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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Close To My Heart Convention, New Idea Book, New Products, and MORE!

Me, next to my 'star' at Convention. Close To My Heart had a star for every Director and above. It's details like this that make me know how much we are all valued as Close To My Heart Consultants
I have been a Close To My Heart Consultant for almost 20 years. It's crazy to think it's been that long. Time flies when you're having fun! But, out of all of the Conventions I've attended, the one last week in Dallas, TX was my all-time favorite. It might have had a little something to do with an amazing award I was given (The Spirit of Close To My Heart).  More on that later in the post under the "Awards Banquet" heading, but first I wanted to share all of the new information and products and more. 

Our theme was "The Stars Shine Bright" and shine they did!

New Idea Book
The new Idea Book will go live on my website on August 1st and it is jam-packed with over-the-top new products and artwork!  If you would like your own copy of the Idea Book, you are more than welcome to stop by for a free one.  If you'd like one mailed to you, just email me at
Autumn/Winter Idea my blog on August 1 for it to go live!

One of my favorite new products:
We have a brand new Cricut Collection called Artiste and it is, in my not-so-humble opinion, the best cartridge on the market today...for so many reasons!  I will share some of them with you in a flash. First I wanted to mention that I have had the opportunity to have this wonderful cartridge for about 2 months now (top secret stuff!) as I prepared for the class I taught at Convention. Is is possible to fall in love with a Cricut Cartridge?  Well, fall in love I did!  I'm over the moon! With 700 exclusive images, the cartridge features themed projects, interactive cards, awards, and more! From robots and spooks to wedding and Valentines, your cupcake liners, invitations, and party favors will coordinate and quickly come together for any celebration!
CTMH/Cricut Artiste Collection
  • Cutting and assembling the MANY 3-D items is a snap using the projects reference chart.
  • There is a separate step-by-step assembly book. 
  • Each key has items that work together. For instance, if there are things that work together, they are on the same key. If they layer with each other: same key. Get the idea?  
  • Many keys are themed for different things. For instance: wedding, birthday, space, etc.  Cool beans!
  • If you have your 'Real Dial Size' off, all layering pieces will automatically cut to fit the bottom image, without having to resize. More cool beans!
  • Many of our new stamp sets coordinate with this cartridge. As you go through the new Idea Book (which will go live here on my blog on August 1), you will see many sets that have images that are outlined in red. Those items coordinate with Cricut images. It will specify which cartridge (Artiste {the brand new one} or Art Philosophy). When you receive your stamp set, you will see that it also tells you what size to cut the image as well as which page to find it on in the instruction book.

When you purchase the CTMY/Cricut Artiste Collection, you’ll get:
1 - Cartridge (with 700 exclusive images including themed projects, cards, font, shapes, cupcake liners, accordion and rolled flowers, and TONS of 3-D boxes, purses, and other items)
3 - new D-Sized coordinating stamp sets
3 - sheets of coordinating chipboard shapes (with speech bubbles, a mini album, and lots of banner shapes)
1 - project reference guide
1 - step-by-step assemble book

Other New Products:
With over 60 new stamp sets, 8 new paper kits, 13 new Workshop on the Go kits, over 50 new accents, accessories and tools (from new stamp scrubbers, to organizational items, to bling and new chipboard home-decor items), 4 new Studio J Express Collections, a new publication with card and layout patterns, and even will just be brimming with excitement, just like I am! I'm tellin''s a treasure trove of goodies! I can hardly wait for you to see it!

Studio J
Lots of great Studio J improvements were announced, including no more Membership fees! Now everyone can have access to all of the layouts and kit without a membership*. The layouts are only $6.95 and there are TONS of great kits. There are also new fast and easy Expressions Collections where you can create an entire 10 layout (20 page) album in less than an hour with themes such as Year in Review,  All About Me, Little Miss, Little Man, School Days, and Travels! There are available now, so be sure to check them out here, on my website.

*If you already have a membership, you will get to participate in a special Members Bonus program. Be sure to check your email inbox for an email from CTMH explaining the details.
New Consultant Kit
You can now become a Close To My Heart consultant for as little as $49!  
"Essentials" New Consultant Kit: only $49!
"Are you kidding me?"  you ask. Nope! Its for real, dudette!   Check out the new consultant kit and sign up on my website today here. I'd love to have you join my award winning team!

Awards Banquet
I look forward to the Awards Banquet every year! CTMH goes all out with food, entertainment, gifts, and quality awards. This year was no exception.  We had a delicious dinner, were given an awesome western themed stamp set and were entertained  by the Texas Tenors (you may have seen them on America's Got Talent). Not only are these three talented (WOW!), they are stinkin' cute as well. I admit it, I hooted and hollered quite loudly! 
The Texas Tenors
My team (The Pacemakers) was awarded the #3 team in sales for a team of their size in the company this year. YAY TEAM! I am so proud of you all!

In addition to all of the sales, team building, recruiting, and website awards, Close To My Heart gives a special award each year to one consultant called "The Spirit of Close To My Heart". This tradition began 6 years ago.  It is the last award given at the Awards Banquet. This year I had several members of my team who were attending Convention for the first time.  I leaned over to many of them right before this award and said, "Hey you guys, pay attention to this. This is a big deal!"  Lo and behold, and embarrassingly enough, as they started the video I realized the award was being given to me this year.  I think it was the biggest shock of my life. To be nominated and chosen from thousands of consultants across the United States and Canada as someone who embodies what Close To My Heart is all about was humbling, to say the least.  Close To My Heart had surprised me not only with the award, but by flying in my hubby, and my daughter and granddaughter to be on stage with me as I received it. I don't know how my family kept this a secret from me the last few months.
Instead of telling you all about it, I suggest you check out my daughter's blog here for all the details. She posted the sweetest update on her blog about the award and the experience today.
Me, Kori and Daci after the Awards Ceremony. Yes, I cried all of my makeup off!
Dan-the-Man, Me, Daci and Kori after the Awards Banquet.

Art Classes (Extravaganza)
 Extravaganza is one of the highlights of Convention each year! Participants look forward to not only seeing art made with the new products, but receiving instruction and demonstration on new artistic techniques by attending eight classes, each of which covered one of our 8 new paper packs, a Cricut® Artiste feature, brand new products, and creative ideas.  I was honored to be chosen to teach one of these classes.  As exhausting as it is (you teach 8 times in one day!), it is so much fun! I taught from the new kit Avonlea and showed a fun emboss resist technique and shading using embossing, our spray pens and a sponge.  My hands and fingers were black when I was done! That's okay, inky fingers just means you've been having lots of fun!

Business Classes
We were also treated to numerous classes to help us in our businesses. They were wonderful and I came away refreshed, renewed and motivated to continue to grow my business with Close To My Heart. I love this company!

I had such fun with my dear friends and roomies, Michelle and Amy. I also  enjoyed every moment spent with so many of my CTMH friends. Even though EVERYTHING about Convention is always wonderful, I have to say that the friendships are my favorite part. I am so blessed to be part of a company like Close To My Heart that attracts that kind of people it does; kind and giving people who share my love of what we do! I'd love to have you join my team!
Me and three of my CTMH friends (Melissa, Kelly and Christine). These three ladies also taught Extravaganza.  We had such fun!

Well, that's probably enough wonderful information for you to process today.  Have a wonderful day!


Crafty Texan said...

Congratulations!!! I left a comment on your daughter's blog, but wanted to write it here too. Your love for your family comes through your posts! I come from a very loving family and know first hand what a blessing that is. I look forward to your "proud mom" posts as much as I do your art. :)

Laurel said...

Wow, way to go Karen!

Linda Tasset said...

I've only attended one convention in the six years I've been a consultant. Following your blog is a steady constant in my daily routine and CTMH could not have picked a more exemplary person for the Spirit award. It was a real treat to watch my favorite receive a well-deserved award. It was a pleasure meeting you and I will no long stalk! I will leave comments. :)

Pam Korn-Eigenheer said...
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Pam Korn-Eigenheer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pam Korn-Eigenheer said...

I can't think of anyone more deserving of this award! You are such an inspiration and are one of the most kind, talented, and warm-hearted people that I know. You are always happy to listen and help out a CTMH sister when needed. I wish I could have been there to see you get your special award. Congratulations Karen!

Tammy said...

Awesome Karen!!! Congrats!!!

fleurty scrapper....Linda Fleur said...

We were all thrilled that you were recognized with this very deserving award. Your light shines bright for all to see Karen!

cnelson said...

CONGRATS to you!! What an honor!! I was tearing up myself as I was reading it!!!

Amy said...

Karen - your daughters post was beautiful. You are a star and I am so happy for you that CTMH saw your Spirit. Love your pages for Extravaganza wish I would have went and seen you teach again. So happy that you had a amazing time at convention and am looking forward to seeing all of your beaufiul creations.

Nicole Norris said...

Karen I can't say enough how happy I am for you. I was so excited when I heard you were awarded the Spirit of CTMH award. Congrats!

Brenda said...

I can't tell you enough times how very happy I was for you to receive this award. I so enjoyed reading Kori's post and then combining it with yours. You have raised a beautiful family simply by being true to who you are! I was happy to meet Dan and Daci and to see Kori again. You are truly a blessed woman, and we are blessed by you!

Heather Stewart said...

Congratulations, Karen! Your story was so inspiring, and your family is so lovely. Is your husband a comedian? He was just hysterical! Although I haven't met you, you clearly are loved, and appreciated by so many. Keep inspiring! smiles...

Stampin n da Hood said...

Kori's post was wonderful !
I was soo sorry to miss this Convention and to see you win a well deserved award Karen, but know that I was glued to my laptop LITERALLY cheering and tearing for you!

Sherette* said...

I just wanted to pop in and say congratulations! I've followed your blog for quite some time, and it's no big mystery why you received such an award.

I also had the pleasure of meeting your daughter and granddaughter on our flight back home from convention. My daughter is still very young, but I'm striving to be the sort of parent that one day she too can look back at our time together as fondly as Kori does you.


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