Thanks for visiting my blog. I began journaling about my daily life when I was eleven. Over the years, this has grown to become a way for me to share my thoughts rather than my daily life. I’m pretty open with sharing all the beautiful chaos of life with six children. I have to remind myself to extend grace to myself each and every day! It is my hope that my writings will help others to learn to extend grace to themselves too. After all, if it weren’t for the Grace of God, life would just be messy. I’m so glad that life can instead be a Beautiful Mess and is covered by His Beautiful Grace.

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

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