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Friday, 24 June 2016

It's Convention Time at Close to my Heart!

This is one of my favourite times of the year! The Close to my Heart Annual Convention! It is a time to catch up with old friends, make some new friends, learn about all the awesome new products that will be available for the next year, and generally have a great time.

We started off on Thursday with General Session in the Coronado Ballroom where we were introduced to the gorgeous new Fundamentals paper packs. Although Fundamentals is not new, the colours and patterns are. The colours are more vibrant and the patterns - well, you will have to wait to see them. Each Fundamentals paper pack also has matching Complements and ribbon! We have 21 beautiful new ribbons that complement the Fundamentals paper perfectly. I can't wait to get my hands on them!! 

Something new this year too - A Colour of the Year! This year it is Sea Glass, a beautiful muted greenish blue that goes wonderfully with the Fundamentals Basics paper and will be a great asset to all paper crafters.  

After General Session, we all picked up out brand new convention bag! It is AWESOME!! It is a rolling backpack in our colour of the year. It will easily hold an Iris case with room to spare. The telescoping handle folds into a pocket on the back that zips closed if you want to wear it as a backpack.

Once our tummies were satisfied it was back to the Coronado Ballroom for Extravaganza! In years past, Extravaganza consisted of several 10 minute presentations where we were introduced to different ways to use the new products. This is one of the favourite parts of Convention and everyone leaves with dozens (if not hundreds) of photos of the amazing artwork on display as well as copious notes covering different techniques used. This year, instead of us going to Extravaganza, it came to us! We stayed put and the presenters took to the stage to share with us. I liked it a lot better. 

Next was our first creative session which is my personal all time favourite part! In our convention bag, we received (along with the new catalogue!) a Value Pack of cards and envelopes, two packs of our new ribbons (6 rolls), silver shimmer trim, two new stamp sets, and two packs of the new complements! AWESOME! 

After Friday's General Session where we paid tribute to 10 amazing ladies who have been with Close to my Heart for 25 years and saw some great artwork and techniques. Our first business class was Marketing without the Angst presented by Kristina Livingstone. Kristina showed us how to use the tools in the Online Office to help with marketing our business. Once Kristina was finished, our second business class was Bringing the Financial Joy to Your Business presented by Tonya Sheridan. This was a super class where we were given some great ideas for boosting our sales from parties and crops. I am going to be initiating Tonya's ideas to help boost my own business!

In the afternoon Creative Session, we got to play with our watercolour paints by using different techniques to add colour to cards and layouts. We were also shown how to mix the paints to make our NEW colours (yep - 8 new colours in the CTMH palette!). That was a fun and messy time!

Now I am in bed after two full days of fun and creativity. We managed to get some pool time in too (swimming pool...).

Tomorrow we have General Session, business classes, creative session and the awards banquet. I hope Mickey Mouse shows up!

That's it all for now. It has been wonderful to meet people who I know on Facebook but have not had the opportunity to chat with in person. Now I can put faces to the names. I made a lot of new friends and can't wait until next year so we can get all caught up again. I met a group of ladies from Australia (g'day ladies!!) and had a wonderful chat with them. Hoping to meet some more tomorrow! 

I will write more once I am back home on Sunday, but until then Keep Calm and Get Scrapping!!