Sunday, 9 September 2012

Edmonton Regional Celebration 2012

(Once I finished this post, I went back and read it. It is LONG!!)

Oh my! What a time! This was my first regional celebration and I had no idea what to expect. Well, okay. I had a BIT of an idea. I figured it would be like convention on a smaller scale, and it was more or less. We had business classes and creative sessions, and we got free product to create the projects, and we met up with old friends and made a TON of new ones, and we swapped cards...

Okay. It was just like convention but smaller. A LOT smaller!! Not sure how many there were, but I think it was around 150 or so. And 150 women can make a lot of noise!

We started out Friday with a keynote address from Monica. She is such a sweet lady. We learned more about her and her family, how she started with Close to my Heart (DOTS back then) and how her career at Close to my Heart was definitely meant to be! I still find it hard to believe she has seven kids!! She looks absolutely amazing!!!

I liked something that Monica said in her address. She had a quote on the screen and by the time I remembered I had my camera with me, it was gone, but I remember most of it. If someone can fill in the missing bit, please tell me what it is and I will make sure it gets added;

"It's time to Photoshop my life: touch up the edges, _____________________, blur out the background, and focus on me."

I think as women, we tend to think of others first and then take care of ourselves later, sometimes too late. We need to think more about ourselves too and take time for us.

Brian spoke with us about Studio J (LOVE Studio J!!). He said that only one in five consultants actually uses Studio J! What are they missing out on? The three biggest things in my mind are:

1 - The chance to attract non-papercrafters to Close to my Heart! There are a lot of people out there who prefer not to scrapbook the traditional way, and don't do any other paper crafts either, but they still have a ton of photos that are sitting in boxes. This is our chance to show them how to scrapbook those memories using Studio J.
2 - We can assist the die-hard scrapbookers to keep up with their scrapbooking. Let's face it. Traditional scrapbooking takes a lot of time. But you can create the same layout in Studio J in about half the time!
3 - Portability!! As long as you have an internet connection, you can work on your Studio J layouts!

Some of the barriers to using Studio J?
1 - Getting comfortable with technology. Some people think "computer" and shudder! We need to show them that there is nothing to fear!
2 - Internet speed and access. Unfortunately, some people live in places where they don't have easy access to high speed internet. Can we hold Studio J workshops in our homes if we have high speed access? Or meet at a local coffee shop that offers free internet access for an hour to share ideas, work on layouts and just have a good time.
3 - Not compatible with iPad yet. Sorry. This one still can't be resolved...

Brian also spoke about Party Magic! He stressed that gatherings and clubs are about DOING rather than WATCHING. Anyone can sit and watch a demonstration, but they don't really learn anything until they actual try it themself. Hostess Rewards are important and if your customers are allowed to DO rather than WATCH, they feel a sense of accomplishment (Honey, look what I made tonight!) and walk away feeling creative! They also have the structure to help finish and get a sense of community and connectedness. Then they are more like to make a purchase and your hostess will be eligible for her Hostess Rewards!

Kristine told us some interesting facts about our stamps. I never knew this, but all of our stamps are made right at the CTMH head office! They are made of the highest grade of commercial-grade polymer, and 100% produced in North America. And we all know they are easy to use, store, clean, transport, and reuse!

Some ways to flex your expert muscles:
1 - Play favourites - if you have a favourite stamp set in the current catalogue, tell everyone about it. Tell them WHY it is your favourite.
2 - Start smart - if someone is starting out with stamping, sell them an alphabet stamp set. They will get more use out of it and will come back for more!
3 - Show it to sell it - speaks for itself!
4 - Focus is fabulous - pick a paper pack for a gahering, workshop, or club, and focus on the stamp sets that co-ordinate with it! BUT (there is always a BUT) keep the selection to three or four to avoid overwhelming the customer.

Next, Kristine showed us some great techniques to give our paper crafts that pop! I am going to do these and photograph them, then post on another blog post, so keep watch for that.

My favourtie was the Cricut Business Class. I love my Cricuts (yes, I have two - the original and an Expression) but don't get to use them nearly as much as I want! Amy from CTMH explained how to use some of the fancier buttons on the Expression machine, and I am SOOO glad she did! I am going to try them out!

LOAD LAST - if you cut a design on your paper and then want to take your cut images off the mat, but still want to cut something else in the same colour, relod the mat using LOAD LAST instead of Load Mat and the Cricut remembers where it ended and will go to that spot! How cool is that!!!

MIX AND MATCH - Use this key if you want to cut various images from different keys on the same paper. Press Mix & Match key, then select the first accent. Then select the second accent, and press cut. Not sure if you can do more than two but I will try it and let you know.

FIT TO PAGE - press this key to get the largest image you can that will fit on your paper. If your paper is smaller than 12" by 12", you need to place it in the bottom left corner of the mat, move the blade to the top right corner of the paper and press Set Cut Area so Cricut know how big the paper is.

CENTER POINT - I am SO going to try this one! If you want to add a window to the front of a card, place it on the mat oriented so the cut will be correct, and move the blade to the center of where you want the window to be. Press Center Point and then enter the measurement. Make sure you enter the whole measurement and not just half!  Cricut will determine where it is and cut accordingly!

FLIP- gives a mirror image of what you are cutting. This would be great for something where you want mirror images of something but you want the paper the same for both. Instead of taking one  image off, flipping the paper and recutting, just use FLIP!

SETTINGS - did you know you can set different cutting increments on your machine? You are not stuck with 1/4" increments!! You can also change other setting in here but I have not played with them yet.

How many have wanted to cut a 12" border but you can't because the Cricut only cuts at 11 1/2"? Here is how you "fool" it into cutting the 12" border for you:
1 - Press MAT SIZE and tell Cricut your mat is 24". It doesn't know differntly so go ahead!
2 - Place the leading edge of your paper (the edge that goes in the Cricut first) inside the non-cutting area (make sure it is inside the cutting area), and load it.
3 - set the size to 13". You will get a 12" border!

Last, the age old question of how to make your Cricut mat sticky again after using it a gazillion times. The two most popular ways are:
1 - clean it well with soap and water to get all the old paper (and what ever else is stuck to it) off, and let it dry well. Apply a thin coat of Bonding Memories glue and let it dry.
2 - Clean it with Dawn dish soap. No need for anything else. Several ladies swear by this and say the mat is sticky again when it dries, but only Dawn works. Hm. Who knew?

I am going to end here as my hands are getting tired from all this typing. Also the rest of what I want to say is creative stuff and I want pictures too, so once I have it all done, I will post another blog. In the meantime, here are some photos from the Edmonton Regional Celebration!

Sue, Lisa, Marguerite and Kelly.

Stitch comes to all CTMH events!

Monica greeting us and presenting her keynote address.

Was Brian chatting on Facebook? Naw. He must have been working. Right Brian?

Some of the amazing artwork created by one of our very talented consultants for Extravaganza at Convention.

The Q & A session that yeilded so many answers to consultants' burning questions.

My upline, Sue Wilde. She is one of the sweetest, most helpful people I know!

Angelique having fun with our My Creations Frame.

The whole gang!


  1. Thank you for posting the Cricut information. I am always looking for tips. :) Lauren

  2. I do agree it was an awesome weekend. Great Pics.