Thursday, April 23, 2015
Spring is here at last (though Mother Nature has been playing games with us, giving us some more snow and cold weather).  If you're like me, you're craving the sunshine, warm temperatures and bright colours of the season.

We've been cooped up inside long enough, and sometimes, it's hard to feel creative when we're still suffering the winter blahs.  So how do you get your mojo back?

Here are 5 things I try when I'm feeling some creative block:

ONE:  CREATE WITH YOUR FAVOURITE COLOUR

Odds are, you have lots of stuff in that colour -- we tend to gravitate to our favourite colours whenever shopping and creating.  This will get your juices flowing and lift your spirits up.

TWO:  CHALLENGE YOURSELF TO USE AN EMBELLISHMENT OR TOOL

We often purchase embellishments just because we like them, or we buy them for a given project but then forget about them.  So go through your embellishment stash and pick out something that speaks to you.  Then create a project around that.

The same can apply to a tool that you have.  Maybe it's dry embossing or heat embossing.  Maybe you want to stitch with your sewing machine.  Maybe there's a stamp set you've been wanting to use.  Start with that tool, pull out papers and photos to go along and start creating.

THREE:  COPY!

Feeling the pressure of creating something original?  Don't.  Pull out a magazine, visit your favourite blog or Pinterest board, or look at something you made before.  Then recreate it.  It's a great way to get started and once you start cutting and gluing, you'll feel your creativity coming back.

FOUR:  USE YOUR SCRAPS

I have a huge box that I keep all my scraps in.  When I want to do a quick project, or just get warmed up for something bigger, I pull out these scraps and start playing.  It's amazing what you can create just by moving some pieces around and layering them in different ways.

FIVE:  CREATE WITH A FRIEND

Good friends bring good conversation and a relaxed atmosphere.  Set aside some time to get together with a crafty friend and create together.  You can share ideas, get ... and give ... advice on a project, and just have a good time.


No matter what you do, setting aside some time to be creative is important.  Forget the laundry for an evening.  Order take out instead of cooking.  Find a babysitter if you have to.  YOU are important and the best way to get your creative mojo back is to "just do it".

Friday, April 17, 2015
I'm lucky.  I really am.  I have a wonderful family.  I have good friends that support me, no matter what.  I have a job that I love and that allows me to be my true, authentic self -- creative and passionate.  It allows me to share and teach and be a resource to others.

Most of what I have in my life is thanks to Close to my Heart.

Last night, we had a Corporate event in Toronto, called Making Connections.  And nothing rings more true to me than that -- I have made so many meaningful connections over the last 10 years, thanks to CTMH.

At this event, I was given an award for Top Personal Sales.





This is a repeat win for me, but I am honoured and grateful, nonetheless.  It's hard getting to the top, but it's just as hard to stay there.  I would not have been able to achieve this level without my amazing friends and wonderful customers.  THANK YOU!

I also got to hang with a bunch of talented and terrific ladies from my team.  You ladies ROCK and I am grateful to have you on my team.


So today, I am counting my blessings.  I am lucky and I know it.  I work hard, too.  But it's easy to work hard when you love what you do.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Spring has sprung at last!  And just in time for our Cross Canada “April Showers Bring May Flowers” Blog Hop.  This month, we’re featuring anything spring-y – flowers, brighter colours, new products and so much more.  Hop along and feel the spring fever with the things my CTMH sisters and I have created. 

ABOUT THE HOP
·         This is a circular hop so you can start here and go all the way around.
·         If you came from my good friend Krista’s “Simply Creating” blog, then you are going in the right direction.  Or, if you’d like to start in the East and go from Coast to Coast, you can start with Michelle’s “My Creations” blog.  She also has a complete list, if you get lost along the way.

HERE'S MY PROJECT: Whimsy Paper Fundamentals Cards

When I think spring, I think bright and fresh colours.  The Whimsy colour palette is perfect for spring, and Canary (one of our newest colours) is my favourite – so bright and cheerful.  Our Paper Fundamentals pack has some amazing patterns in these colours, and I used scraps I had leftover from a card workshop – scraps are awesome for cards.

I just grabbed some papers and started playing – tilting, moving and layering the pieces.  It’s so amazing when a layout just sort of appears on its own, like it did with these cards.


I started with a “girly” version, pairing the Canary with Pixie and Thistle, and adding a little bling.


Then I did a second version, swapping the pinks for blues and using black enamel stars instead of sparkles.  Once you have one card done, it’s so easy to make more.  I could have played all day!



On both cards, I used sentiments from this month’s Stamp of the Month “A Typed Note”.  This has been a popular stamp, thanks to the fun vintage typewriter and pointing finger, but the sayings are great too -- even on their own!  You can get your fingers on this great stamp set for just $5 when you spend $50 or more (before shipping and taxes).

Now the hardest part – who will I send these cards to?

KEEP HOPPING & LEAVE COMMENTS, PLEASE!
Your next stop on this April Showers Bring May Flowers” Blog Hop is my other good friend Christine’s “Creative Life” blog.

Please take the time to leave comments on our posts, as we love to get feedback from our crafty readers ....whether it was something that you really liked or some new technique that was used that you would like to learn how to do....by leaving us comments, we get to hear what you like, and what you want to see.


Thanks for hopping along with us - we hope we were able to inspire you to get creative using some of the designs, paper and techniques seen along the way.  And come back next month when we’ll be sharing some great ideas using our fabulous range of How-To Books.

Monday, April 13, 2015
Welcome to our Team Brae-er’s April Blog Hop.  It’s spring time with a twist!  


We have launched our newest Seasonal Expressions booklet, which has some really awesome and fun new products.  But we don’t want to forget about our main Idea Book, Annual Inspirations!  So this hop features something from each book – some new stuff combined with some old (but still current) favourites.

Now, get ready for some amazing creative from my fellow CTMH consultants that you can make too!

ABOUT THE HOP
·         This is a circular hop so you can start here and go all the way around.
·         If you came from the uber talented Chris’s “Creative Life” blog, then you are going in the right direction.   Chris also has the complete blog list if you get lost along the way. 


HERE'S MY PROJECT: Jackson Reel Life Layout

I’m super excited because in just a few weeks, I’ll be joining some very amazing ladies at my semi annual weekend retreat and we’re going to be doing this layout as our class on Saturday morning.  



The “new” on this layout is the camp-tastic “Jackson” papers.  I love them – so rugged and rustic.  They would look awesome with black and white, or sepia photos!  

The “favourites” on this layout are the “Reel Life” stamp set and gold sequins.  OMG - I love sequins!  They add shimmer and shine without being too bling-y or girly.  

And the "Reel Life" stamp is so versatile!  I used this stamp set a lot in my son’s My Crush album.  It’s got so many things that you could use again and again for teens.  



KEEP HOPPING & LEAVE COMMENTS, PLEASE!
Your next stop on this GET IT BEFORE IT’S GONE Blog Hop is Jessica’s “Createby the Lake” blog.

Please take the time to leave comments on our posts, as we love to get feedback from our crafty readers ....whether it was something that you really liked or some new technique that was used that you would like to learn how to do....by leaving us comments, we get to hear what you like, and what you want to see.


Thanks for hopping along with us - we hope we were able to inspire you to get creative using some of the designs, paper and techniques seen along the way.  And come back next month when we’ll be sharing and showing off the fabulous promotion “A Taste of Summer”.

Thursday, March 26, 2015
This June, I will be celebrating my 10th anniversary as a Close to my Heart consultant.  It's a pretty huge milestone, and one that I'm quite proud of.  I've put in a lot of hours, effort and pieces of my heart into my business, but I can honestly say that I've gotten so much more back.

It's not just about the income.  Money helps, sure, and the money I've made as a CTMH consultant has not only paid for my own personal scrapbooking supplies, but it's also helped pay for my cleaning lady, my son's orthodontics, my Weight Watchers membership, and family vacations.  This past February, I was able to take my husband on a bucket-list vacation to Hawaii, because I EARNED the trip with CTMH.




It's not just about the accomplishments.  In 10 years, I have set a lot of goals and reached many of them.  I am a Top 3 Seller in Canada, I have reached the title of Director, and I have become a leader within CTMH consultant circles.  Whatever goals are important to you, there are many opportunities with CTMH to achieve them.



For me, the biggest thing I have gained from CTMH is family.  Community.  A place where I belong.  I knew I had met some great friends -- customers and consultants alike.  But the true testament to the love I receive from CTMH became evident this past year when I was battling cancer.  The support I received was amazing.  The friends that stood by my side with encouragement, strength and a casserole, restaurant gift card, jar of spaghetti sauce or baggie of waffles.  The people I hadn't met yet, but sent good thoughts and prayers to me anyways, just because they were CTMH sisters.  I discovered just how truly blessed I was ... and it was all because of CTMH.  Ten years ago, I would have been fighting my battle with much less support, much less strength.






With CTMH, I found the place where I belong.  It feeds my passions.  It allows me to work to my strengths and excel.  It gives me friendship, support and encouragement when I need it most.

Being a CTMH consultant isn't just a job.  It's home.

If you're looking for somewhere to belong, email me at justscrapit.ctmh@gmail.com.  Let's talk.  I just might know the place you're looking for.

Monday, March 23, 2015
This month's Stamp of the Month is so much fun.  I've made some cute cards using these great frames and sayings -- take a look!


With Spring in the air, I was inspired to create a rainbow with one of the borders in this stamp set.  Then I used the frame, White Daisy pigment ink and embossing powder on black paper to create a backdrop for the sentiment.

This little black frame then motivated me to do more embossing and create a "chalk board" look on this card ...


So sleek and simple.  Which then lead to ...


I love it when I can just play and play.

Do you want to "choose happy"?



All you have to do is spend $50 and you can get this fabulous stamp set for just $5!  It's only available in March, so get it before it's gone.  Email me at justscrapit.ctmh@gmail.com with your order today or shop online.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015
I'm a scrap hoarder.  I admit it.  Even the smallest scrap left over gets kept "just in case".  Are you the same way?  It's ok -- I know lots of people who are.  :)

I was working on some projects and here are the scraps I had leftover from the Confetti Wishes paper pack.


So what to do with these pretty scraps?
Make cards, of course.



Mini cards are so fun, so easy to make and such a great way to use your scraps.  Your kids can help -- get out the stamps and embellishments too for even more fun.  Then, they can send their cards to their friends, their grandparents, their cousins -- anyone who needs a little pick-me-up in the mail.



Or, you can save them for when the kids go back to school next week and send them as little notes in their lunch boxes.

Your mini cards can be any size you want -- I prefer to cut strips that are 3x6, which become 3x3 cards when folded down.  Even mini-er 2x2 cards are cute, or try something that's not square, like 2x3 or 3x5.  It's totally up to you!

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COPYRIGHT

If you are inspired and would like to scraplift any of my work for your PERSONAL use, go ahead. We can all learn from each other. However, if you post somewhere, please give credit where it is due. Please DO NOT use or copy my ideas for contests, publication or selling purposes. All images are protected under Canadian Copyright.

For CTMH products, including but not limited to papers, stamps and inks, are Designs Copyright CMTH Co.