Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Close to My Heart Album Retreat Recap

I am so fortunate to be associated with this company. Every once in a while, Close to My Heart offers an album retreat. Unlike their big annual convention, this is a smaller, intimate group (200 of your best friends as opposed to 2000), and we all come together to make some gorgeous pages designed by Close to My Heart. It's not about business, it's just about creating. This year was even better because Stacy Julian joined us (and you all know how much I love her--check her out here and here). So much good stuff was shared but you know what the key thing was that I remember Stacy saying? "Practice imperfection." It's okay to not be perfect. Take a deep breath and say that to yourself. Doesn't that feel good?

Another key thing shared, contrary to what most of us believe, every one of us is creative! Creativity is everything from a scrapbook layout, to a holiday centerpiece, to a beautifully prepared meal to a carefully organized cupboard. Stacy shared some creative prompts with us to help prompt our creativity and we put them in this darling container. (If you come to my retreat in April, you'll be making one of these complete with creative prompts too).

Prior to the retreat, I was in Chicago for work and hadn't had time to gather my pictures and journaling for the pages so I wrapped those up this last weekend. And it was fabulous fun to pick out the pictures I wanted and relive some memories while looking for them. Challenge yourself sometime to make a page or layout on a specific topic and then go looking for the pictures you need. It is so fun to blast through the past as you flip through your photos. Here are just a few of the 23 pages I made at the retreat.

This page evoked a few happy tears as I missed my grandparents.

This one was a fun reminder of why I love my husband so much. Do you know he made me the craziest love mix once? There wasn't a sappy love song on two CD's of music and it was the most perfect thing he could have given me.

 I had a blast with this one.

This one was a little uncomfortable--talking about yourself and why you feel beautiful? Not something we, as women, tend to do very well.

Anyway, I have learned a bit about myself over the last few weeks. Beginning with my attendance at the Artsy Weekend (blogged about here), to the CTMH Album Retreat, to finishing that album this past weekend, I have done a lot of creating. No real purpose, no real intention, other than just remembering why I love to paper craft. I am a happier person when I take time out just for me. I am more emotionally balanced, I feel better and my family sure likes me a lot more.

Close to My Heart is doing another retreat in the fall. You do have to be a consultant to attend but they have a great consultant sign up special in April. Check it out here.

And don't forget, if you're in need of a little creative me time, my ArtisticU Retreat is coming up April 18th to 20th. It is a perfect chance to get away and celebrate yourself. And I have some cute stuff planned for you. Register at ArtisticU.net. Or contact me with any questions. I am negotiable on payments if you can't pay it all at once. I just want you to come and have fun!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Photos of Me

I spent this last weekend at a fabulous Close to My Heart Retreat. We made many beautiful things and I had a fabulous time with friends (a post will be coming soon filling you all in). And I took a lot of pictures that I was actually in. I don't do that very often--get in the photo I mean. Numerous reasons why--I'm too focused on getting the picture to think about joining it, don't like what I'm wearing, having a bad hair day, feeling fat.... The excuses go on and on. The downside of this is that when I need a picture of me or am looking for a family shot with me in it, my options are limited. I know I need to get in those photos more. I just haven't been very proactive about it.

Tuesday was my daughter's 16th birthday. A day to be celebrated! My son snapped a photo of me with Kristina, a shot mostly of my back, not a very flattering one. And then he posted it on Facebook. The focus of the photo was Kristina, not me. The intention was to highlight his sister's birthday, not my back fat. Do you want to know what my reaction was? "Untag me in that photo now."

And then I took a deep breath and I realized this wasn't about me and I remembered reading this blog post.


The bottom line is that to fully appreciate the moment photographed, you needed to know I was there helping Kristina. Someday, someone may look at that photo and say, "I remember that day. Kristina didn't want to try on her new shirt and Mom made her and then she was trying to help her with her belt and Kristina was laughing..." And no one will say, "Doesn't Mom look fat?" At least I hope not. And if they do, well, then, they do. But I think they'll be glad to have the photo of me more so than not. Maybe?

Anyway, I'm trying to be less self-conscious. I'm trying to get in those photos more. And, oh yes, I am eating healthier so that maybe that next photo will be a little more flattering (I'm human, people!).

Don't forget, the perfect opportunity is coming up to scrap some photos of yourself (or others). ArtisticU is April 18th to 20th. Go to Artisticu.net for more info or to register.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day Everyone!

Or Happy Leprechaun Day as it is referred to in my house! Hope you're all wearing green and enjoying the day.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Luck o' the Irish

We LOVE St. Patrick's Day at our house. And here's a little Pinterest inspired St. Patty's day decor for my house this year. So much fun. Just used my scraps and got the tray at the dollar store.

My stamp club friends got to make these too. Yes, it's fun to be in my stamp club. Ask me about it sometime.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

ArtisticU--April 18th to April 20th, 2013

You’ve been asking for it and it’s finally time—time for a Scrapbook Retreat that is! You are invited to join us for two and a half days and two nights of creative fun at Artistic U!
Check in Thursday, April 18th at 4:00 pm and be prepared for non-stop scrapbooking/crafting/fun until check out on Saturday, April 20th at 4:00 pm.

What can you expect? Two nights lodging in a beautiful lodge in Heber, UT, fabulous meals, darling projects, fantastic giveaways, a Cricut demonstration that will take you to the next level, a gift bag of goodies, an Artistic U shirt that you will want to wear, and plenty of time to craft, laugh and have a fabulous time with friends, old and new. Oh, and I almost forgot about the hot tub and the theater room. If you need a break from crafting, you can take advantage of these!

So head on over to Artisticu.net to register, see photos of the venue and see a list of suggested items to bring. Registration is limited so don’t wait! We’ve tried extra hard to price this affordably and we promise it will be worth every penny of the $240 registration fee.

Can’t spend the night? We will be accepting a limited number of day timers. You can sign up to come up on Friday, Saturday or both days. You’ll get most of the goodies of the overnighters, you just have to leave by midnight on Friday and you’ll miss out on the complete retreat experience. So unless you have a once in a lifetime event you can’t miss, you are going to want to join us overnight. Cost will be $95 for one day, $170 for two.

Rooms will be assigned on a first come first served basis. That means the king sized beds will go first, then we’ll drop to queens, then hide-a-beds and then bunk beds. Three people to a room—exception are rooms with bunk beds. Each room has its own bathroom. If you’re coming with friends, register together so you can share a room and make sure to tell us who you are coming with so we can sit you together to craft!

Registration deadline is April 8th or when the spots are full, whichever comes first. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

An Artsy Weekend

I spent this last weekend at the beautiful Marci Welcker's Artsy Weekend. This retreat was so fabulous and absolutely what I needed. I've been missing that creative spark lately and I went to her retreat in the hopes of finding it again. Oh, did I find it.

Not that I wasn't intimidated. I walked into a room full of beautiful, creative, successful women. I didn't know a soul beyond Marci (who is one of the most beautiful souls I know). And as I sat down, feeling a little like the new girl at school, I started to wonder why I was here. But, I put on my big girl boots and started playing with mod podge (I have been pronoucing it modge podge for years and only corrected myself this weekend), and ribbon, and paper, and paint. I felt my insecurities coming to the surface as I looked around me at all the wonderful creativeness going on but I choked it back down, telling myself this was for me and it didn't matter as long as I was happy with the result. And then these women began to talk with me and share with me and laugh with me and I began to let go of the need for everything to be clean and simple and reproducible (when you teach classes you tend to want to make sure everyone can get the same result). And gradually, my insecurities left me and I felt my soul begin to flutter.

There are many creative people in this world. Not all of them are willing to share that though. I found myself in a room with 29 women who live to share, 29 women who reminded me that we all struggle, no matter whether we are a size 2 or a size 16, whether we can make a fabulous messy bow or just make a mess (that would be my bow). 29 women who reminded me that I can live my dreams, because they are. And so I came home from the weekend, revived and relaxed and with 29 new artsy friends. Thank you so much to Marci for putting together this fabulous retreat. I will be at the next one!

I wish I had more than this picture to share. But I forgot my camera. But I did take pictures of what I created this weekend. And since you can't see what the other 29 did (wink, wink--still working on those insecurities) you will of course be awed and amazed by my art! Because I kind of was amazed at what I came up with.

I didn't make this one--the lovely Tonya LeMone of Perennial Gardens did.
Dana Engemann taught this caged fairy class. I just couldn't bear to cage my fairy so she is free to come and go.

See, she's kind of a somber little fairy anyway so putting wire around her cage would have been too unkind.

My first attempt at an art journal!

A few of the inside pages of the art journal.

The back cover

My creative box--inspired by the pages of a 1950's children's storybook.
Tearing pages out of a storybook to create this box outraged my inner librarian but I told her to shush for the day.

Leather stamping--taught by the lovely Chrissy Gardner
 Thanks so much to Marci and her crew for a fabulous weekend. Here's to reigniting that creative spark in each of us!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


These I did myself :-). 
These were inspired by the lovely Adina Godin.

This month's pages feature the fantastic Claire. Love, love, love this paper. I didn't when I first saw it. But I sure do now. If you're not already coming to one of my Cherish Your Memories monthly workshops, you really should. It's an inexpensive, fun way to make some beautiful pages to preserve your memories. Typically, they are on the first Friday and Saturday of the month in Salt Lake City and Highland respectively, and then later in the month in Spanish Fork (dates vary). Just contact me to RSVP for one at least a week in advance (to make sure I have paper for you). Come every month if you'd like or just now and then. I'm pretty flexible and low pressure. Love to see you!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Crop Because You Care

I so meant to get this out right after the crop but life got in the way. Please forgive me dear ladies that have been watching for this.

Two Saturdays ago, I participated as a vendor in the annual Crop Because You Care to benefit the Epilepsy Association of Utah. I have been going to this for several years now and I love seeing the familiar faces each year and participating in a good cause. They do make it fun for everyone. 

If you want to support a good cause, a good cause backed by some of the hardest working volunteers out there, head on over to their website or their Facebook page (Crop Because You Care on Facebook). And if you want to be part of my promised drawing, leave a comment on this post.

I hope to see many of you there next year!