Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Reason Number 31 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 31:  Today's reason is simple:  what have you got to lose by joining Close to My Heart?  Even if all you do with the kit is scrapbook with our gorgeous papers and stamp with our beautiful stamps, it's still a GREAT DEAL!  Click here to join today and get over $400 of products for just $99.

Here is a list of all 31 reasons that I've blogged about this month-it's really been fun to take time each day to think about why I love this company.  I hope you have enjoyed reading my reasons.

31:  What have you got to lose?
30:  Be the hostess as much as you want
29:  Work expos
28:  Improve your scrapbooking/cardmaking skill set
27:  Offering the Opportunity/chocolate cake
26:  Home for everyone here
25:  Studio J
24:  Constant Campaigns
23:  60 color palette
22:  Community
21:  Owning the innovation, Sharing the joy
20:  Crops
19:  Clubs
18:  Days off when you want them!
17:  Easy direct sales job in comparison to other direct sales jobs
16:  Bonus Packs
15:  Flexibility
14:  Teaching others
13:  Leadership
12:  Rewards
11:  My Acrylix stamp sets
10:  How To Books
9:  Creativity and Workshop on the Go
8:  Tax write offs
7:  Friends
6:  Discounts
5:  Scrapbook store at my fingertips
4:  Financial opportunity
3:  FREEDOM from your boss
2:  Training is FREE
1:  Support system

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Reason Number 30 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 30:  As a consultant, I have so many perks!  I hope you have been reading my blog all month to see those perks.  Today's is one of my favorites!  When I need to purchase supplies (or treat myself), I can be the hostess.  That means I earn hostess rewards on top of my consultant discount!  This special collection (left) with Caboodle papers and the matching stamp sets, My Stickease, and accessories, is a Hostess Rewards Plus item.  The whole collection is half price to hostesses!  And in January, that was ME!  My club ladies ordered enough that THREE of them earned $25 in free products, and I bought an extra ink for them to use at club with the left over $5.00.  Then, I chose to purchase this reward for myself to create some awesome pages.  

Close to My Heart encourages its consultants to be the hostess and earn rewards just like customers.  So in addition to the great discount I get on every order, I can also earn free products to build my supplies, treat my downline or customers, or for my inventory!  SO COOL!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Reason Number 29 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 29:  Last summer I was able to work the Close to My Heart booth in Somerset, NJ, with my fabulous team leader, Tina Sutton!  Close to My Heart allows consultants to show and sell our products at scrapbooking expos across the country, which many other direct-sales scrapbooking companies do not allow.  You can see the products behind us-a CRAZY amount of stamps, paper, embellishments, tools, and organizational items filled our booth.  We had so much fun at the expo-I really hadn't laughed that hard in  a long time!  From left to right, front to back:  Karen J., Tina S., Debbie G., Me, Kent (Tina's husband).  We set up the day before the expo started and then during the two days it was busy all day long.  Many consultants like to work expos and other large craft fairs because of the exposure to new customers and new downline.  It is hard work, but fun at the same time.  My favorite part was working the demo table-which is where we are standing.  There I had a certain product or technique I was demonstrating to the people walking by and hopefully drawing them into our booth.  When I demoed Liquid Glass, the booth sold out!  I also demoed a cupcake stamp set-sold out of that one too.  I go back to the expo this spring and can't wait!  

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Reason Number 28 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 28:  This is the second post today, so be sure to scroll down (I had a crop yesterday in North Jersey, too tired to post!).  

This is the left side of a layout I created about my son, Nate, using the blues in Caboodle.  I love this paper pack!  It can be girly, boyish, spring, and even sophisticated with some chocolate brown mixed in!  I started scrapbooking about 7 years ago, armed with construction paper, a glue stick, and random packs of stickers.  I had no idea about balancing a layout, photo techniques, or even that you should use archival safe products!  

In November 2007 I joined CTMH and discovered a whole new world!  CTMH is known for being the *Let me show you how* company.  We currently have FIVE how to books to offer designs and inspiration for scrapbook pages and cards, and those are what I use to make my scrapping *Faster*Simpler*Easier!  This layout is from one of the how to books, and I made it in no time at all.  My scrapbooking has come SO FAR since I discovered Close to My Heart!  That's today's reason!  Expand your creativity and grow your skill set by joining this amazing company that actually teaches you HOW TO scrapbook and stamp.

Reason Number 27 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 27:  Offering the opportunity to become a consultant is a great part of my job!  It is not something that Close to My Heart requires of me, but I require it of myself.  To me, I may just be the "right thing at the right time" that someone needs in her life.  Some consultants feel that they are being pushy when asking if someone wants to join the company, but I don't think of it that way.  If you came over to my house and I had a luscious chocolate cake sitting on my table and I offered you a piece, I wouldn't feel I was being pushy about it, just polite.  If you refused the cake, I wouldn't feel upset about this because maybe you just ate, maybe you don't like chocolate, or maybe you are watching what you eat. I don't take it personally when you don't want my cake.  But I feel happy to have offered it to you regardless.

Same thing with the opportunity to join this company.  It makes me happy to offer you a piece of this CTMH cake, and its up to you to accept, decline, or maybe have a piece later.  But I wanted to offer the cake anyway!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Reason Number 26 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 26:  I just watched a segment on Good Morning America about people who are job hunting and are being turned away because they are "overqualified".  How disheartening!  In this economy, people have lost jobs, can't find a similar one, and are being forced to accept the fact that they must look for a job that is beneath their qualifications.  Then they are told they are overqualified!  

My reason today for joining Close to My Heart is so simple.  There is a home in this company for everyone, all creativity levels, all business levels, all qualifications.  No one is turned away for just wanting a great discount on wonderful products, nor is the person who is ambitious and wants to build a business they can run from home.  You can start in CTMH as a hobbyist, grow into a business owner, and any and all levels in between.  CTMH grows and shrinks with you as your needs grow and shrink.  Car died and you need to start making car payments?  Step up your business.  Work load at your "real" job heavy this month?  Pull back a little.  You won't get fired here.  You don't have to interview in a suit that makes you sweat.  You don't have to look up all the buzz words and try to impress anyone.  We accept you just the way you are.  And we love you for it.  This company is a family of consultants, we are valued and listened to, and we support each other every single day.  No one is under-qualified or over-qualified.  There is simply a home for everyone.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Reason Number 25 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 25:  Close to My Heart has unveiled its newest adventure to consultants in the past few months-Studio J!  Consultants who attended Leadership last summer were able to play first, then those with shopping enhanced websites, then all consultants.  The BEST thing about CTMH is they ask us for our feedback, and **SHOCKER** they listen!  We had a bulletin board dedicated to posting questions, problems that popped up in the beta testing version, end results, etc.  Corp listens to us, and has been incorporating our suggestions into the program before it is released to customers this spring.

Now, I am NOT (as in, no way,no how!) a digital scrapper.  I like to touch my papers, my inks, my stamps, my photos, and yes, I smell my papers and stamps too!  I am not techno-savvy enough to use photoshop or whatever you use to digi-scrap, and I don't want to buy those programs either.  Plus, I really like how my pages look using CTMH how to books and papers, I don't want to scroll through thousands of buttons, buy one, and all that.  I don't like it.  

So, why is Studio J one of my reasons to join CTMH?  Because it's just like using your real CTMH how to books and papers!  It's extremely user friendly, and we've suggested even more ways to make it more so.  I can easily sit in the living room, scrap additional pages that match my classically scrapped pages, and order them when I want.  As a new consultant, you will also receive a great discount on your first ten Studio J layouts so they will only cost $8 each and you'll receive free shipping and free page protectors!  As a seasoned consultant, I get this too!  I have one more layout to create in Studio J and then I will be ordering up my first ten layouts at that special price!  It takes me about 15 minutes to create a two page Studio J layout-and much of that time is looking for the photos I want to use.  Another awesome reason to join this company, so what are you waiting for???

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Reason Number 24 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 24:  The question mark today represents a new special that has just come out into my hot little consultant hands!  I can't show you yet, it wouldn't be fair to tease you like that when you can't get it until April 15th!  But, as a consultant I ordered it already and it is waiting for me up in my craft room right now!  Hee hee!  It is beautiful, elegant, and FUN FUN FUN!  

Almost every month there is a new Constant Campaign from Close to My Heart that benefits customers, hostesses, consultants, or new consultants, or all four!  March's constant campaign Dare to Dream, benefits both new consultants by treating them to $100 in FREE extra stamp sets when they sign up, and also the recruiting consultants.  The recruiting consultant, called the upline, can also earn rewards from corporate by training their new team members and supporting them as they reach for Straight to the Top, our rewards program for newbies whose sales reach certain levels.  

Beginning in April, the new constant campaign will benefit customers with a fabulous new paper kit for an amazing price, consultants who are able to order it early, hostesses by allowing them to earn it for free with qualifying gatherings, and new consultants who will receive it for free in their kits (beginning in May).  AWESOME!!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Reason Number 23 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 23:  Close to My Heart has a palette of SIXTY exclusive colors that all paper packs and inks are based on.  What's so awesome about this is on every paper pack, the colors are LISTED so you can pull out your inks and card stock sheets and get busy.  Many of our colors are lighter/darker values of each other, so I know if a paper pack uses Blush, I can also incorporate Baby Pink and Hollyhock without worrying if the pinks clash.  They are all based on the same color, just lighter/darker values.  I can do the same with Heavenly Blue and Crystal Blue, Sweet Leaf and Olive, Honey and get the idea!  

If you go to a scrapbook store or craft store, you might choose a patterned piece of paper and then think you have a coordinating piece at home, or you might hold up the patterned piece to all the cardstock in the store, hoping that you can match it in the store lighting.  You know how this goes, you NEVER get it quite right, especially with hard colors like red or pink.  I find them impossible to match in the store!  But with CTMH, all the colors are designed to work together and are chosen by Jeanette Lynton and her team of artists for every paper pack.  It's so easy to scrap with CTMH and as a consultant I get first crack at the new colors coming out this summer!  Most likely four colors will be retired, and four new colors introduced (that's how it worked in 2008).  Then, we will receive new paper packs featuring these colors, card stock packs, inks, and markers all in the new colors!  SO EXCITED!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Reason Number 22 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

ctmh glimmer mist blogReason 22:  Second post today, please scroll down to read yesterday's reason!  My reason today is COMMUNITY!  This photo comes from a fellow consultant, Christine Adams, who blogged about making your own glimmer mist from CTMH products. She wrote about how to create this on her blog (click on her name to go to her blog, she is an amazing artist), and I have been thinking about using glimmer mist in my own projects and teaching my customers how to do it as well.  Close to My Heart has all levels of consultants, from hobbyists who only order for themselves to full on business owners who are not only in it for pleasure but make a LOT of money as well!  I can cruise our company bulletin boards for ideas, ask questions, view amazing artwork, share ideas and artwork recipes, and learn from those who have been in my position.

We have a strong sense of community in this company.  I feel like I know so many fellow consultants from chatting with them online, on the bulletin boards, and on our team yahoo group, and actually I have not met many of them in person yet!  CTMH convention is in July and I will get to meet them in person and I am so excited!  If YOU join CTMH this month, you not only get the $400+ in products but you can still sign up for convention (but hurry, not many seats left now).  JOIN THIS COMPANY!  It is truly the best!

Reason Number 21 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 21:  This badge says it all!  Close to My Heart has been in operation for nearly 26 years now, and Jeanette Lynton, CEO and founder of the company, holds several patents personally for the products she has designed.  That's where the "Owning the innovation" comes from.  CTMH is truly an innovative company.  They study what's on the market, what's trending, and what's coming up, and they have the facilities to add and subtract from the product line accordingly!  Our Idea Book is brand new THREE times a year, more than our competitors, and in each Idea Book there are over 100 new products....AMAZING!

The second part of the logo above, "Sharing the joy" is probably my favorite thing about being a consultant.  As a consultant, I SHARE CTMH with people, and teach them how to use our products and share ideas for using products.  Other companies demo products, you buy them, and you're on your own.  I am not a demonstrator, I am a scrapbooking CONSULTANT, which means you can consult me on how to use products, how to make fresh new layouts and cards, and how to step up your creativity.  I LOVE IT!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Reason Number 20 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 20:  This is my second post today, so please scroll down to see reason 19.  Reason 20 is CROPS!  I am leaving soon to go to an all day crop in Glassboro, NJ, where I will be a vendor for the ladies attending the crop.  I love this crop, I know many of these ladies now and enjoy spending the day with them.  I can take all my inventory, which is MY choice to have, and sell brand new products that are featured in the newest Idea Book, as well as older products that customers are still looking for.  CTMH allows consultants to carry inventory if they want to, although they recommend that you do not unless you are doing crops and expos.  We can buy brand new Idea Book items and sell them to our customers.  That's a BIG change from other companies-who only allow you to sell only retired items at crops, and some companies don't allow you to represent your business at scrapbooking expos.  I will be traveling to an expo in May that I'll blog about soon, and tell you what that's like.  Ina  word:  AWESOME.  But I will come backt to that.  

Reason Number 19 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 19:  I held two club sessions yesterday, and was outside with my kids the rest of the day.  As a consultant, I can hold clubs in addition to gatherings and workshops.  A club is a regular group of customers who come each month to learn a new layout and new techniques, and in return they usually place an order and get the class for free.  In my club, the NO RULES Scrapbooking Club, classes are $10, but are free with a $20+ order.  After $25, then you are in the hat for hostess rewards!

Why is this so awesome?  For my customers, it's a chance to get a layout done every month and keep up to date, as well as learn new techniques.  They also get the chance to earn FREE products!  For me, it's guaranteed sales every month, and it gives me a chance to connect with my customers in a deeper way than a gathering would, and I can see what they need to learn to make their scrapbooking Faster*Simpler*Easier*!  For example, this month we learned how to paper piece, two- and three- color stamping, blending images, water + ink = FUN, and heat emboss.  Heat embossing has been around for a long time, but many people have bought all the tools and ever used them.  It's quick and easy, and gives projects a fancy look that seems like it took hours to do (it takes about 2 minutes!).  I LOVE CLUB!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Reason Number 18 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 18:  Today is my birthday, so I took the day off.  And that is reason number 18!  You can take any days off that you want!  My daughter Maggie planned out my whole day with my mom and surprised me with a day at the beach (that turned into the playground, but no matter), a decorated dining room, flowers, two cakes, and a delightful dinner that she concocted with my mom and helped cook.  We had beer-can chicken, fresh mozzarella and tomato, asparagus, corn souffle, and fruit sticks.  The fruit sticks cracked me up because I am not really a fan of fruit-I only eat enough of it to avoid scurvy!  But SHE likes fruit on a stick, so there you go.  Had a great day!  back with more reasons tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Reason Number 17 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 17:  First of all, Happy St Patrick's Day!  Leprechauns were here in the night and left quite a mess for the kids to see~they loved it!

My reason today for joining Close to My Heart is one that came to me last night when I was enjoying myself at a Tastefully Simple party.  I was very impressed by the consultant, she worked really hard to make sure we all had a good time, she was full of energy and enthusiasm, and she really loves her job.  What does that have to do with CTMH?  I was struck by how much EASIER MY JOB IS compared to hers.  I watched the set up, because I was there early with one of the hostesses, and helped out a little, and the consultant never stopped moving.  She got all the samples set up, she buzzed around the living room making sure all her lap boards were full of the information, and because the new catalog started last week, she had a hard time knowing what was coming up next (just because new products were in there).  Plus, the lighting in the living room was pretty dim, and TS consultants read about their products from their cards.  She ran back and forth to the table behind her to the kitchen to the living room, describing the samples and adding her own recipes and tips as she went.

One of the things that she asked us was if we were interested in joining her team.  That's normal-consultants usually offer to answer questions about joining the company.  And I thought to myself-I could NEVER sell Tastefully Simple.  Or even Pampered Chef.  There is no way I could keep all the products straight, what you can do with them, how to change recipes to get some variety, and running back and forth between the kitchen, living room, and dining room would wipe me out!  And PC consultants have to cook in front of people! ACK!  Never!  

I know that different consultants do their parties differently, and how this consultant ran her parties worked for her. But I would never want to do it.  I also have a friend who sells TS, and I know the hostess kit costs them money.  I forget how much, but they have to buy them to give to the hostesses.  I don't like cooking very much in the privacy of my own home, much less in front of people expecting me to be able to come up with recipes off the top of my head!  The thought makes me so panicky!  

For me, selling Close to My Heart is incredibly easy!  I can do my parties so many different ways, and they actually cost me very little to do.  I set up the hostess with catalogs ahead of time, we decide on the type of project we're doing, and I show up with everything she needs to have a party.  Usually I bring lots of samples from cards to albums, and they are my own albums-nothing special needed.  I can choose to go through the catalog with everyone, or I can wing it and show people our fantastic paper kits and paper packs, how our stamps work, our 60-color palette, and then we PLAY!  We always make a project, either a card suitable for the season or holiday, or a one page layout.  I use materials from my stash or that I've bought for my club to use.  I don't have to show anything in particular, just what the hostess and I decide.  MY JOB IS SO EASY!  I don't have cards to read about our products, but I don't need cards.  I simply explain our philosophy of making scrapbooking Faster*Simpler*Easier* and we play.  I don't have to worry about making cutting mistakes in front of others because I cut all the paper at home before I go.  Our products are so easy to use, it's a cinch to demonstrate how to stamp in front of others.  I love my job!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Reason Number 16 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 16:  When you sign up to be a Close to My Heart consultant, you will be asked if you'd like to add on two different bonus packs, one geared specifically towards scrapbooking, one for card making.  There is no obligation to add these on, but it is a good deal on both kits if you choose to add them on.  

The pack currently available for scrapbooking is valued at $160, yet only costs $60!  It contains everything you see in the photo on the left, with the very groovy You Rock papers and coordinating inks, stamps, and accessories.
The pack currently available for card making is valued at over $150, and only costs $50!  Such a deal!  It contains everything in the photo on the left, with the gorgeous and versatile Topstitch paper, Wishes card making book, coordinating inks, stamps, and accessories.

Signing up as a CTMH consultant is such an amazing value.  If you were to purchase the kit, plus the two bonus packs, your total cost would be $209 plus shipping and tax.  This month you also receive the FOUR stamps of the month for free, another $100 in value.  You also receive from me a gift of an E-sized stamp set of your choice (or another how to book of your choice).  

So here's the rundown:  you'd receive:  TEN ink pads; SEVENTEEN stamp sets; FIVE paper packs plus one pack of white daisy cardstock; TWO how to books; FOUR acrylic blocks, TEN Idea Books (plus I will give you an additional ten if you need them free); TEN packs of accessories; TWO packs of My Stickease; a double scrubber and spritzer; Rub ons; bonding memories glue; and business starter items!  HOLY MACKERAL!!!!!!!  If you were to add up the cost of all of these products retail, it is over $500!!!  You would be paying LESS than HALF of the retail price!  That right there is amazing.  I don't know why you are not signing up right this second!  I will enable you right HERE!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Reason Number 15 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 15:  When you work for someone else, their needs and schedules come before yours.  You are expected to work your life around your someone else's needs, which can be very tough to do.

My birthday is this Thursday, and while I do not celebrate it in a big way, apparently my daughter has decided that we're going to have an all day celebration!  The thing is, my scrapbooking club generally meets on the third Thursday of each month, and this month it's on my birthday.

So that my daughter's heart is not crushed, I decided to reschedule my club ladies to another day that works for them and for me.  And that's reason 15:  FLEXIBILITY!  I don't need to tell my boss about this or think of lies to them a boss.  I am the boss!  My club ladies all understand, and we just move the day to something that works for all of us.  And that is so important to me.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Reason Number 14 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 14:  Teaching others how to scrapbook and stamp is one of my favorite things to do!  Yesterday at my team meeting we made a quick card using CTMH's You Rock paper, ink and water techniques, and heat embossed the sentiment on the front of the card.  Half of the ladies had never heat embossed before!  What was even more amazing was that they had bought all the materials to do it but never even opened the box!  

I taught public school for 14 years and the actual teaching was fun to me.  I could plan lessons on the spot and "wing it" when I needed to.  The motto of Close to My Heart is the "Let me show you how" company!  We don't just sell products, we teach you how to use them, how to get out of your artistic box, and how to take ideas further.  We pride ourselves on teaching others what we know, and that makes Close to My Heart so unique.  Other companies sell you their products and don't even wish you luck!  I know when my customers buy from me, I make sure they have everything they need to make their project, and I try to help them realize their ideas as well.  If you like to teach others what you know, Close to My Heart is the RIGHT company for you!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Reason Number 13 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 13:  This is my Team Leader, Tina Sutton.  She started with Close to My Heart 14 years ago when she was a kindergarten teacher, and soon began making money doing gatherings and workshops.  When she heard about convention, she wanted to go and see what it was all about.  Once there, she became very motivated by a very small thing that we do-RIBBONS!  CTMH awards ribbons for all sorts of things-your management title, your reward earnings, etc.  When Tina saw those ribbons, she wanted to earn as many as she could and so began her real business of CTMH.  You can just see her ribbons hanging from her necklace in the picture!  She generally has the most of everyone!  

I am determined to have the same sort of business that Tina has-thousands of consultants on my team, inspiring and motivating them to earn rewards, and having FUN FUN FUN!  Tina is a fabulous inspiration to me, as is my direct upline, Colleen.  I don't have a photo of her to post but she is also such an amazing leader!  My reason for joining CTMH in this post is:  Leadership.  I LOVE being a leader, being a part of a team, and feeling valued for my contributions.  It's a great feeling, one you can have too, by joining my team today!  

Friday, March 12, 2010

Reason Number 12 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 12:  In Close to My Heart, consultants are rewarded for hard work.  Each year there is at least one reward trip that we are working on earning.  I say earning because these trips are not won, there is no lottery system or anything, but every consultant has the opportunity to be rewarded with a trip beyond their wildest dreams!  Consultants this year just returned from a week long trip to the Western Caribbean, and several consultants also earned a second trip-to New Zealand!  Every consultant in the company can earn the trips-they are based on sales points, team points, event points, and recruiting points.  With steady, consistent work, anyone in this company can go on these reward trips!

On the trips, consultants are spoiled with free exclusive products, shirts, trip essentials, etc.  Once on the cruise ship, there are special events, treats in the rooms beyond what the cruise ship offers, and the best thing is your FRIENDS are there too!  Jeanette Lynton and the executive corporate staff also attend the reward trips-what a great bonus for them!  Plus, consultants are recognized for their achievements in our corporate newsletter, online, and of course they all share pictures on their blogs.

When I was a teacher, hard work was rewarded most often with ever more difficult students that we were ill prepared to teach.  Teachers who are chosen for Teacher of the Year awards actually then have a huge amount of paperwork to complete, are taken out of their classrooms to prepare more paperwork, which means they have to prepare lessons for substitutes, and maybe receive a plaque in the school.  I prefer the CRUISE!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Reason Number 11 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 11:  Our My Acrylix stamps are the leader in the clear stamp industry, making it Faster*Easier*Simpler* to stamp on your projects!  Close to My Heart started as DOTS, Dozens of Terrific Stamps, over 25 years ago by Jeanette Lynton.  When she expanded into scrapbooking papers and albums, and the stamps numbered well over the thousand mark, the name changed to Close to My Heart.  

Soon CTMH switched to a clear acrylic-polymer material for all their stamps, and the magic grew even stronger!  If you are a rubber stamp die-hard, you may have avoided clear stamps thinking that they could never give as clear an impression as rubber, and if you bought them at a craft store, you'd be right.  Those clear stamps you buy in the stores are not high quality, usually smell terrible, yellow quickly (If they're not already yellow from being in the store), and stamp poorly.  Why should you stamp with clear stamps if that's how terrible they are?  (By the way, I LOVE how My Acrylix stamps smell when first opened, I sniff every pack I get, and usually my customers' too!  The smell goes away, but it just is wonderful!)

BUT, if you have not yet tried Close to My Heart's My Acrylix stamps, you are missing out!  Our stamps are THE best in the industry!  We have images to suit any need you might have, our stamps are rich in detail and as well as IF NOT BETTER than rubber stamps!  I have never had an issue with stamping using My Acrylix stamps.  I can SEE where I am stamping, which opens up a whole new world of techniques, and makes my projects go faster with less work.  No Stampamajig needed in MY craft room!  

We also have thick clear acrylic blocks to use with our stamps, providing a firm base for stamping that gives a great image every time.  Those thin blocks you can buy in the craft store, well, you might as well flush that money down the toilet.  They're cheap, yes, but when they're cheap they're also MADE cheaply, which means your stamps will not work as well as when using a My Acrylix block.  

A quick story:  when I started scrapbooking and card making, I desperately wanted to stamp.  I just thought it was so cool.  I bought wood mounted stamps, and inks, and went to it.  Soon I was upset because I was a bad stamper.  I couldn't get good impressions, because I couldn't see where I was stamping, and quite frankly I didn't understand how that Stampamajig thing worked!  So I was spending money on more expensive wood mounted stamps, with the same results-poor images and I couldn't see.  I was wasting money on stamps, paper (using more when the image wasn't right or I messed up), and getting frustrated.  Enter Close to My Heart.  In my new consultant kit, I received several stamp sets, blocks, and ink pads.  I couldn't wait to get started!  I was successful on my first try, and each time I stamped I got better and better.  I almost gave up on this wonderful hobby that I really loved, because I couldn't stamp with wood mounted stamps.

Close to My Heart is the leader in the industry in so many ways!  What a wonderful day it was when I discovered this amazing company.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Reason Number 10 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 10:  This one goes together with reason number 9 (Creativity).  Our How To books are phenominal!  What I love most about Close to My Heart is that we are the "Let me show you how" company, and these books are vital tools that support that motto.

Currently we have FIVE How To books, Reflections, Cherish, and Imagine are the three scrapbooking layout books.  Originals and Wishes are card making books (Wishes is not pictured here).  If you've never used these books before, here's a brief overview of each.

Reflections:  One page layouts, coordinating layouts are listed with each, fantastic for introductory pages in albums, layouts using lots of photos or large photos, and a MUST on your shelf is you use CTMH's Level 1 kits, as all kit pages come from patterns found here.  When I put together a Level 1 kit, I always reach for Reflections to see what the corporate artists did and incorporate some of those techniques.

Cherish:  A fanstastic compliation of two page layouts that fit any number of photos on your pages, tips and tricks are also listed with layouts and further explained in the back of the book.

Imagine:  My favorite!  This is similar to Cherish but maybe because it came in my kit, I adore this book!  I reach for this one first every time.  All brand new two-page layouts in this one, different from Cherish, but awesome.  Tips and tricks also included again.

Originals:  Jeanette Lynton's first card making series was introduced as a volume set that you purchased one at a time and put into the binder.  In 2008 it was updated completely, and although the patterns are the same, the paper in the photos was updated, and the techniques were also updated, making it another must have on your shelf.

Wishes:  My favorite of the card making books for its stunning samples, and I use it for inspiration on cards AND layouts because the teachniques are just amazing.  This card making book differs greatly from Originals in that there are three card workshops presented in this one, so if you need to make a bunch of cards, Wishes has patterns for cutting bulk amounts of paper and assembling cards to make it Faster*Simpler*Easier!  So easy to use for consultants planning a card workshop (I've used it for three card workshops so far) and for customers wanting to make their own cards for friends and family, I highly recommend you buy this one NOW!

You can go here to buy any of these books right now, or receive in them in the new consultant bonus packs offered when you buy your kit.  They are AMAZING!

Our national convention is this July, and I am STOKED!  I think there will be a new layout How To book released for Fall 2010-I just have a feeling!  The last one released was Reflections, and that was in 2008-way too long ago!  I said yesterday in my post about WOTG that each guide has a brand new layout exclusive to the WOTG kit, so I know Jeanette Lynton has been busy creating new layouts for us!  I will of course keep you updated!  

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Reason Number 9 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 9:  I can go into a craft store and look at all the supplies and appreciate them for what they are, and not have a clue what to do with them!  That's why reason number 9 is CREATIVITY!  On my own, I'm lost.  Close to My Heart provides a number of resources for consultants to use instead of trying to design something new and fresh every month.  One of those is called Workshops on the Go, or WOTG.  WOTG is a program that we use for workshops, clubs, classes, and inspiration!  A WOTG contains a full level 2 paper pack, an instruction guide to make two two-page layouts (one of which is a brand new Jeanette Lynton pattern) or a set of 6 cards, an accessory pack, and an exclusive stamp set not available in the Idea Book, all for $29.95.  

As a consultant, I use the WOTG for inspiration for my monthly club meetings. I get to preview the WOTG online before they are released to us, and I can even buy them early and make all the pages and cards for display to show my ladies what's coming up.  I can buy just the WOTG guides and use the exclusive patterns for my club so that they have something fresh and new to work on.  There are so many talented consultants in CTMH that someone has always taken the WOTG layouts or cards and made them with a twist, and then they graciously post the results online in our artwork forum, another amazing source of inspiration!

As a business-oriented Close to My Heart Consultant, I am grateful for the WOTG for creative inspiration!  But hobbyists can benefit too, as even the most artistic of us get blocked sometimes, and CTMH offers so many resources for creativity!  I will blog about some of our other resources later this month, so keep coming back! 

Monday, March 8, 2010

Reason Number 8 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 8:  TAX WRITE OFFS!!  It's that most wonderful time of the year, when we visit our accountant and see what magic he can come up with this time.  Before I started my own business, we really did not have very many write offs, which as you know will make your tax bracket higher if you don't have many.  Last year, my first full year of being a home based business owner, was also our first time using an accountant in many years, but I knew he could do a better job than I could with the business deductions.

I won't go into too many details, but he pulverized our taxable income!  WHOO HOO! This is a good thing.  There are things I can write off that I never would've thought of myself, or wouldn't have known where to put them on the form.  It's a fabulous benefit of owning my own business and really, it's so much fun it doesn't feel like a business!  Take advantage of the opportunity!!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Reason Number 7 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 7:  FRIENDS!!!  This is a photo from 2008 Convention in Orlando, Florida, my roommates and me.  Twila, Trisha, Tammy, and Me!  The T's and I had a blast, but I hadn't met any of them before Orlando.  These ladies are all from Ohio, and when I decided to go to Convention, I put a post up on our team yahoo boards looking for a room, and Trisha (second from the left) got right back to me about it.  They are AWESOME and I am in touch with many of the people I met in Orlando, and from Calgary, where I attended another event last spring.  More on those events in another post!

I did not join CTMH looking for friends-I had friends and was pretty comfortable with that.  But a great side effect of selling amazing products and teaching others how to scrapbook and incorporate techniques is many of my customers became my friends, and of course my team members are my friends as well.  I have Close to My Heart friends all over the country and in Canada, and I know that if I were to travel to Washington State, there are consultants there that I could contact and ask travel and hotel questions, things to do, etc., and they would respond in force!  It's great to be a part of a community that rallies around you in any situation.  

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Reason Number 6 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 5:  DISCOUNTS!!!!!!!  Everyone loves a deal, right?  When you join Close to My Heart, you are guaranteed a discount every time you shop.  The base discount (also called commission when it's an order for someone else) is 22%.  So, if your order for your new goodies is $100, you pay only $78.  Good discount!  And it's on everything, not just selected items.  If your sales for the month are going up, so is your discount.  The more you sell (or buy) the more your discount grows.  It's a great perk that saves money or pays for three day shipping!  My discount (commission) is around 30% every month, based on my sales.  When I go to the big box stores with my 40% off coupon, I do save 40% off that ONE item that coordinates with nothing in my stash and will probably never be used.  So did I save money then or did I talk myself into using the coupon because I had a coupon?  You know which one it is!

Close to My Heart products are designed to work together, the colors work together (more on that in another post), and the papers work together.  This means I can use papers bought for one layout or set of photos for other layouts, cards, or projects.  I USE much more of my stash than I ever did when I was buying from the stores.  This means I feel much less guilty!  If you don't have an Idea Book to see what I mean, please email me and I will send you one stat!  

Friday, March 5, 2010

Reason Number 5 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 5:  A scrapbook store at my fingertips!!!  I, like you, have a life.  And sometimes that life interferes with my scrapbooking!  For example, if it's snowing, the kids are sick or tired, it's raining, or I just don't feel like getting out of my pajamas, I can still shop anytime I want and I always get a discount!

The Close to My Heart Idea Book is released three times a year, two times MORE OFTEN than our competitors.  In the scrapbooking aisles of the stores near me, the products there change very little over the course of time.  The paper is exactly the same as it's been for the last couple of years.  In my local scrapbooking store (which is like the rarest of exotic animals, this store, as so many go out of business!) they change the products much more often, but to me it's confusing to buy paper there.  Patterned paper is on one wall, and cardstock is in another place, stickers are random and don't coordinate with the paper and colrs...the list goes on!  I enjoy going to these places, but usually only to look and say, CTMH has better!

Tomorrow I am going to talk more about the discount I mentioned earlier, because that is great fun!  I can shop CTMH any time I want, and that's worth being a consultant right there!  Can you shop with me as a customer at any time?  Of course!  But YOU won't get the discount I am getting, so join my team and you can have it too!  

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Reason Number 4 of the 31 reasons to join CTMH

Reason 4:  Financial Opportunity!!!  There is a reason why so many people sign up to sell something from home, and it's this picture:  MONEY.  At a regular J-O-B, your salary or paycheck is directly dependent on someone else.  When I was teaching, my salary was voted upon by a group of board members who didn't even know who I was, and then further decided upon by a group of union members who first decided how much money they wanted, and then split up the rest.  You can see how dependent this is on other people.  

I decided that I had had enough of other people deciding how much I would be paid.  I wanted financial freedom!  As a Close to My Heart consultant, I have the opportunity to earn $500 a month, $1000 a month, $5000 a month, or even more!  Yes, it's really possible!  I can do this in a couple of ways.  Every sale I make, I earn commission on.  The higher my sales, the higher my commission.  It's awesome!  The other way I can make money is to train a team of consultants to be the best they can be as well-and CTMH rewards me with leadership commissions on their sales.  My team members don't pay me, but CTMH does.  This means the more team members I have, the more financial opportunities I have as well.  And anyone who joins as a consultant can become a team leader.  You don't pay anything for this, you just extend the invitation to join to others and help them on their own journeys.  I am really looking forward to the day when some of my team members build large teams of their own and see how much fun it is!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Reason Number 3 of the 31 Reasons to join CTMH

Reason 3:  FREEDOM!!!!!  When you own your own Close to My Heart business, you have the freedom to be your own boss, work your own schedule, make as much money as you want to work for, run your own creative events, and so much more!  

Have you ever had a boss that seemed to be like the Wicked Witch of the West?  Have you ever thought that YOU'D make a better boss than your current boss?  Well, what are you waiting for?  BE YOUR OWN BOSS!!!  Give yourself the freedom to run your life and stop answering to someone else who doesn't have your values, your issues, your concerns!  Your partner will be on board with you if you take it seriously.  I can tell you plenty of stories about consultants whose husbands were annoyed by the large white CTMH boxes that kept arriving on the doorstep until tax time-when they heard the numbers their wives were bringing in!  It's AWESOME!!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Reason Number 2 of the 31 Reasons to join CTMH

Reason Number 2:  All training in Close to My Heart is provided for free!  I have my PhD in Close to My Heart!  I even have a beautiful pin to wear that CTMH sent to me upon completing the Training Academy.  I can go online and review classes, or take new continuing education courses as they become available.  CTMH created courses led by outstanding consultants in creative, business, management, and personal growth.  For new consultants, training is essential so you are not "reinventing the wheel" in everything you do.  All of us have been the newbie at one point, and we are happy to share our mistakes and successes so that YOU have success!  

Training is also provided in the form of free conference calls, held monthly company wide and weekly in my team.  These calls cover everything from what to expect at convention to how to hold a workshop to basic stamping techniques.  Calls are recorded so if you can't listen live, you can download the call and listen at your leisure-or while you fold the laundry like I do!  CTMH sends all new consultants a weekly training email for the first six weeks so you have an outline of what to do if you are starting this as your business.  I also provide as much training as you like-if you want weekly calls, I'm here for you.  I hold meetings (monthly or every other month) for team members who like to get together and share ideas, eat, and have FUN!  You are not alone in CTMH!  

March Stamp of the Month: A Little Everything

Awesome cards this month from my swap-the Awesome Swap!!!  This month's stamp set, A Little Everything, has a fantastic font and great sentiments that you need to add to your collection right now!  You can buy this stamp set for $22.95-but why pay full price?  Order this month and get it for a discount, or even free!  Order $25, 25% off; $50, 50% off; $75, 75% off; $100+, FREE!  Shop online in your pajamas anytime on my website:  

Monday, March 1, 2010

Thirty One reasons to join Close to My Heart

Throughout this month I will be blogging about 31 reasons to join Close to My Heart.  In my last post, I shared that March is the Dare to Dream Month, and now you need to know why!  So tune in every day to see why you should join this company RIGHT NOW!  These are not in priority order, since your reasons for joining may be different from mine, but these are great reasons to join, no matter what number it is!

Reason number ONE:  You have a fabulous support system available to you via computer, phone, or in person at events (team meetings, corporate sponsored events, etc.).  Ask any question and find the answers immediately!  You are NOT ALONE in this company!  (Get it?  The bra is your support....?  LOL!)