Saturday, July 31, 2010

Something Splendid is here for August!

THANK YOU for joining me for
the August Stamp of the Month Blog Hop!
If you have just arrived here from Wanda's Blog then you are on the right path! (or you can start your "hop" right here and continue clicking on the links to go to the next blog and so on until you come full circle back to here)! My first card to share with you (above and below) is a 6x6 card design inspired by Wishes - Keep it Level (p. 107).

The sparkle you see on the flower is our Prisma Glitter that I "rubbed on" on top of glue that I added using the smaller-tipped Bonding Memories glue pen. To make the leaves, I first stamped them with sweet leaf ink on sweet leaf cardstock. Then I cut out each leaf and used a fine-mist spray bottle to wet the back-side of each leaf just a little bit (to soften the paper without making the ink run that much). I then wrinkled each leaf into a little wad of paper. Then I opened each little wad of paper and let them sit out to dry for a few minutes so the wrinkles set in (you could also use your heat tool to speed up the drying process). Finally, I used a sponge dauber and chocolate ink to "ink distress" the edges and wrinkles of each leaf.

My other cards (shown below) are my creations for the SOTM swap I host for my fellow consultant friends and team members each month! All of the cards I'm sharing today are made with the Cherry-O level 2 paper packet X7123B (colors are Chocolate, Colonial White, Crystal Blue, Sweet Leaf, and Tulip).
Card designs are inspired by Wishes - Left Eclipse (p. 64) and Wishes - Keyhole (p. 12)Circle card design is inspired by Wishes - Side Note (p. 127)

I hope I have inspired you all at least a little bit!
Now you can continue on the "hop" by visiting Shirley's Blog next!
Please enjoy the rest of the hop!

Convention 2010 highlights (July 8-10)!

This is the Gaylord National hotel in National Harbor near Washington DC where the Convention was held!
The hotel is along-side the Potomac River, so here is the beautiful evening view overlooking the water that we had - just breath-taking.
Our corporate staff sure did an amazing job entertaining and inspiring us. During one of the general sessions these ladies did the cutest "Scrappin' Ladies" version of the Beyonce "Single Ladies" song (and dance)! Check it out on you tube here! They had us laughing and smiling so hard there were happy tears even! Definately one of my favorite memories from the week!
They also did the funniest spoof of the Brady Bunch that you can check out here. Too hilarious!
This is me with my upline Mary Aragon (on the far right) as well as Mary's sideline Sharon Wade (left), and my sideline Jolene Colman (middle). We are anxiously awaiting being let in to the convention center for the first general session when many of the NEW products will be revealed!
This is my sweet new friend Kristin Yatso (one of my room-mates) with (left to right) Starr Nelson, Paula Cameranesi, and Denise Quinlan (Starr and Denise were also my room-mates). Starr, Paula, and Denise are also part of my downline consultant team - love you ladies - and I sure had fun with you!! I took this photo of them during Extravaganza - which is a jam-packed event taught by creative CTMH consultant leaders who share their artwork tips and technique ideas to help us learn to be even more creative!
Here I am pointing to one of the cards I created that was chosen to be featured on the consultant's artwork display wall (so neat to be picked - yaay)!
Can you spot my name listed above as one of the artwork wall contributors?!
Here I am again pointing to another one of my cards!
Here is another one of my cards (pink one in the center) that I found on the artwork wall!
Here I am with my friend Dawn Ross. Dawn and I have been in our Stamp of the Month swap together for many years and she is a fantastic artist. I was so excited to finally get to meet her in person and we had a great time visiting and getting to know each other even better.
This is me (and my friend Starr Nelson on the right) coming down the stairs to get in line to receive our NEW autumn/winter Idea Books - yipee!!
These are the same crowded stairs you just saw above without all the consultants coming down them. They were decorated by CTMH and say:
Picture This
We are Close to my Heart
Fly on the (wings) of creativity
A community built on (heart)
The (frame)-work for success
Soar like a (butterfly)
Wear the (crown) of your achievements
Isn't that beautiful? (I just LOVE that)!
I really liked the window decals too! We were told that all of the symbols we saw around us are meaningful to CTMH. The butterfly's represent our desire to fly by finding success in life, which may require many transformations (change and improvement allow us growth which is always good)! Just like a butterfly, we too can emerge from our caterpillar-like state to be even more beautiful!
Because I was there a few days early I got to see the crew putting up this really cool sign on the big windows located just above the stairs of the Convention center!
Here's that same sign seen from the top of the stairs. I love this photo of two fellow consultants who appear to be holding the frame with their hands - too cute! (the consultant in the pink on the right is my new friend Patricia Cosgrove that we met and got to know during dinner out one night)!
This is me with my friends Lisa Stenz and Starr Nelson at the closing banquet (can you tell I'd been crying like a baby? - my glasses are all smudged and I look like a wreck, lol). I always get so emotional by the end of Convention. I just had so much fun and feel so inspired, so motivated, and ready to conquer the world, lol!
After a very elegant fine dinner, we were entertained by Anita Renfroe while we enjoyed our desserts! If you've never heard Anita's very famous "The Mom Song" you need to check it out here on you tube. It's hilarious!! Her latest new version of Taylor Swift's (a more real) "Love Story" here is one of my favorites too! This was another time we laughed so hard we cried!
This famous artist painted a portrait of CTMH founder and CEO Jeanette Lynton with his hands in just under 5 minutes (as a surprise to Jeanette from the corporate staff)!
It was simply AMAZING to watch!
Monica Wihongi, CTMH's vice-president of training/events and consultant services, makes the big announcement!
Convention 2011 will be (drum roll please)...
in Anaheim, California at the newly renovated
Disneyland Hotel and Convention Center!!
July 14-16, 2011
(yaay for us! - so close to home!!)
I'd LOVE for you to become a consultant on my team so you can join me for next years fun!!
Farewell beautiful Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center, Washington DC! We had a grand time!!
I have come home feeling so re-newed and ready to be a better wife, mother, and CTMH consultant and team leader!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July 4-6: sight-seeing in Washington D.C.

We arrived just in time to see an amazing 4th of July fireworks show that first night. What an amazing view we had - I will always remember how fortunate I felt to be there!!
These are the sweet ladies (below), Betty and Theresa Werner, that picked us up from the airport and took us sight-seeing all over D.C. for 3 days! They are cousins of my good friend and consultant team member Starr Nelson and we so lucked out that they just happen to live about 10 minutes from the airport we flew into. Starr and I flew to D.C. together and it sure was nice to have a travel buddy that is so much fun (and she sure hooked us up with some amazing tour guides - what a bonus)! THANK YOU Betty and Theresa for giving so much of your time to make us feel so welcome there with you! Betty fed us a delicious home-cooked meal the first night we were there and then even had ice cold water bottles and homemade chocolate chip cookies ready for us in an ice chest throughout all our touring adventures (the heat and extreme humidity was hard for me to get used to, so the ice-cold water was such a blessing to have)!
Here is the famous Iwo Jima (Marine Corps War Memorial)! It is located right next to the Netherlands Carillion where we watched the fireworks from.
Here is my attempt at taking an "artsy" silhouette-type photo of the Iwo Jima (it really was much larger in person and more beautiful than I had expected).
Here is the Arlington National Cemetery (also right next to the park where we watched the fireworks from).
On day 2 we visited a few of the Smithsonian Institution museums. This photo was taken at the National Museum of Natural History. Of course we had to check out the dinosaurs, the hope diamond, and a really neat collection of all kinds of bones (the exhibit included skeletons of just about every living thing)!
We also visited the National Museum of American History and saw so many inspiring things there (like Abe Lincoln's top hat and the beautiful famous gowns the first ladies have worn)! The "Price of Freedom - Americans at War" display was also so touching that it had us all crying with appreciation for the amazing sacrifices so many have made. I think I was most in awe of the Star-Spangled Banner display though (the original flag that inpired the National Anthem). The enormous flag is so fragile now that it is preserved behind glass in a special "low-light" area and photography is not allowed. I bought a refridgerator magnet at the gift shop that includes a photo of the flag (since I couldn't take a photo myself, but also because I was so touched by it and want to always remember how awesome it felt to be able to see it in person)! The picture below is of the wall that stands in front of the exhibit. We also visited the National Air and Space Museum which was really neat, but my photos of that didn't turn out good enough to post.
Here we are in front of the White House on day 3 (left to right):
Paula, Starr, me, and Debbie. There were a lot of protests going on in Lafayette Square that day due to the arrival of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who met with President Obama that day, so all the protesters were quite interesting to see!
Did you know there are snippers on top of the White House?! Certainly I knew there would be high security, but I just hadn't fully realized we would also need snippers on the roof 24/7 to protect the president - wow! Also notice that the flag was at half-mast to honor the longest serving U.S. Senator, Robert Byrd from West Virginia, who had just passed away on June 28th.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial (wall) which is one of the most visited sites in Washington D.C. (we walked the entire length of the wall and were saddened to see sooo... many names).
The Lincoln Memorial was incredible and had us all crying like big babies again! I think you might be able to tell (by the redness on my face) how hot and exhausting it was to climb up all the tall stone steps to get there in middle of the afternoon, lol. One of the gardeners was spraying water up in the air with a hose and fortunately we got to walk through it a bit to cool off once we finished our hike back down the steps.
Here we are again facing the Lincoln Memorial with the Washington Monument showing behind us (left to right): Debbie, me, Paula, and Starr. That day we also saw (not pictured) the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Blair House, the Jefferson Memorial, the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the Supreme Court, the Capitol, Georgetown, the VP's House, the Hinkley Hilton, and the National Cathedral! Betty and Theresa drove us all over and dropped us off just long enough to take a quick photo at each site - it was exhausting but also so amazing to be able to see so much all in one day! Theresa called it the "quantity" not quality tour, lol, but I would definately rate it "top-quality!"
The World War II Memorial was beautiful too! I was surprised to see so many people sitting around the edge of the fountain with their feet in the water. I was thinking that some might consider this disrespectful to all the soldiers it memorialized, but since there were so many visitors doing it and I figured it would probably be my only chance ever to put my feet into this historic fountain we joined them! (I sure wish the photos of my feet that I thought would be so cool had turned out better so I could share those here too)! By this point in our tour (day 3) my feet were aching from all the miles we walked and I even had two blisters on my toes, ouch, what a memory!
That evening, Starr's cousin, our "tour guide" Theresa Werner (who is also a member of the Associated Press and a very talented swing dancer!), took us out for an amazing treat! She took us to eat dinner at the National Press Club where exclusive members-only (and their guests) can dine. The food was so yummy! There were so many photos on the walls of all the famous people who had visited and given speeches there. We even got to see the actual "Harry Truman Piano" that is famous because of a photo taken of him playing the piano for actress Lauren Bacall at the National Press Club in 1945 (it was rumored that this photo got him into big trouble with his wife who believed him to be somewhere else at the time, lol).
Finally, Paula, Starr, and I got to stand and speak from the podium that thousands of famous people and political activists have spoken from to promote their many good causes at the National Press Club. Too many influential people to count have stood in this very same spot - and I stood there too - so neat!!
(if only I didn't look so tired, lol)!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

8 NEW COLORS coming Sept 1st!

Hello everyone! I arrived home from the CTMH Convention on Sunday the 11th, and needless to say, I have been sleeping a lot and TRYing to recover ever since (the key word here is "try")! It was a whirlwind of a week for me, but definately worth it!! As exhausted as I still am, my mind is still swimming with all kinds of ideas and inspiration and it is hard for me to focus on all of the laundry I'm needing to catch up on, lol. I am so excited about all of the new products coming our way that it is very hard for me to keep quiet about it all and I feel like I am about to burst, lol. I know many of you die-hard CTMH fans were following along on Facebook and/or Twitter for new product news, so I guess some of the surprises are already "out of the bag", so to speak, and a few of you are already "in the know" a little bit.

I really am not supposed to reveal things from the NEW Idea Book so early, so for now, to help satisfy your hunger for news from me, and to help relieve me of some of my discomfort, I will just share one big thing that I think is really awesome! When the NEW Autumn/Winter Idea Book is released on September 1st we will be getting 8 NEW colors to add to our palette of coordinating inks, cardstocks, markers, and re-inkers! You can see all of our NEW colors in the photo above! As a result of these new additions, there are also 8 colors that will need to be retired. The colors that are soon to be discontinued include:

  • Bubblegum
  • Citrus Leaf
  • Clover Meadow
  • Hydrangea
  • Ocean
  • Orange
  • Star Spangled Blue
  • Watermelon

8 of the 12 Summer colors will be new so this is a big change! The 4 Summer colors that are staying include: Dutch Blue, Holiday Red, Sunny Yellow, and Topiary. Another reason I decided to go ahead and share this list with you so early is to give you all the earliest opportunity to order any re-inkers, markers, and/or cardstocks you may want/need to go with any of these ink pads listed above that you may already have as part of your collection. These 8 retiring colors will only continue to be available while supplies last (so you can't say I didn't warn you and give you plenty of time to get them while you can)!!

I am also going to go through all of my Convention photos and I will be posting a few of the best ones here on my blog for you, so you can see what a great time I had! I will post a few photos each day as I can find a little time to do so here and there throughout the rest of this week. So please stay tuned...there are definately more fun details about Convention and my trip to Washington D.C. to come!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

This weeks Heart 2 Heart challenge (#13) is to create and share something patriotic!! Oh how I wish I had more time this week to do that! As you may know I am busy packing and preparing for the annual Close to my Heart Convention in Washington D.C. next week. My plane leaves very early am on July 4th, so I am down to just 1.5 days left to enjoy my kids and finish all of my final preparations (yikes - I still have so much to do). I'm sorry I don't have something "new" to share but I hope you will still enjoy these patriotic creations that I made using the Blue Ribbon papers during the Summer of 2008! (Remember you can click on my photos to see them up close). Have a very happy and safe 4th of July!
Altered Canvas wall-hanging (below)
12x12 layout
standard size card
another standard size card

Thursday, July 1, 2010

More July SOTM artwork!

Congratulations to all of my fellow consultant friends who are a part of our Stamp of the Month swap with me! You all did a fabulous job getting creative with the Happy Forever stamp set and the Splendor papers/colors this month! Please enjoy all of these beautiful creations and be inspired! (If you want to see the items I made also to contribute to this swap then keep scrolling down and view the previous post - dated June 30th)!