Saturday, July 25, 2015

Convention Recap Part III

The second day of the CTMH Convention was just as fun. 

During free time, I went to visit the Art Gallery:

It was literally an eye candy!  Corporate displayed a lot of artwork that is going to be part of the new Annual Inspirations!  Like I've said before, seeing the item in person is different from seeing them in pictures.  We had already immersed ourselves in the Annual Inspiration the first day but seeing those pages, home d├ęcor items, cards themselves is an absolute treat to our eyes.  I heard a lot of oohs and aahs while visiting there.

One of my main goals of going to the Convention is to enjoy it to the fullest extent.  I wanted to participate in everything if possible so even though the internet at home was down the weekend before Convention, I was determined to complete the layout for the layout contest.  This is the layout I completed for the contest:

I used the Jackson paper and its picture my life kit for this layout.  Too bad I forgot to take a picture of it before inserting the interactive elements now it has a lot of glare over it.  Sorry about that.

This layout is truly a piece that is close to my heart.  Late last year me and my family went on a trip to northern Arizona.  We have been living in Arizona for a long time but have never visited those two places - Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.  We had a great time and told all our friends and relatives to go to these places afterwards. 

Horseshoe Bend is a scenic beauty.  The hike up to the "peak" was easy, even my two-year-old niece didn't have any problem with that.  But the height was quite daunting, considering that there was absolutely no railing.  Honestly I didn't dare to go too far out to the edge and seeing those photography fanatics setting up tripods at the cliff almost made me faint. 

Perhaps it's my love for my family, or the great memories we had at Horseshoe Bend, I knew I wanted to make my piece with the pictures taken at Horseshoe Bend.  (I'll also admit that the day we visited Antelope Canyon was extremely cold and most of the pictures I took were...........)  I gave almost the entire left side of the layout to a picture of Horseshoe Bend itself.  That picture was developed at 8" x 10".  To this date I am still amazed by how our mother nature has helped shape this wondrous beauty.  The right side of the layout has standard 4x6 pictures.  The top one is me and my parents while the bottom one is my brother and my sis-in-law.  Using the flip flaps I've added more pictures of us with Horseshoe Bend. 

I'll be honest I haven't never used Picture My Life cards prior to this one.  I used one of them as a journaling box and one as a "date, time, location" card.  I've used many other cards, believe it or not, but only parts of them.  I've fussy cut the motifs and used them as embellishments.  I love it!  They are coordinating with the paper and add so much more interest to the page.  I'm so going to be hooked up to these Picture My Life cards even though I'm not a pocket scrapbooker.

What I was very excited about the second day of Convention was the banquet.  We all got to dress up! 

The food was yum.  Disney did a great job! 

Brian and Monica were excellent:

There were a lot of awards presented and guess what?  My layout won the Layout Contest!  I was walking up the stage:

Together with other winning contestants:

When I got back to my seat I couldn't wait to open up my prize.  It's $100 worth of *new* products!
Like I've said, the banquet was beautiful.  The food was delish and the people I met were truly amazing.  We shared our common interest in paper crafting, we exchanged our experience in being part of Close to My Heart, and we learned from each other.  What more could I ask for a lovely evening?  Oh, to top it off I got to sit at the table where I could see the center of the stage without any blockage.  That was wonderful.
Thanks for reading along.  The last part of Convention Recap will be up soon!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Birthday fishes!

I've combined the stamps from the Lawn fawn Fintastic Friends and Party Animal.  By adding the birthday caps on the fish, they instantly become birthday fishes!  I also combined the sentiment "Happy Birthday" from Party Animal with "best fishes" from Fintastic Friends - like that pun that matches with the scene.

I was inspired by these cards made by Jennifer McGuire here. I like that she used balloons and birthday caps to give the fish a whole new look.  A pun using sentiments from those two sets was the last step.  They are birthday fishes, right?

My card was given to a friend who has a cat.  I asked her not to let her cat eat the cute birthday fishes!  LOL.

My card is entering the following challenges:
Retarte - anything goes
Through the Craft Room Door - anything goes
Card Mania - anything goes
Crafting from the Heart - anything goes
Use Your Stuff - anything goes
Crafty Cardmakers - water

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Crafting!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sharing my love for The Swapp Family

Last week when I was having lunch with my co-worker, I learned from many places that the second oldest child of Heidi Swapp, Cory, died unexpectedly.  I also saw that there are many kind folks at Persnickety and Becky Higgins LLC that are organizing card/letter drive for the Swapp family. 

"I'm going to send one to her," I told my co-worker.  She looked at me with a face full of puzzles and asked me why.  She also asked, "Do you know her?"  I paused for a while then thought to myself:  I do not know her, I have not even taken a class with her but I have watched her videos on YouTube and seen and used many of her products bought at craft store.  It's the "I know her but she doesn't know who I am" that kind of situation.

I explained that to my co-worker and I feel so compelled to make a card for her and her family.  That is perhaps a quality that we crafters, or cardmakers possess while others don't (or such quality is not fully expressed).  We care about others and we show that we care by sending something made from our heart.  My card alone is not going to bring her comfort, but I know for sure that when we crafters send her letters and cards she and her family will feel supported, loved, and cared.  Isn't that what we cardmakers want to do?  To show our love and care and support through a small piece of canvas made from our heart.

This is the card I made for the Swapp family:

It is an extremely clean and simple card - I simple cut the frame of wreaths using my Cricut and Artfully Sent Cartridge (image on p. 16 of handbook).  I used the Contour function to remove the word "hope" inside the frame and instead stamped "Thinking of You" in the center of it.  I lined it with some Olive cardstock and it's finished.

It is a standard A2 size card so I'll sending it to Persnickety Prints.  You can see the details here if you want to participate.  Alternatively you can send your card to Becky Higgins LLC and please read the details here.  If you'd like to donate money to a non-profit organization to raise awareness and prevention of teen suicide, please read the information here.

I hope you'll join me to send a card/letter to the Swapp family.  I hate making sympathy cards but they are the ones that are most in need and probably the ones that have the greatest impact to the receiver. 

My card is linking to:
Amusing - Anything Goes
Lil Patch of Crafty Friends - Anything Goes
The Paper Players - CAS featuring frames

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Studio J Flash Sale!

Studio J has a flash sale starting today and ends by the end of this month!  All layouts in Studio J are only $5 USD! If you have a lot of pictures waiting to be scrapped, try Studio J.  You'll finish beautiful layouts at no time.  What's better than trying it out while it's on sale?

Head over to the Studio J website and start playing around.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Convention Recap Part II

I'm still downloading the pictures I took on my phone and camera to my computer.  Even though I insisted that I should "see it with my own eyes" and resist the temptation of "taking a picture and admire it later" I have still taken far more pictures than I can handle within a short time.

My theory is that my eyes and brain work better than any camera out there.  What I see with my own eyes leaves a better impression than taking a picture, forgetting about it, then trying to remember what it is later.  That 0.1 second of seeing it with my own eyes does make a difference. 

I don't think anyone can take too many pictures, but I do want to start curating early on in the process.  It's not about quantity, but quality.  It's hard to resist the temptation in this digital age.

Let's dive into Day 1 of Convention.  Here we go:

We started with a general session:
It is the time where there are lots of skids and info about new products and trend and direction that Close to My Heart is undertaking.  It was my first time and I honestly didn't know what to expect.  It started at 9am and I arrived just a bit earlier than that.  The ballroom was already packed with excited consultants:
I really like the set up of the ballroom, and this is my favorite part:
The projection of the heart that says "Make it from your Heart" has captured my attention.  I loved it immediately when I first saw it.  Of course, it has attracted many other consultants so I couldn't get a better position to take a better picture of it.  But that's ok.  I've looked at it for a long time and it has become an imprint in my head.
Right after the first session we were given the new Annual Inspirations and a tote to carry our goodies.  It was then lunch time, but I seriously believe that we were fed by the eye candy in the new idea book rather than the food that was served.  :)
After lunch we had our first creative session:

Yay!  We got to play with some of the new goodies!  We played with some new paper (hint:  new TYPE of paper), and water and color (obvious enough?) ...........and of course our exclusive Convention stamp set.  Woohoo~

I was only able to finish one layout while the other project, which is a mini album, came home in its original package with me.  I'm still thinking whether I want to make an album as suggested or modified it.  Better yet, I'll make two (if not more!).

The creative session was absolutely fun but what followed, the business session, was just as engaging.  Two successful consultant shared the new business tools.  I really like that Corporate has provided handouts for us to follow and take notes on.  Many inspiring ideas are spinning in my head now.

Because it was my first Convention and I wanted to participate to the fullest extent, I had signed up to participate in the Creativity Showcase:

It is a session where all consultants are invited to bring their artwork to showcase during this two-hour period.  I brought with me 12 cards and a mini-album:

And another picture that includes yours truly:

All my cards were made with my beloved Blossom paper (which will be retiring soon.  Grab yours quickly!).  I followed the cutting guide from various cardmaking workshop on the go and made 12 clean and simple cards using the same paper.  I love the versatility of the Blossom paper!

As for my album, let me save it for another post because it will be photo-heavy.  For now I'll say that I made use of the sheet protectors and there are some interactive elements.

My neighbor at the Creativity Showcase, the very talented Joanne Coleman (you can find her here and here) made some awesome "one page wonder" and I'm going to look up how I can create those.  She mentioned that it is a confidence boost when people stop by your booth and give you the oohs and aahs.  She is so right about that.  I wasn't too confident about my work but let's think of it this way:  there's something I do that others didn't think of, and something that others do and I didn't think of.  It's this kind of activity that lets us share with others and help each other grow!  Thanks CTMH!

Even though there was a break before the Creativity Showcase for dinner but the night owl in me just couldn't do dinner that early.  After I've packed up from the Showcase, I met up with my friend and had some Japanese sushi.  Yum!  I like that my first day of Convention ended with some delicious Japanese sushi. :)

The Corporate has sent out guidelines as to what we can share about the info we learned at Convention.  I can't tell quite yet what new products are but I could share that the following colors in the Enchantment Collection are retiring:  Smokey Plum, Outdoor Denim, Indian Corn Blue, Ponderosa Pine, Olive, Autumn Terracotta and Barn Red.  You can see all the colors here.  If you see one of your favorite colors in the above list, stock up now!  The cardstock, ink pads and re-inkers will be gone soon.  Among these colors I love Outdoor Denim and Olive and yes I'm going to stock up on those.

It's a long post but I didn't feel that I've captured enough fun in here.  I'm going to download more pictures and enjoy my new idea book.  Happy Crafting!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Convention Recap Part I

I just got home from my first Close to My Heart Convention.  It feels good to be home.  I was just starting to unpack and I thought I would start a series of Convention Recap.

I'm going to first share a video I watched with many other consultants at the Convention several days ago.  It is an amazing video that speaks why we want to capture, celebrate and document our lives.


Monday, July 6, 2015

Be right back

It feels so good that I'm returning to blogging!

I hope those in the States had a wonderful July 4 weekend.

My July 4 weekend was quite adventurous.  My car broke down, I was called back to work, internet was out at home and my back was in pain.

I'm happy to report that these issues are all resolved (well, except that my back is still hurting) and I can continue to prepare for my *first* ever Close to My Heart Convention.

I'm very excited about the Convention and have been preparing swap cards for the last two weeks.  I've also prepared a mini-album to share with others.  I look forward to all the fun and creativity-filled activities later this week.

Please allow me to be away from blogging for a while, but I promise I'll share the happy moments when I return!

Happy Crafting!