events has great things to say about the product, the projects and the awesome business opportunity that is provided by Close To My Heart here in Australia.

There will be two sessions available for attendees, one at 2 pm and one at 7 pm. The session is $10 and attendees will go home with three make and take projects. In between sessions the venue, Sunraysia Masonic Centre, is available for those who wish to give themselves some ‘me’ time, or ‘play time’ to bring along their current projects and get some of them completed. Dig in for the day along with the consultant in attendance and get some projects done.

If you are from the Sunraysia and mallee region and are excited can you let me know? Pop in a comment below. I would love to have some feedback!

For more details and information complete the form below or jump on over to my Facebook Event page and book your ticket!  I would love to have you come along and join us on this awesome day!

Part 2 of this post will of course be…the report – with lots of photos!

You are special! Have a gathering and find out how special!

Have you ever balked at the idea of hosting a direct selling anything? Be honest….I have! Especially when most of the products are priced upward of $50. It is out of the reach of most people I know to buy up big and even harder if you are the consultant trying to help the host get her rewards when they need 2 bookings to qualify, As the host you fear there may not be any friends kind enough to support you to achieve your $350 plus 2 host bookings in order to gain anything from making the effort to invite people, make supper and try and have a fun time.

Close to My Heart IS DIFFERENT. You are special. We want you to feel special and successful! They make us as consultants feel special too. Your host rewards begin with sales of $200 allowing you $30 to spend. The next step is $50 to spend plus a half price item for just a $300 total in sales. It goes up from there and you can see just how much you can be rewarded by looking at the Host reward guide on page 2 of the product launch guide . When you do look, you will notice the dreaded number of bookings is not there ! No need to con a friend into hosting a party they do not really want! You can succeed without extracting a promise from a friend to book forward for you!

The other thing you will notice is how generous the rewards become as sales go up! You are treated with great generosity for gathering with CTMH!

You are also a person of privilege when you host a CTMH gathering. You have access to exclusive stamp sets, which is perfect if you paper craft, scrapbook or make cards. You can see the full range on the 3rd and 4th pages of the product launch guide – and please note the pricing. Imagine getting these for half their usual price with your host reward money! It certainly does make your reward dollars go further!

My favourite is Washi Wonder. I do not need hundreds of rolls of washi tape – I can stamp a large number of tape designs in 40 different colours and even more with specific stamping techniques!

washi wonder

Washi Wonder – my favourite of the host rewards!

HostessRewards-C1568 HostessRewards-B1434 HostessRewards-B1433 HostessRewards-D1558

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And there is more! As a gathering host you have the choice about what sort of gathering will suit you and your friends. I can accommodate you with a hands on scrapbook page, a card, or another project. Your friends won’t be sitting around listening to the consultant talk endlessly about the benfits, features and prices of a product and walk the catalogue – we get engaged and interact with the products. Hands On! We play with the products, explore the possibilities and have fun along the way!

If you prefer not to have anyone over, but wish to have a virtual or catalogue gathering and collect orders you can do this too! We have an EZ invite system that lets you take charge electronically inviting people to shop for your event! And the rewards are the same!

How easy it is to be rewarded and gain those favourite items at half price. I am betting every one of you who own a Cricut Cutting machine would be wanting to get that Cricut collection with your 50% off item credit!

One final note about the advantages of being a host – if you become a consultant – you get ALL THESE ADVANTAGES and you also get the consultant price on all the goodies you order! If you do not yet have a Cricut you can also get that at a very special low price too! That my friends makes being a consultant AWESOME for crafters like me.

I was hopeful CTMH would be a great company for us when we lost what was. I am stunned at how generous this company is with both Hosts and Consultants and invite you to contact me now to get your gathering orgainsed or your consultant kit ordered!

 

 

September Spring and Stamping! Let’s get Happy!

Spring is definitely in the air and our energy levels are on the up. What could be a better time to learn or further develop  a new skill and get our pages and cards made?

‘Good things will come if you believe’ Such a beautiful sentiment and you can stamp that onto all sorts of projects with this awesome stamp set.

My Acrylix stamps are Close To My Heart’s signature product and this offer is a great way to help you get started adding stamping to your artwork. ( Or perhaps you already have a collection going and it will add to your stash at an amazing price!)

Beautiful My Acrylix Stamp sets are the best on the market and add a whole new rang of diversity to pages, cards and other art projects.

Beautiful My Acrylix Stamp sets are the best on the market and add a whole new rang of diversity to pages, cards and other art projects.

September is national Stamping Month and to celebrate Close To My Heart has brought us a fantastic exclusive range of D size stamps ”You are my Happy”’which will most certainly bring out some of the happy in me!

Take a look at this video to see up close and personal the fabulous stamp set and its versatility!

These whimsical sets will compliment a whole host of scrapbook page layouts, cards, and gift making. I am really looking forward to mine arriving and will have them on show at my Play Days and Gatherings. Through September I am running Play Days (formerly known as workshops)  at Robinvale (Sept 7) , Wentworth (Sept 8)  and Mildura(Sept 22) .   Grab your tickets at Stickyticket on my Facebook page or contact via the form below to book your place. I will show you a number of stamping techniques and you will see this fabulous stamp set and what it can do for your artwork. All play days include a scrapbook page project, a card project and just maybe a little surprise 🙂

You can purchase this stamp set – over $60 worth for just $15! All you need to do is place a qualifying order with me ($75) and you will be entitled to having this fabulous stamp set!

You Are My Happy just $15 with every qualifying order of just $75

You Are My Happy just $15 with every qualifying order of just $75

 

There is also our REGULAR stamp of the month as well – the very versatile and popular Pinwheel motif – a great addition to fun celebration pages. With an order of $75 you can also get this stamp set for just $5!

The Versatile Pinwheel - yours for just $5 in this month's Stamp of the month program

The Versatile Pinwheel – yours for just $5 in this month’s Stamp of the month program

If you missed August’s Stamp of the month A Chocolate Affair

August SOTM A Chocolate Affair

August SOTM A Chocolate Affair

I have a sweet treat in store for the first two people to book gatherings with me. Host a Gathering in September, and you will not only get the usual host rewards, you will also receive this gorgeous stamp set free as a booking gift. Your gathering must be held in September in order to qualify for this gift. You do not need to live near me to host a gathering either – we can hold a virtual one! How awesome is that? The first two hosts booked are guaranteed to get this awesome stamp set! Be the first to book! Contact me below and let’s get you organised to have a happy time with your friends as we ignite your innate creativity!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 – they 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!

Stash Scrapping

Updated!!

So…we are Stash Scrapping our way though the fog and it has turned out to be a great deal of FUN!!

I would not have made paper flowers if not prompted by Virtual crop!

I would not have made paper flowers if not prompted by Virtual crop!

Through the inspiration of a team of leaders our Facebook Summer Virtual Crop (now with almost 2.500 members!) has morphed into a regular weekly Friday Fun night! I have created interesting flowers, made several different interpretations of a page sketch and ….yep…even done traditional pages which is something I have not done in a very long time. In fact, the call to Scrap my Stash has led me to some startling revelations!

I found my ‘Mexico’ album in a state of disarray! (I didn’t photograph it!) WOOPS…Yes I did – photos below!!   For all the years and all the pages of traditional scrapbooking I have done the Mexico album was the most difficult and unfortunately the most incomplete. *How shameful* It was incomplete after starting it about 10 years ago because most photos were on slides, and much of the content is hand written letters. I decided at the time to let technology catch up 😉 so I could digitize the slides. I have done that…but then I balked at the Memorabilia. All those tickets, postcards, and beautiful hand written letters from me to home and home to me. Those letters are not well dated, but if I were to take the time to read them they will guide me through the order of events of 1980 and include what was happening for me in Mexico as well as what was happening for family and friends at home. What a record!. In my mind it was only yesterday but also eons ago.

Page sketch using Vintage Chic Digital

Page sketch using Vintage Chic Digital

My interest in dragging it out of a cupboard initially came about because one of the family members contacted me through Facebook. I just had to go digging for photos of that family and rekindle the dream to go back and spend time with them again. Since then the whole family has connected and I have the offers of accommodation for a visit. meanwhile, the album and all the bits and pieces still sat on the shelf because I had discovered the delights of digital. Maybe I would not finish it traditionally….maybe I would convert it all to digital.

So…here I am in the midst of a Call to Scrap my Stash while waiting for our Leader Brian O’Callaghan and his team to finalise Plan B. The Mexico Album is mocking me, quietly, insistently, whispering to me ‘scrap me. scrap me’….I will have to give in! I have given in.

Digital MEXICO page that will end up in my traditional album!

Digital MEXICO page that will end up in my traditional album!

I have been hunting out stash to use – red papers, travel stickers, memorabilia pockets, mounting papers, putting the photos into Memory Manager ready to print, sorting and organising….and taking an incredible journey down memory lane while doing so. I have found a hand written letter to me from my little brother, and a little guy I used to babysit. Later in the year I will be attending his 40th birthday! He is going to get the gift of that letter back I think!

Digital still beckons – but there is time for page prints May 31…not much time, but time nonetheless), so my old album will reflect something of the new as I add digital pages into the traditional album. Why not? It has more of everything else besides photos (actually in short supply for this one) but has a very exciting story to tell. I am happy to hybrid scrap for now and use my stash!

We are still here and still scrapping - Come join us!

We are still here and still scrapping – Come join us!

They say something good comes from something bad, when one door closes, another opens. This is just life…but not as we know it. Being forced to think outside the square, being offered the inspiration from the sisterhood of consultants, and being a consultant who is driven to lead by example to my customers I am scrapping my stash and it includes Mexico. The only competition to this is my very desperate need to re-live my Red Wild and Wonderful 50th birthday by scrapping that album….so each time I sit to scrap these two albums will no doubt compete with each other for attention!

Celebrating the coming of age:) 50

Celebrating the coming of age:) 50

‘Stash Scrappin’ has me smiling! How about you? What have you found in your stash that you forgot you had, or had put far away on the back burner? Please post your comments below and tell us about the pages you are doing – and why!

Workshops: If you are local to Mildura, Robinvale. Broken Hill or the Riverland please contact me about stash scrapping workshops during June. For everyone, distance is no barrier – jump on in and join the Virtual Crop Friday Fun Night – you truly will be inspired!

Cheer – Jen

Added photos of the mess my album was in – pay attention to the box of stuff!!

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My Diary extracts – removed from the diary to make it easier to pack all those years ago. this will help with the journalling!

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top – the box, next postcards syill in yukky album covers. next documents, last a tour info book. Lot’s of memorabilia to deal with!

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Keep calm and scrap on…and on…

It is a fact our current economy is global. As we meander (or run) through each day we don’t stop to think about what would happen if the company that makes our favourite product ceased operation. We just assume it is there and always will be. We have faith in our relationship with it.

The reality is though, that at the simple click of a button, a pressure from outside which is out of our control and decisions that are made will always have the potential to send us tumbling like dominoes into a panic. Our human response to a crisis creates both good and bad behaviour. Some get angry and stay that way, some wander in the haze of the aftershock, confused and uncertain, while other’s snap into panic mode and enter into a frantic chaotic frenzy of one kind or another.

This is because we are human, we operate at some level on instinct and will do battle to save ourselves. Sometimes, unfortunately, that leads straight to greed and no care whatsoever for others. But this is not, for me at least, the norm.

The normal response to a crisis in my experience is to ask how I can help. Right here, right now – and worry about the why of it all later. We see this often in Australia. There is a house fire – the community rallies to support the family. There is a diagnosis of Cancer or other terminal illness and both the immediate and extended network of that person jumps right into action to support the patient and assist them to fight back. A nation that is struggling with financial distress, a population experiencing poverty and/or persecution, or a natural disaster such as those we have seen of late in Australia all illustrate the ‘action’ in the human response to crisis. ‘What can I do to help? ‘ is the iconic mateship we see in this country.

Of course it isn’t always like this. Unfortunately there is an opposite.

Some only care for themselves and point fingers of blame at a scapegoat and expect that entity to fix it. Some people pillage and loot, taking what they can for themselves. They find some way to take advantage of the crisis with callous disregard for the wellbeing of fellow human beings. Some just freeze, unable to get beyond shock, anger and fear for the future. I have little regard for the first of these and while I empathise with the latter.

I am a CAN DO girl. We may not have caused it, but we can certainly act in response to any crisis in a positive way. We are all capable of the more positive response to a crisis in any form and on a moral level that is what we ought to do.

By now you may be wondering why I am waffling on about this. In the last 48 hours I have faced a sudden crisis that for some is really devastating on an emotional or financial level.  I have witnessed all of the above human behaviours in varying degrees in response to it. ‘ It’ was not a flood. It was not a fire. It was not a war. Nonetheless, it is disempowering because it is caused by decisions and actions not in our control.

The company I represent when I go out into communities and run market stalls and workshops, Creative Memories Australia New Zealand, has gone into voluntary administration.

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It suffers economic illness that has the potential to be terminal. And the resounding response from those of us connected to it, I am pleased to say, is Keep calm and Scrap on. 

What is a voluntary administration?  Voluntary administration is an insolvency procedure where the directors of a financially troubled company or a secured creditor with a charge over most of the company’s assets appoint an external administrator called a ‘voluntary administrator’. The role of the voluntary administrator is to investigate the company’s affairs, to report to creditors and to recommend to creditors whether the company should enter into a deed of company arrangement, go into liquidation or be returned to the directors.  (ATSIC) 

What Happened?

In April, the parent company of Creative Memories AU NZ, Creative Memories USA entered into a bankruptcy state known as Chapter 11.

Chapter 11 is a chapter of the United States Bankruptcy Code, which permits reorganization under the bankruptcy laws of the United States.

Creative Memories USA is in financial crisis and downunder we were not expecting to become part of the solution for them. Last week, Creative Memories Australia New Zealand was put into the hands of an Administrator. Our parent company can no longer supply us with our primary goods. Its reorganization includes the cutting off of the Australian arm of its business and therefore our company is unable to function.

There is no choice. Economic surgery in is required. Voluntary Administration is not bankruptcy, but it is emergency economic surgery. This is our crisis. Employees, consultants at all levels, and customers are affected.

We can be angry and lash out, or respond with a lot of patience and hope that the surgeon (Administrator) can achieve the best outcomes for Creative Memories AU NZ to carry on.
Our company will no doubt look and feel different when it comes out of surgery.

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The leaders, who are 100% reliant on the success of the company for their livelihood, are in fight back mode. They are brainstorming, planning and seeking solutions. They are not responsible for decisions made by the administrator. They have to ride the waves. All that they worked hard for has been pulled from underneath them in the actioning of Chapter 11 in the USA.

The same can be said for Australian and New Zealand consultants at all levels. We were in the business of scrapbooking with Creative Memories for many reasons and we do not want to lose it. Similarly, the same can be said for our customers who have trusted the Consultants and the Company to deliver them top quality products and services. One other stakeholder, not to be forgotten, are the employees of the company – the pickers and packers in the warehouse, the technicians, the office girls, the trainers in the field and perhaps even the cleaners who all have families and need their job.

Australian’s are excellent at rallying in a crisis. I recall how much we admired Queensland’s Premier Blair at the time of the Queensland floods. She was calm, practical but caring, She prioritised, and called the people of the state and nation to action – and action she got. Our faith in human nature was boosted.

06_dreambig-7531Our crisis is not as ‘big’, not as pertinent to the future of our country, but it is important to us at a deeply personal level and it matters to the future of our families. We (consultants) need to act in positive ways, have some faith in the skills of the Administrator and those who are reimagining the future of the company, our leaders. We need to do as they ask us to help restructure the company to one that is economically viable so we can deliver on our statement of beliefs and restore faith in our customers.

What Now?

The majority of consultants have rallied already. It is fantastic to see.
Most of us, myself included will not sit back and wait for things to happen. Let’s face it, if we have had success in this business it is because we acted in a way to ‘make it happen’ using the tools, training and tenacity required. Our current situation is no different. Our tools are more limited at present, but our determination has already grown, our planned sharing of the mission has incredible new energy and we are fighting back any negative ‘self’ talk by staying positive and keeping calm.

108096We LOVE what we do. We believe in the power of scrapbooks and their role in the lives of people. One only needs to watch the end of the movie ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ or observe a child absorbed in a photo album, ( I recall just last week a consultant photogaphed her child who had fallen asleep with albums on his knee) or as it is in my case see the light in the eyes of my fragile and feeble mum who shares the storybook celebrating her 50 years of marriage I made her with everyone who comes through her door, to know that scrapbooking matters.

Nationwide (and further south in New Zealand) we are vowing to continue to deliver our message and support our customers to make priceless scrapbooks of their precious photos and memories. We believe in ourselves and our leaders. Our workshops are not only still on as scheduled many of us are adding more workshops for the interim while we wait for the company to recover from the crisis and be able to supply the goods we need.

Consultants are supporting each other to source products that have disappeared from the shelves in the warehouse in a frenzy of panic purchasing of our most precious product lines, the scrapbook pages and protectors and the signature tools.

Customers are rallying, supporting us by coming to workshops and even bringing in new customers in excited anticipation of what the future for their consultant might look like. By supporting us, they support their own commitment to personal scrapbooking as well as their consultant who inspires them. We thank you sincerely for your words of support and encouragement and your loyalty to our product and service.

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Consultants are being creative, finding ways to continue in this wonderful business, working for ourselves with all that direct selling offers us while we wait for what the company will evolve into. We are staying positive. We expect it might get a bit rocky (perhaps very rocky at times) but it is also very exciting to imagine the possibilities of the future for our company under the leadership of our business manager and Senior Directors.

What about my response? 

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Watch this space! More workshops, more ideas, lots of positive thinking, and lots of scrapbooking. This crisis is bringing out the best in us. Hope, journey, and fun. While we might not have all we want or think we need right now let’s make the most of what we do have.

For information about workshops, new scheduled events, ordering supplies and more please head to my website events list.  I anticipate my CM site will at some point become unavailable but in the mean time you can however go there now, browse currently available products, place an order and pay online, or message me with your order and I will endeavour to fill it. If postage is required you will need to include that cost.The next events of significance – Memoranza. May 18 Robinvale. May 19 Mildura. Bookings are essential so we can be sure you have all you need. Use the site link or email me. I already have the ‘goodies’, but the quantity is limited.

Meanwhile…dig through your stash, book into a workshop, follow me on facebook, twitter, or pinterest and most of all Keep calm and scrap on! 

 

stay-calm-stay-scrappy

Jen