Thursday, June 17, 2010

Oh My!! Time Flies When You Are Having Fun!!

I came home (from stamping with a friend, of course!) yesterday to find a smallish package on my door step. I was puzzled since I hadn't ordered anything... why else do packages come other than from online shopping or my CTMH orders? Even stranger was the return address DID say CTMH. I had already received my convention logo order and hadn't noticed anything back ordered...? Hurry inside and rip that baby open!!

Inside was a velvet jewelry box so of course my heart started thumping even harder. When I opened the box it revealed the gorgeous pin you see above and a lovely letter congratulating me on my 15 year association with Close To My Heart!!

Did it really say 15 years??? Oh my. It's been so much fun, it feels like I just started yesterday. But when I think of all the changes and wonderful new things that have come along in all those 15 years, it seems like we've been together forever... like an old married couple.

When I joined Close To My Heart the actual "Close To My Heart" family wasn't even in the picture yet. That child came along later. We were a rubber stamp company called DOTS, which stands for "Dozens Of Terrific Stamps" (we had hundreds, though - not just dozens!).

There is not much left of the company that really reminds me of DOTS. Our conventions are bigger an glitzier, our products have changed dramatically as an industry leader. Our Idea Books (catalogs) are gorgeous and so very user friendly and come out not once but three times a year. We've really grown up into an incredibly awesome company.

But the most important thing is what hasn't changed over all those years, the people. Jeannette Lynton, the founder and CEO of the company is one of the warmest nicest people you could ever hope to meet. She has an amazing team of artists and business people who are constantly developing and on the lookout for the very best products and the very best programs to make us, the consultants, successful!!

The friends I have made in my association with CTMH are simply the best I have ever had!! They live in every part of the country, heck, the continent, and even overseas if they are in the service. They are the glue for me. Not all of them are still with CTMH, but they are all still in my heart and still a part of my life through venues like Facebook or MySpace. But we started as friends long before the social networks. We started in an AOL chat room and met face to face year after year at conventions. We came to put real names and faces behind AOL monikers like CUStampin, Joy2NoHim, DOTSQueen and many many more. We made up groups in our local areas and called ourselves "Cousins" when we got together to stamp and share ideas. Or we had cross country groups we called "Kin" as our tiny 2 person units did card exchanges to share ideas. We have our "ice cream social" nights at convention to this day to reconnect and celebrate those long ago friendships that still exist but in different ways.

Yes, it's been 15 years. 15 wonderful years full of such great memories and friendships. I truly love being part of Close To My Heart!

Monday, June 14, 2010

July 4th Project

This patriotic looking item was made for the Quarter Bid Auction which is tomorrow. Gosh, sometimes I feel like that is all I work on.... sigh. The papers are all CTMH but they've been long retired. The pretty star strip on the red box was done with my Cricut - so glad my hubby goaded me into using it - so fun!!

Viewed from above, you can see the inner space is all lined with perfectly coordinating card stock. Bigger Brads and several glue dots hold the boxes together to make one unit. Do you know what it is yet? Or have you known all along?

It's a picnic caddy for plates, napkins & flatware! I hope it's a hit - but somehow I keep seeing it tossed in the garbage as soon as July 5th.... sad.