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Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Convention Projects Galore!

Now that I have my convention project done (well, almost. The scroll isn't finished) here are the instructions for those of you who were not able to make it to convention. A couple things you need to know:
  • The mini-album pages are a dimensional elements sheet that comes with the Cricut Artiste cartridge and the cartridge is used to cut the corresponding paper. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this cartridge!
  • Where it says "Convention STamp Set", this is the set we all received at the banquet. If you know someone who can lend it to you or is willig to sell it, you will be able to finish these pages. Otherwise use another stamp set that is similar or change the look altogether!
The projects are found at Convention 2012 Projects. I hope this link works for everyone! It is in Google Docs. If there are problems, please let me know!

Enjoy the projects!

Friday, 13 July 2012

Day 2 - It's HOT, HOT, HOT!

Wow! What a day! The AC is cranked and I am freezing, but the topics today are as hot as it is outside!

Cowboy Andy once again sang for us and then Monica had all of the directors of various levels on stage to do the Scrapbooking Boogie, which was sung by none other than Cowboy Andy! They each introduced themselves as they left the stage and then I realized just how many directors we have!!

Kristine gave us a run down on Operation Smile and the Make a Miracle Challenge. Last year, CTMH consultants of all levels raised $70,000 for Operation Smile! This year, during the Make a Miracle Challenge, the top five finishers collected over $18,000 between them in that one month! Now is that amazing or what? The winner of the challenge who will participate as a non-medical volunteer on a medical mission, will go to the Philippines, where Operation Smile started 30 years ago! And the lucky winner is Kelly Hammond! She was overcome with emotion when told that she had won this fantastic opportunity. Enjoy the time, Kelly, and tell us all about when you return!

Another amazing woman is Katy Carlson (I hope I got the name right) of Virginia. She, along with three friends, organized a crop to raise money for Operation Smile, and in one day raised over $11,000!!!!! To show their appreciation and admiration, Monica and Kristine are going to hold a crop for Katy, her three friends, and all of her customers! I imagine uplines and downlines are included in that too.

Stacy Julian of Big Picture Classes was our keynote speaker at General Session this morning and passed on some excellent tips to us. Stacy is an amazing speaker and had us laughing, crying, and totally enthralled! Once she had traded hats with Dr. Phil and shoes with another consultant, she passed on some words of wisdom.

Some of the main points from Stacy's presentation that I really want to pass on are:
  • Our own personal perspective is what makes our photos priceless!
  • Leave the guilt and obligation outside! Do your own thing and don't worry about it.
  • Events and everyday moments are really about the people experiencing them, so make sure to take pictures of the people enjoying the event and not just the event itself!
  • Scrapbook the people and their personalities!
  • The story you are most qualified to tell is your own! No one else knows it so make sure you share it! In other words, JOURNAL!!!
  • Cute matters! Make your personal area your own! Add your favourite colours and things to your space.
She then showed us a video by Hillary Weeks, called Stand Still. By the end of it, there wasn't a dry eye in the room. It was funny, sad, beautiful and just downright moving. Thank you, Stacy, for a wonderful and eye-opening presentation.

When we broke for lunch, the DH and I went for a walk outside once we had eaten. As I said, it is HOT here! And the humidity makes it hard to breath. But the grounds of this beautiful hotel are gorgeous!



Wouldn't you love to sit on a blanket under this tree and read or watch the world go by?

I couldn't resist this little guy! He kept scratching at the ground and then rolling around. So cute!

The Koi Pond. Anytime someone comes close, the koi come swimming up, mouths gaping, looking for food!


Okay, Carol, Labuski, here is our new convention bag. It is HUGE and has a shoulder strap as well as straps so it can be worn like a backpack. Inside are two pockets - once slash pocket and one big zippered main pocket. It also has a pocket on each side for a water bottle or what ever else you need to carry.

Waiting for the afternoon session to start.

Waiting some more..

After lunch, we all attended a Studio J business class presented by Brian Holman. WOW!! No more memberships! Can you believe it!? That means no more members-only kits and patterns! AND all users will now receive jpg files with their layouts, or they can purchase the jpg files as standalones for only $2.95! AND instead of the 7-page minimum we used to have in Canada, it is now only 4!
BUT there are no more free page protectors. I can live with that. Page protectors are inexpensive, especially when you buy the 50 page bulk pack at around $16.

And there's more. Studio J now has both custom layouts where you do the embellishments, change papers and do the whole thing from scratch, and Express Collections that are already set up with embellishments and paper. You can still change font, add text boxes, and change paper colour, but you can't add embellishments. These are meant for the novice scrapper to get them started with Studio J. (Sorry, no pics of Brian and Studio J. I was too busy taking notes!)

Next, we were off to the fourth Create and Take where we worked on this cute little mini album.

I got all but the last two pages done. Something else to do when I get home!

As you can see, the place was full!




We were all working hard to finish this fun project.

Me and my buds! Sue, Peggy and me as the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders!

It is now 5:33 and time to get ready for the banquet at 6:00, so bye for now! Chat again tomorrow!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Day 1 - New Product, New Paper, New Colors

What a day! General pandemonium followed by General Session (just another form of general pandemonium)!
Waiting to enter the Chantilly Ballroom for General Session.

Waiting for General Session to start

Waiting some more

Jeanette Lynton said a few words and put everyone's fears for her health at ease with news that she is overcoming the anxiety attacks she has suffered the past few years. So good to hear! 

Jeanette Lynton. I was too far away to get a good picture of her on stage so this is the big screen on the wall.

Here we are! One missing - Kelly - because she took the picture. From the left are Angelique and Stitch, Sue, Peggy and yours truly, all wearing our shirts Angelique made for us and our pink cowboy hats!
 Then Monica, Kristine and Brian took to the stage to pass on the information that those of us who had attended Leadership Day received yesterday.
Brian, Monica and Kristine imparting their wisdom to all of us.

Finally, the fun REALLY started!

DALLAS - A SCRAPPING OPERA

Suddenly a noise is heard and a CTMH staffer runs on stage to say that J.R. Lynton has been shot! Oh no! Enter Sheriff Brian, who must interview all the possible suspects to find out who shot J.R.!


The first suspects he interviews are

THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES - THE CRAFTERS

The only thing they are guilty off is crafting will all sorts of new CTMH product, including the My Creation Bracket Frame and the My Creations Star. 




Sheriff Brian then made his way to the

REAL CRAFTERS OF DALLAS

All these four have done is bicker and keep their crafting secrets from each other. They also introduced the WOTG Scroll Album Kit - SOOOO cute!!!

In the SHOOTOUT AT THE CTMH CORRAL, we were introduced to our new ALCOHOL markers and pigment ink pads!!! And a big announcement that we have all wanted - bulk paper is now available in ALL colours!!

Next on the interview list are Bonnie and Lulu,

THE DIVAS OF HAZZARD

who told us about some more new products! (Can you tell I didn't write this bit down?)

We were then entertained by the DALLAS CTMH CHEERLEADERS who performed with their new Organizers pompoms!! These are going to be in my craft room before too long!

THE GAMBLER introduced us to the biggest and best news yet! We have another Cricut cartridge!!!!! It is called Artiste and again has 700 images! WOOHOO!! And guess who won the new set?! ME!!!!!! I couldn't believe it!

By now, Sheriff Brian still had no suspects and decided to get everyone together and grill them. Just then the CTMH photographer came out and explained that J.R. Lynton hadn't been shot shot. She had been at a photo shoot and had been shot with a camera!!

Our convention bag with the new Idea Book was handed out as we left General Session, and it was packed with all sorts of new product we would need for the Create and Take sessions! 7 new stamp sets, a new ink pad in Slate, paper, ribbon, and embellishments galore!!

The Create and Takes were so much fun, but by 4:30 I was so cold I could hardly move so I packed up and came back to my room. Tonight is the Mix and Mingle, and I will be heading down there shortly.

Tomorrow, I MUST take more pictures!!!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Leadership Day - TONS and TONS of information!

I think my head is going to explode! Leadership Day was great! So much information and super fantastic ideas for business building!

We started the day with Brian Hollman and all sorts of statistical information about how the past year compared to the year before. Sorry Brian, but some of it went right over my head. I was the one with the deer in the headlights look. :-(

Once Brian was done stuffing our heads with all of his numbers, Christine gave us some marketing facts and figures. All interesting stuff and not so many numbers as Brian had! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Christine!! Love ya' Brian, but...

Monica got her baby fix by carrying around the cutest teeny weeny little sweetheart! I can't remember who she belonged to, but she was beautiful! Did you know Monica has 7 kids!!?? What an amazing woman!! But I am sooooo jealous! Even after 7 kids, she has the body of someone who MAY have had one or two!

We know where the incentive trip will be for March 2014!!! Costa Rica! I am going to work my tail off to earn that trip for the DH and me! Imagine - airfare for two and a week at an all-inclusive resort, all paid for by CTMH! Do we have a great company or what?!

Dana Wilde with Mind Aware was our keynote speaker this morning and gave us some super ideas for getting our minds working in a more positive mode. I took tons of notes and ran out of paper. Tomorrow, I take a note book!

Lunch was so good! A Southwestern themed lunch of spinach salad with jicama (YUM!!) and mandarin oranges, grouper with a tomato-ey sauce (YUM again!), tortillas, steak, chicken fajitas, beans, chicken tortilla soup, and for dessert a slice of Tres Leche cake and pralines. If you have never had Tres Leche (it means three milk) cake, it is a sponge cake sort of thing that has a mixture of condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream poured over top and allowed to soak in. It is incredible!!! And the pralines were way to sinful!

By now, I was ready for a nap. But the afternoon sessions beckoned. Again, tons of information that will be so, so helpful n building my business! Thank you to all the ladies who presented!

I had a look at the pics I took and they are shaky, dark, and not that great, but here are a few anyway.


These great ladies answered all sorts of questions about how they got their businesses going and they keep them going. Again, tons of notes and ran out of paper. Definitely need a notebook!




We got some excellent tips on how to have successful home parties and then...



...some excellent tips from Mandy Leahy and Tresa Black on how to use social media to its full advantage. Facebook and I are good friends already, but although I have a Twitter account, I don't use it as much as I should (so I discovered). I love Tresa Black's videos and now I have the incentive to make my own and post them on You tube or Ustream. I am going to have to get a video camera so I can do just that!


So, Leadership Day has come to an end and tomorrow the REAL fun starts!! I can hardly wait! 

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

We're in Dallas!

Woohoo! We made it! After getting up at 2:30AM to be at the Edmonton International Airport by 4:00, then flying to Denver, spending an hour and a half waiting for the connecting flight, and then waiting at Dallas Love airport for 20 minutes in the heat and humidity, we finally got here at 2:30PM. It is now 4:00PM and I am pooped!! And hot!!! And HUMID!!! It is like walking through hot syrup outside!! I see the pool across the way from up here on the 21st floor and wonder if I can make it there without melting into the sidewalk.

But the hotel is beautiful! The Oriental artwork is absolutely fantastic and some pieces date back hundreds of years. We stopped for a bite to eat at the Media Grill and Bar (Spicy shrimp spring rolls and a flatbread with smoked bacon, caramelized onions and ricotta cheese - OMG!!) and I got some photos of the Atrium area.


Some of the rooms are inside and the hallway overlooks the Atrium. 


This is the Atrium area where there are seats and two reflecting pools. So relaxing! I may find myself sitting here for some R&R.


The Counteroffer restaurant, where I will be getting my coffee fix in the morning!


And this is our room. Double beds, but that is okay. The DH is not too happy about having to sleep by himself, but I will like being able to spread out! LOL!!


So tomorrow is the first day of convention (Leadership Day) so there will be more to come! Stay tuned!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Dallas, Here We Come!

Okay, so we are not leaving today, but we are getting packed and ready today! Dogs go to the pet motel for a week of pampering and being spoiled, clothes get packed, house gets cleaned, and my toes go for an hour of bliss and polish!

Our suitcases have been in the bedroom for the past week, and I started packing last Sunday as laundry was done. I got my supplies needed for the projects all packed in a small plastic tote(14"X9"X5" - and my photos fit too!) and that is now in my suitcase. The problem arose when I realized there was no room for my shoes. So today's packing will entail repacking my clothes and supplies so I will have footwear while in Dallas! Mind you, I could just go on a shopping spree...

The DH is coming with me this year. Not sure how he will handle the heat. He likes cooler temps than what we can expect down there, but I don't really mind the heat as long as I don't have to do much in it! If I can find a shady place to sit with a book and a glass of iced tea, I am happy!

Keeping this one short today. Time to get the day started. Watch for updates from convention!

Bye y'all!