Sunday, November 16, 2008

My First Blog

Hey. I am so excited to finally have a blog. Everyone else has been blogging forever now and finally I am too. Let me begin by telling you a little about myself. I am obsessed with Scrapbooking. I began this exciting hobby in 2002 after nearly two years collecting things that I would need to get started. My very first layouts were made using a glue stick, pictures that were extremely cropped and pictures that I traced onto the layout with templates. Well, I have come a long way since then and now my layouts feature many advanced techniques and stamped designs.

In early 2004, I was introduced to Close to My Heart, a wonderful company that sells scrapbooking and stamp products. I really loved the company and all of the things that they offered but I was still in the early stages of the hobby and thought that many of their stamps were too expensive. I made a few purchases after that and attended some workshops but beyond that, I still stuck to stickers and other embellishments purchased at Michael's and our local scrapbook stores.

After a while, I began to get bored with the same old things that were available at these stores and began to look for something different. This is when I again bumped into Close to My Heart, only this time it wasn't to attend a workshop or to make a purchase. In October of 2006, I contacted my consultant and signed up to be a consultant myself. I got my kit and took off on a great adventure.

During my first month as a consultant, I had no trouble making the Straight to the Top program. I had two great home gatherings and I was rewarded with $25 in free product. Although I didn't complete my goals for my 2nd and 3rd months, I did have great success as a beginning consultant. The second party that I ever did had over $800 in sales and I went home so excited. I also had 1 booking from that party. Over the last 3 years, I have seen a decrease and then an increase in my business. Each decrease has also cooresponded to a decrease in the amount of time that I have put into my business. Over the last 6 months, I have seen the biggest growth in my business and I hope that this continues.

As for my scrapbooking style, I don't know that I have one that I favor over any other. I often find myself doing simple layouts with minimum embellishments, just to get the pictures out of the box and into my albums. At other times, I find myself sitting down with paper that I purchased forever ago and forcing myself to find a way to use it. More often than not, I am reaching for one of Jeanette Lynton's great how-to books like Cherish, Imagine, or Reflections. These books make even a beginning scrapbooker look like a pro. I also have gotten away from using stickers and 3d embellishments and have started using stamped images and some things that I cut using my Cricut machine. I love cutesy looking things and some graphical looking things.

About a year ago, I began to make cards at the request of several of my customers. I have found that I enjoy this just as much as scrapbooking and now I can't stand to send a store bought card for anything. I just think that it is much more personal to send a handmade card. Jeanette Lynton also has a great how-to program for cards called Originals Card Confidence Program. I can honestly say that without this book, I could not create great looking cards.

Well, I guess that I have written enough for now. If you have anymore questions about scrapbooking or Close to My Heart, just ask. Audrey