New Product Blog Hop

“Close To My Heart Holidays from the Heart blog hop.”

Hello and welcome to my first ever blog hop post. I am anxious and excited and nervous and I am just dipping my toes in offering you all something simple from the fabulous new range ‘Sparkle and Shine’in the new Holidays from the Heart Guide.

Before we get started, as this blog hop may well be an international affair please note links in this post are for Australian readers – if you wish to make a purchase of any of the products or browse the holiday guide for you please head to your nearest consultant in your country!

My this is awesome! Christmas is awesome and yes even though it is October it is time to start at least creating some cards ready to send out. I do not know about you but the number of Christmas cards I receive each year is declining – rapidly – so getting one is awesome. It is even better when the card has been hand crafted!Sparkle and Shine Card

Sparkle and Shine Christmas Card

Here is what I hope you will think is a nice little design using products by Close To My Heart.  My primary inspiration for the card came from playing with my Cricut machine and my Artbooking cartridge. I am in love with the overlays! This one with Christmas baubles is featured on page 75. I used the Shift image on the overlay key and cut it at 8 inches rather than the 11 that is recommended for full scrapbook pages. It has cut beautifully from Ruby cardstock.

Bauble overlay

Next I decided to add some dimension to this overlay. I will try for a close up image of this. I first used the darker shade of the Barn Red alcohol marker to add some definition lines to the right hand side of the dangling baubles including curves going under.  I then tried to sponge some red but tone on tone wasn’t working for me so I very lightly dabbed the right hand side of each bauble with a little slate ink.  I believe f you shade for dimension you also need to highlight. I have highlighted the baubles with a quick flick of the white chalk marker pen on the left hand side following the curves. Finally I added a little extra shine with a dash of liquid glass. I am sure next year when we have the full range of CTMH products i might use a little something else on this project. If you have access to a little extra sparkly bling to add to these baubles on the overlay go for it!close up overlay

The bauble shape for the sentiment is from Art Philosophy. I cut the shape directly to match the chipboard shape that came in this collection but you can also key the shape in from page 27 and have cricut cut it for you. The sentiment ‘Celebrate the season’comes from the stamp set in the lovely new Sparkle and Shine WOTG kit and was stamped using colonial white pigment ink onto the Ruby cardstock shape. I mounted this with 3D foam tape over the top of a piece of silver shimmer trim.

The card base is 8 1/2 inch x 8 inches, folded in half. At this size it fits nicely in a DL size envelope.  Onto this card I have mounted a piece of Sparkle and Shine B and T duo paper – the red striped side up.


All of these products are available in Australia but of special interest today are the Sparkle and Shine WOTG kit just out for you in the Warm Wishes from the Heart product guide. These seasonal products are available while stocks last and if you place an order for $130 or more, not only will you qualify for this months Scandanavian wishes Stamp of the month, you will also get to pick a starred item from the new product guide for free!  Talk to me or your local consultant today about these products and more!

Shopping list

WOTG pack Sparkle and Shine G1071

Cricut collections Art Booking Z1906 and Art PhilosophyZ1686

Slate exclusive inks stamp padZ2173

Colonial White pigment ink Z2168

Barn Red Alcohol marker set Z2428

Liquid glass Z679

Silver Shimmer Trim Z1799

Glue Pen Z553

Chalk Marker Z1767

3d Foam Tape Z1151

I hope you have enjoyed this project as much as I did making it. May you be inspired to add a little shadow and shine to baubles on your own cards this season!

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It explodes!

I have really enjoyed the freedom to be creative with my scrapbooking with many thanks to Close To My Heart products and How To Program books. I have taken ideas for this page from Magic – which is all about interactive pages and Reflections which came in the consultant kit. The following page makes use of techniques explained in Magic for slicing openings in the Memory Protectors so the pages truly can be interactive. I love the quality of these memory protectors!

Double page layout with a hidden tag and an explosion box

Double page layout with a hidden tag and an explosion box

As you can see there are two places for interactivity here. One is a little tag and the other is what is a variation of an explosion box. It has no lid, but it does open up

The tag gave me the opportunity to slip in the surprise photo – a second bottle of Moet! The photo didn’t quite fit on the layout about the wonderful presents I got so this was a good way to include it. I do have way too many photos to pick from and it is difficult to choose just a few. I hope i am not alone in this!

A second photo attached to a tag hidden behind the first

A second photo attached to a tag hidden behind the first

The right hand page is the really fun one – it looks like a gift on the page. When you unwind the string holding it closed you get a whole lot more – and plenty of journalling space too. There clearly was a story to tell here as I had 3 parcels to unwrap and two very eager nephews ensuring I got all the help I needed.


So let’s unwind this and take a peek inside!

An Introduction as the first gift was opened - yes there was an order :)

An Introduction as the first gift was opened – yes there was an order 🙂

A little more story as that flap is turned

A little more story as that flap is turned

The fully exploded box allowing 5 photos to the page where only one might have been

The fully exploded box allowing 5 photos to the page where only one might have been

So there you have the exploding gift. This was the easy bit – the tricky bit is getting the pages into Memory Protectors in such a way your reader can interact with them. The quality of CTMH Memory Protectors allows for a very precise cut and the strength in them means they won’t give way in a hurry. By following the instructions for piercing and slicing in Magic I have an excellent reult.  Here is how the pages look inserted into the sleeves.

All sleeved up

All sleeved up

I created the exploding box with a piece of 12 x 12 Ruby card stock. I scored it twice at 4 and 8 inches both horizontally and vertically then trimmed out the corners. Using my bone folder I made sure the folds were crisp. the photos were cut to fit at 3.5 inches square, as was the journalling card. Given the layout is bright red and uses For Always paper, plain white was too stark for the journaling. To bring it into line with the colours I sponged the edges and a little more with Desert Sand ink. This colour is present on the black and white prints giving them the look of antiquity so the Desert Sand worked well. The titles were cut with my Cricut machine and Artiste Cricut cartridge using CTMH Giltter paper.

Cricut Tip! I have learned that with glitter paper you need to have either a nice new blade, just for this job – and then keep it only for the glitter paper. Use a depth of 6 and after a few sheets you may find the need to cut 2-3 times before getting through – or replacing the blade. Fortunately I will not need to bling up each page I do as I would be hard pressed to keep up with blades. Cutting Glitter paper with the Cricut will be a sometimes thing for me!

The little red rose and yellow hat pins come in the For Always Workshop on the go kit.

If you would like any of these products please hop on over to my online store. You can order any time for direct delivery to you if you are in Australia. If you live in my region (Sunraysia and Malle) why not come along to a play day and learn how to make a page like this yourself or come along to one of my paper crafting nights. We can make and exploding box like this as a card, or even make one with a lid and several layers. (A truly exploding box!)  Contact me for more details about my classes

I would love your feedback on this and other pages I share with you. What would you like to see explored and shred here on the blog? Your comments are very welcome! I would love to hear from you.



The Display Tray is Awesome

I am thoroughly enjoying my Close To My Heart products and I earned the Designed Decor Display Tray with host credits while ordering. I have been waiting for just the right time to play and make it up and finally have done so. I would love to know what you think!

There are so many possibilities if we take the concept of popping a photo on top, and others way down in the 4 x 3 inch trays. I have seen some lovely designs by other consultants and the same idea is used. Use 3D tape to add dimension, position a ‘hero’ photo across sections of the tray. Many samples also have banners – i decided mine was busy enough without them.

I will do my best to describe how I achieved this finished product!

Disply Tray featuring Ever After WOTG, Glitter Paper and Host Only stamp set 'The Party Is On'.

Disply Tray featuring Ever After WOTG, Glitter Paper and Host Only stamp set ‘The Party Is On’.

I first selected some photos from the hundreds i have from this Big Bash. Then trimmed them to fit the 2.5 x 3.5 so they would fit in the spaces, all bar the primary photo which I trimmed to 4×4, and one photo is 4×4 with the fourth inch in the next tray. (the center photo). I then sorted out background papers and cut 3×4 mats from an assortment of my leftovers, focussing on the black and white print. I chose the Dark grey from the Black and grey Glitter paper and used the Artiste Cricut cartridge to cut the shapes of the 50, the scallop frame for the main photo and the base for the roses. I also cut some 3×4 mats in the same paper, including one inside the scallop frame to save paper. To get the frame the right size I simply created a 4×4 square in cricut craft room, positioned it over the scallop and enlarged to scallop frame until i was satisfied the photo would fit nicely.

Noe it was time to stamp. I could not quite decide what to use so i stamped all three of the titles from the ‘The Party Is On’ (exclusive and available only to gathering hosts) on white card stock. I used the daubers to colour the edges off and then played with the layout now I had my pieces. I had already cut and made the black rose and the purple leaf and they were sitting in my little collection of embellishments.

Here are some close ups of these elements.

Shapes made using glitter paper and the Art Philosophy  Cartridge,

Shapes made using glitter paper and the Art Philosophy Cartridge,

I loved this stamp set and since I had had a BIG BASH I had to take advantage of the host rewards program and get it.

I loved this stamp set and since I had had a BIG BASH I had to take advantage of the host rewards program and get it.

I also added a little black shimmer trim and some of the lovely bling from CTMH to finish it off. If I had the red shimmer trim i could have been tempted to put that where the black is – maybe i will when it arrives. I am very pleased with how it came together. There are some essential adhesives at work here. Glue dots have been used to put each piece in place as they are removable so if fancy takes me to change the display I can. I used 3d foam tape, Double up in places so there are very few flat sections – this piece is all about dynamic dimension, just as the party was!

If you would like to make a tray just like this one the one thing you will need to do is host a gathering to get hold of the ‘The Party is On’ stamp set. That bit is easy – we can do one online if I do not live anywhere near you! Just drop me an email or comment below and I will get in touch. The other items you can shop for online right now and go ahead and choose other stamps to compliment your project.

Shopping list:

Workshops on the go – For Always scrapbooking kit G1055 (Or grab the paper pack and the ever always assortment)

Designed Decor display try Z1750

3D foam tape Z1151 and Memory Book Glue Dots 1772

Cricut Collection – Art Philosophy Z1686

Glitter Paper black-Grey assortment Z1829

Exclusive Inks Black Z2105

Black Shimmer trim  and assorted gems

Host Only exclusive Stamp Set The Party Is On – viewable page 4 of the Product Launch Guide

How awesome would it be to get some of this free, and some half price? Did you know if you were to shop for just some of these products and your order reaches 475 you also qualify for Stamp of the month? More bonus! 

Host a gathering and you will be able to aim to achieve all these goodies! Imagine 50% off your cricut Art Philosophy Collection 🙂 We can organise an online or an in person gathering to suit whatever your passion is. Drop me a line and i will contact you as soon as possible.

While I am talking savings, have you given thought to being a CTMH Consultant yourself? Be your own host, share your shop online with your friends and reap the rewards of 22% discount AND all the hosting rewards on your orders. Email me now to find out more or visit my site to learn more about it.

One final thing – if you would like to see this project up close and personal take a look at my events calendar at facebook and come join in a Play Day in my area! Click on the events link. I would love to have you come along!

Cheers Jen


To Infinity and beyond…

Creative Kickoff . Launch time 9 am Friday August 16th, Enter stage left….Buzz Lightyear (aka Brian O’Callaghan) with a very important message for us – we CAN.

I do not know how others felt but I have left the launch of CTMH AU on a rocket of inspiration and it is all about what we CAN do! We CAN do so much as a family, as a team. I am experiencing incredible networking, forming new relationships, and seeing myself grow with the opportunities Close To My Heart has offered me.

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.

Before recounting standout moments I would like to thank my upline Sarah Shipton for her faith in me, my team Jen’s Creative Hearts for supporting me, and the wonderful leaders who made Creative Kickoff Rock, especially those who came from the USA.  You know those lovely ladies  Kristine Hansen Widtfeldt, Monica Zarate Wihongii, Sheena Searls, and even the gent  – Brian Holman, – are just as enthusiastic and genuine in their love of CTMH as a company and all the products as they show us in you tube videos! They were superstars who were accessible to all of us at Creative Kickoff, and with their humility, advice and creativity, they made us feel special. I can’t wait for the next opportunity to be in their company.

So…what sort of a conference/launch/play-date was this? It was business, it was playtime. A clear balance of 50/50 giving us the real life example of the need to balance the business side of being a CTMH consultant with our need to play, create consistently and enjoy life. This meant it was informative, inspiring and FUN! I must remember to do his in real life as we did not go home at the end of each day feeling totally overwhelmed or talked at, WE were engaged in the whole.




I was so excited!

I was so excited!


550 CTMH consultants ready to learn and to play

550 CTMH consultants ready to learn and to play

550 CTMH consultants have left the Hyatt feeling better informed, capable of making decisions about their business, and more skilled in page making, stamping and off the page projects. We learned about CTMH’s founder Jeanette Lynton, the story of Close To My Heart, the why of the business and were challenged to express our own goals and aspirations. We were informed of the processes of the incredible journey of the Brian to Brian phone call that got this company into Australia and up and running in six weeks. We got recognition for where we are at now. I was a very happy little manager along with many others getting recognition for embracing the career structure in CTMH.






And then there was Sticky Boy! Monica told this story with such fond and heart felt memories that I doubt any of us will ever forget it. I wasn’t lucky enough to find one, but one did manage to stamp his way to my scratch pad!

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

You can watch Sticky Boy in action right here! I love CTMH stamps and Sticky boy is now clearly part of the CTMH family culture. What a legend! I am going to pop this one right into my Crushbook alongside photos and journalling from this life changing event. When i say life changing I meant that with all my heart. I am now a committed stamping scrapper and team manager. There is a lovely joyful ride ahead and I intend to enjoy every minute of it! (Even if Sticky Boy never comes to live with me)

Now I did say we had as much playtime as we had business time. On day one we made 4 double page layouts and decorated one of our lovely home decor products the Hinged Display Tray . On Day two we made awesome birthday cards and a fabulous handmade journal with pieces made with the Artboking Cricut Collection. So we have all come home with lots of completed projects to show our teams and our customers. I am looking forward to putting the artwork I made (and more) on show very soon. While we were making all of these things we learned a lot about the product, the techniques, and our very own Chris Lothian also got on stage with her artwork and stamping tips. Yes, we came home with inky fingers, some of us had some work to finish off (well I did at least) but through the process we were shown that Close To My Heart really is Scrapbooking and Stamping – easier, simpler, faster! And because Krisitine and Monica showed us how, I am now equipped to show you how too.  I sincerely look forward to that, be it in person, or online! (it will take a lot of practice to get videos right!)




So as we said goodbye at Creative Kickoff we had much to take away with us – happy memories, a deeper understanding of the business venture we are all on, better understanding of our product and how to use it, and above all else a real sense that we are now not just welcome, but very much part of the Close To My Heart family, where EVERYONE is welcome!

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

Proud to wear the manager ribbon – it is real 🙂


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 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.

To infinity and beyond

To infinity and beyond













Can we in Australia? Yes we can!!

PS I wish the leaders in New Zealand all the very best with helping our NZ neighbours getting CTMH launched down there! it is excited and your long wait will be worth it.


Closer To My Heart

The countdown is on! 5 days to go! I am overwhelmed by the skills of the people who have implored us to scrap our stash and be patient – Plan B would come. I have heard one of them speak with true passion about finding a solution for those of us who are now all ex CM consultants in Australia. To suggest we are not excited would not be true – but I cannot speak for everyone – so I will speak for myself.

close to my heart buttonI am over the moon with JOY!

I can go into places I could not go with CM. I can still scrap classic scrapbook pages, I can still create digital ones – even easier now that we have Studio J © to use, AND I can stamp designs and use a Cricut and teach others how to do the same!!! I have seen the palettes and packs that coordinate to help tell a story, that make creating gorgeous gifts for those we love easy so I am really looking forward to working with this product, doing the projects and encouraging others.

I have changed the name of the blog to suit since this is not just about Digital Scrapping now – I have so much more to share. July 1 can’t come quick enough!

Why is it that Close To My Heart is closer to my heart? Because I believe we can all be creative. Anyone who claims they are not creative would be more accurate if they stated they do not have the time to nurture creativity in themselves by applying their knowledge, skills, talents and ability to learn to a craft. We were all kids once right?

Were we afraid then of a look, a criticism, a scoff at our creations? No…and for most of us we were well praised for our efforts (even if the grownup could not quite make out what it was!) Somewhere between childhood and now our pure joy in playing with creating got lost. It may have been a teacher who decided our attempt was not as good as another’s in class. An unthinking adult may have even asked us ‘What is that supposed to be?’ when we felt it was patently obvious it was a car, a house, a duck…so we started to feel insecure about our own innate desire to create. A demon voice grew, trying to convince us we can’t do creative, we can’t do art, we are not talented.

If you have a voice within you....

If you have a voice within you….

I was one of those people when it came to art. My yr 7 Art teacher told me I wasn’t ”creative”!  I would like him to look at my paintings, my scrapbooks, my quilts, my original designs and tell me now he was WRONG!

For many years any desire to explore art was gone. When I got married, stopped studying and started to look for something other than correction to do at home in the evening I bought myself some coloured pencils and intricate colouring pads…something in me wanted to create!  Actually, I have my mother and the growth of folk art as an industry for home made craft to thank for giving creativity back to me. There are tools, there are products to understand, and there are patterns and instructions. And there are instructors like me! If you can watch a demo, and have and learn how to use the right tools and equipment you can create! Anything is possible.

You know your human brain has a section specifically for creating. Those students who learn to develop something (a piece of writing, a speech, a project) from a range of sources using a number of skills are ‘creating’ not just regurgitating and this is the main aim of our education system. So, how did adults lose faith in themselves to be able to create? That art teacher, the judgmental peer,  or simply being so busy with other ‘more important’ things in daily life to have time to create would be the main perpetrators. It is time to get your creative back!

posters 3 - Page 006There are so many benefits to being creative. Take a moment to tell that little voice in your head that says you can’t do it to be quiet a minute and listen. You may not produce prize winning artwork, but you will switch on a piece of your brain that has been inactive for too long.  You will be able to tune out the noise of life (and the voice of the negative knocker who suffers from tall poppy syndrome) and become absorbed in something different. That will lead to less stress rather than more. Take a moment to pause and watch a knitter (Not our ex PM but just someone you know), a spinner, a weaver, a painter, a patchworker, a tinsmith (my dad is one of those and he turn out great pieces for restored stationary engines). What do you notice about their mood? Their demeanor? Unless something is not quite going right and causing them frustration, you will find they are generally relaxed, happy and even oblivious to the woes of th world around them. It is their escape, their time out.

You can choose to do simple projects or complex ones – depending on your skills, confidence and equipment available to you. You may also need coaching or mentoring – that is my job! Enroll in a class scrapbooking or card making workshop and give it a crack. There is nothing better than the feeling of achievement that you lost somewhere in your childhood and you will be overjoyed by the compliments you get when you share creative work that also tells a story, and includes photos and messages of love. Such an experience will also bring others closer to your heart and you to theirs.

With my coaching, Close To My Heart will enable you to achieve what you thought you could not- with product, workshops, hosted gatherings or even having a go at being a consultant yourself. All you need to do first is acknowledge you have been neglecting the creative piece of your brain and letting life and daily stress take over all your thinking. Then make a commitment to give that piece of your brain a little workout. You will finish up more relaxed and refreshed – AND likely to be praised or thanked for your efforts once again,

Go on…give it a try !

I am closer to my creative center when I am teaching people to connect with theirs. The journey I am about to embark on is closer to my heart when I see people producing artwork from their heart. Now I have the opportunity to move well beyond the scrapbook page so my creative buttons are all ready to go and I cannot wait to share the journey with you!

It all starts July 1!

For inquiries about hosting gatherings or business opportunities please drop me a line!


Jen –  Creative Classroom Coach with CTMH

Stash Scrapping brings Startling Revelations

I have already posted about the pending closure of Creative Memories Australia due to the  economic issues the parent company in America is facing. Our business manager and leading consultants have been busy keeping the CM family together through Facebook groups, the Virtual Crop, and emails. The final closure of the company we have loved and served is to close it’s doors on Monday June 9th. (Plan B will be announced Tuesday the 10th  and the excitement is mounting as we anticipate bigger and better)

The therapy for all of us who are consultants has come via the ‘Keep Calm and Scrap On’ campaign with the encouragement to ‘scrap your stash’. Engaging in  this has led me to a really interesting place, one I have not visited for a very long time and one that has helped me to look back on my past and laugh, and cry, and see a significant period of my life in a new light. Essentially, this is why I Scrapbook – it does enable me to celebrate and reflect on significant moments of my story – and more.

It is finally on the table again

It is finally on the table again

So in living memory, without delving into anything that is drawn from primary sources, I remember my Rotary Exchange year to Mexico with a great deal of fondness. I have happy memories of families – Comacho Junco, De La Pen~a, and Zavala who were my hosts and a particlarly emotional connection with the Lima Rizado family. In fact I communicate with the latter now on Facebook thanks to one of them looking for me. I had looked for them several times too! Who would have thought in 1980 that in 2012 we could communicate so easily all these years later!



hopefully still in date order....Yep pretty much!

hopefully still in date order….Yep pretty much!

Digging into my stash I came across my unfinished album of this fabulous year of my life. I have pondered why it was unfinished. Perhaps some of the memories were just too painful to bare, as I reconnect emotionally with so much. Perhaps it was the huge wad of letters and documents that both my mother and myself saved from that year. I have every letter written to me – and every letter I wrote home.  If I am to do do a good job of this photo album – traditional or digital –  I would need to dig into dates, times and places – and these are recorded in the letters. I knew I would have to read them. maybe that is why it has taken so long.

I also got a bit stuck considering layouts for pages. Mexico is not a country well reflected by our traditional scrapping supplies here and finding just the right paper or sticker has been an issue for me. However I have learned to make do – and have been focussed more on colour than sticker to this point in time. I had stopped at the folkloric dancing I saw in Fortin De las Flores. These pages had followed scrapped pages of 2 of the 3 homes I lived in. I clearly had reached an emotional point and packed it into a box. I have since been doing other things while the project sat in a cupboard and got carted through to or three house moves before it saw the light of day again on my craft table – years after it had been started.

What page and photos to do next?

What page and photos to do next?

In the last few nights I have pulled it out. I recently ordered prints of the slides I had digitised, and now I have kind of sorted photos. It was such a long time ago I could not necessarily place all photos in a specific place or timeline. Not that for this project timeline matters – but I got stumped after doing the pages on my dear third host family and the family of my Mexican Muchacho. I told myself to ‘Feel the pain and do

My 4th Family and the one I grew closest to.

My 4th Family and the one I grew closest to.

it anyway’. Once I got past the emotional response, I did those pages and came to another halt.




I ran out of pages, I had no memorabilia pockets and I had no idea what kind of order to put the photos into. With CM Australia about to close its doors getting this project finished would depend on the support of the CM family for the pages and pockets and encouragement to finish a traditional project. All I had to do was ask and magic happened!

I found the perfect paper - and upcycled a page from my old demonstration and teaching album

I found the perfect paper – and upcycled a page from my old demonstration and teaching album

My girlfriend and fellow consultant visited tonight with 3 memorabilia pages, and 3 sheets of scrapbook paper she thought might be good. One was simply perfect. In Cordoba Veracruz, La Jarocha is a traditional dance form and has with it a specific style of costume. A couple of my most favourite photos are of me wearing this costume and performing in a dance troupe with the dance school I attended. When in Mexico I needed something outside of school to do, I loved the dancing and I needed to exercise. Learning this kind of dancing was the answer – and my cultural life in Mexico benefited greatly from this. I really wanted to scrap this one particular photo. Armed with that perfect paper from old creative memories stock, and additional old size pages I found buried in a box that were from my Scrapbook techniques album in 2002, I was set…but I got stuck again. When was it taken? Where was I? Which performance was it?

Tonight I am very glad I kept every letter written. I have been reading them and can now place the photo on a timeline of events and use the letters to help create the necessary journalling. Photos alone cannot tell this story – I needed the information. While doing so I came across a lot of information I had quite clearly forgotton – the names of people, the importance of places, and was able to observe – as no doubt my parents did – some changes in my behaviour that may have raised an eyebrow or two! My poor mum and dad! My letters also had some very common phrases…’Sorry this letter is short but I am too busy…just a quick note to say,.. I really have now news….I am studying hard for exams (I hated zoo-ology!),  thanks for your cheque…can I have some money for… I love you muchisisimo xoxoxox’ .

My letters remind me of my own daughter who went to Japan on exchange, who was frantically was studying to pass basic Japanese, and had little time to write, who struggled emotionally at times, had some basic observations of the country and culture to report and such. She might well have been me…our letters and notes are so similar… sixteen!

Well…I got one page done…the rest of the time was spent reading through many of the letters and I was startled by the revelations the 16 year old me left for the 50 year old one!

Scrapping the stash not only makes use of what I have to make room for the new to come, it also gave me an opportunity to get back to work on a project that I think should be done.

Try stash scrapping – you will be surprised what you find!


PS I have already started the digital version and now realise I will have more text than photos when I am done! Plan B will hopefully provide me the opportunity to have the same lovely page prints I am accustomed to!

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

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

The Sisterhood

We have travelled awkwardly from Freaky Friday to Terrific Tuesday and we now can really hope for more!

I must admit, having faith in ‘administrators’ of a company I love and that (as far as I knew) was doing well economically was an extremely tough call. Especially when it was so sudden, so without warning, so devastating to 100’s of consultants and customers who had plans for their photos, parties and workshops.

What does it mean to be a scrapbooker?

What does it mean to be a scrapbooker?

My hesitation to stay rigidly hopeful came down to basic economic reasoning. A looming election and increased living costs aside, a business operates on demand and supply of a product or service. Until Freaky Friday we had a superb product and service to deliver to many who love and enjoy what we do. Our service as consultants, our lovely albums and embellishments, our signature tools, our software (my personal favourite) and our opportunities are the core ‘things’ we supply. The less tangible also matters (perhaps even more)  – our mission to ensure photos get out of boxes, off jump drives, phones, camera disks and computers and into beautiful albums to share. The Creative Memories brand is top of the range and our customers know and respect this.

With the parent company in America moving into Chapter 11 ( a course of action to deal with potential bankruptcy in America) and not being able to supply us here in Australia, in spite of ‘hope’ I was doing a mental battle over supply not meeting demand and what that would mean for us. This got worse when it became apparent the administrators in place had little care for the people that make Creative Memories Australia and New Zealand real, not just a cast of characters in a poorly performing play that can be closed down. Our top leaders were forced into a state of powerlessness and the administrator was (to me at least) not doing what they should – to work with us and help a company move forward and avoid the worst case scenarios. (I refuse to even label those)


To read the statements, click on the image and you will see a more readable view.

In spite of all this economic logic I could still hang on to one very intangible element of this business. We are committed to our mission. We are Independent Consultants (aka sole traders) so this IS our business. We believe what we do is extremely important and have a set of belief statements that reflect this. We believe it so much all we could do was stay positive, have faith that those who could would and meanwhile adopt a whole new strategy. Keep Calm and Scrap.

So…I did, sometimes with tears of sadness, sometimes with gratitude for the opportunities no matter the future, and sometimes with the determination that has been clearly evident in others to not let this be taken away from us!

Virtual Crop has become a regular daily feature of my life as the numbers of the Facebook group grow and scrappers all over Downunder take up the challenges and share their work and their praise for others. Regular emails from CM directors kept us up to date with what they knew, and advice on how to proceed. Consultants, including myself revised our calendars, contacted customers, spread the word of hope that our mission still mattered most and we would find a way.

I stayed strong on the outside, consoled the consultants in my team, and only really broke down once myself, grieving selfishly over the loss of long term outcomes from all the travelling I had done. Many in our CM family could potentially lose much much more as their hard work and success in the business has become their family income. that…taken away. No notice for them – no opportunity to find alternate income sources or take a redundancy – just nothing but hope that the administrator will be fair to the customers and consultants as well as other stakeholders. This wasn’t happening.


Today I…a reminder to be grateful and have hope

Clearly the power of sisterhood has prevailed. Communications have been rife since Freaky Friday and the outcome of that is astounding. Consultants share stories of supportive customers, consultants supporting each other, reminding each other to stay calm, and hope things will stabilise, and dare we even – yes we will – hope that at the end of it all we will come out better at the other end.

24 hours before Tremendous Tuesday a flurry of emails, faxes, and original documents passed through the internet and Australia post. The power of a vote was at hand. Our leading directors and business manager were arming themselves to do battle with the administrators and remind them this was OUR business they were dealing with. Armed with the right information, and the required votes Leading sisters and support crew were able to vote the administrator out and send them packing. You could pretty well hear the cheers and congratulations that went around in electronic form after the announcement was made. Our sisterhood had rallied, our leaders went in on our behalf and took control back.

Similar but different. You may remember Shepparton SPC workers rallying to save the company that had employed them for so long – taking cuts in pay, leave and personally investing in what for them was their life blood. I recall how adamant they and the town were that the company had to be saved. So…it is with extreme gratitude and humility I say a resounding Thank You to all those who told me to hold tight, believe in the mission, believe in our leadership team, and trust that we are in good hands and will still have a business to be a part of . Thank you CM sisters! Keep networked, stay informed, use suggested strategies and above all else tell yourself and everyone else to just Keep Calm and scrap.

scrapbooking is

Another scrapbooking is page…it is so much I cannot say it all on just one page!


Our future is still foggy, but ironically and in spite of this it is very clear that the waters are calm, the compass has been correctly positioned towards a positive outcome for all of us and we still have the demand for our products and service. Plan B to supply his exists, it now has the opportunity to become a reality and we have absolutely no reason to think that it won’t happen. So go ahead – scrap your stash while we wait the future to arrive.


The power of the voice of the sisters in CM AU and NZ has regained control of the management of the company. At the other end of all this we may not look the same, we may not feel the same, but the mission will be just as it is now. WE believe that photos and memories need to be safely preserved, stories need to be told and we want to be the ones to help others achieves this.

Scrapbooking is...

Scrapbooking is…

Terrific Tuesday heralds a new chapter – or perhaps a new book in the CM story in Australia and New Zealand.  I want to be there – will you? If you do then stay in touch – consultant or customer. Read your emails, go to your consultant’s events and show them your support, go to team meetings if you are a consultant -we gather strength and unity- and join appropriate groups on social media such as the Summer Virtual crop group (open to everyone) and above all else ENJOY your photos and memories as you scrap your stash in the short interlude between what was and what is to be.

Go scrap sisters and say a cheer or three for our leadership team in control of our ship!


Stay Scrappy!


I love this blog and the ideas in it. Clock pieces can be purchased from bigger craft stores. I am going to have to come up with a design of my own – I need a clock!

I have finally embarked on another project

Hello and welcome to my first Blog post!

It has been a while since I have posted on WordPress and things have changed a little but not so much I could not find my way around the Dashboard 🙂

So what is my purpose here and who are my audience? Why would you follow my posts and what can you expect?

I am a teacher and in this blog my focus is very much on my journey with Storybook Creator and Memory Manager by Creative Memories. The purpose is to support my digital customers but anyone, including my fellow consultants may well find what is posted here useful. There will be quick tips, stories, page shares, technique explanations, advice, and the opportunity to ask questions. I won’t necessarily answer everyone’s questions right away as my customers will get priority and of course I may do what many bloggers do and slip off the rails every now and then!

I will explore with you my experiences with Storybook Creator and Memory Manager as I work through my projects. I have no set plan or program for the order of ideas or levels of complexity being presented. use the tag cloud for easy access to what you are looking for.

Most of my daily activity is on Facebook so following and subscribing to my Facebook page or my Pinterest boards will keep you focussed on what is inspiring me.

I will (hopefully within the rules of Creative Memories) share with you our latest products and inspiration for orgainsing, storing, sorting, sharing, preserving and creating with your photos. While most of what will be written is about the digital experience there is sure to be some hybrid notes as well. (Hybrid includes the crossover of digital and traditional scrapbooking and paper crafts)

I love this business and will show you why. I want to share with you that opportunity too so if you are even just toying with the idea if working from home, being your own boss, saving money on your scrapbooking (digital OR traditional), making new friends  having fun while you work, and feeling great about yourself please don’t hesitate to contact me and ask the questions you have.

All constructive feedback is welcome. I won’t tolerate the nasties and the spammers. I am sure you will understand. Let’s get on with it. I hope you enjoy my work here. be sure to give me feedback so I am encouraged to keep going!