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!

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