Sunday, March 17, 2013

Winning Essay All Things Close To My Heart

Here is my essay that I sent in for the Album Retreat Contest.  Thank you CTMH!
“For two cents, I would sell my business and become a consultant with you.  I love this stamp set Rustic Flowers.”  The split decision came out of my mouth and my life will never be the same.  This conversation happened with my very best friend six years ago.  I owned my own rubber stamp company and I was struggling to make it work and keep it going.  I saw Rustic Flowers in the new My Acrylix stamps and I have never looked back.  You see, the things I really loved, the creativity, the people, the teaching, the education and just down-right getting inky had become a thing of the past.  I was worried about advertising and proving that I could make it work.  I signed up that night.  As I clicked that “opportunities” button, I knew I had made the decision that would bring my life in perfect order.  I wanted the creativity and the advertising was done for me.  I belonged to something bigger than just me and I saw the vision immediately.
The one thing that I love the most is the women I teach.  I give these women a couple hours of time and encourage their creativity using the inspiration of their beloved families to create the pages that soon become albums or artwork for their wall.  Their chatter or “buzz” that I listen for as they work is said to be my favorite noise.  While they are busy working and gleaning inspiration and a night out, my cup runneth over with joy.  Women with a little paper, ink and stamps doesn’t seem like much to the outside world, but to me and my heart, giving them those few hours to create and discover themselves while they get inky fingers and smell the Acrylic and the new package of paper is what I hold close to MY heart. 
I am a loyal consultant.  I have not purchased one piece of scrapbooking paper or stamping item since that first spring day that was not CTMH.  My heart sings when I open that new stamp set and breathe in the smell of the fresh polymer, or open a brand new paper pack and breathe in the smell.  You know what I am talking about.  It is like a hockey player smelling the ice, the cowboy with the smell of the leather and the horse, the mother with a new baby.  You see this brings peace to my soul.  As the smell enters, the wheels start turning and creativity never ceases.  I dream in color and I plan my next project laced with those that I love and I’m inspired by their faces, smiles or accomplishments.  My babies and stack of paper excite my soul and each project is created with centered focus on each moment.  All things CLOSE TO MY HEART easily spill out on the table creating pieces that will last forever, long past when I am not here to tell the story.  Sheet protectors are smudged with little finger prints as they search for their precious moments in time.
Creating, teaching, sharing, loving each individual woman who comes through the door or each home that I enter wearing the label Close To My Heart have gone beyond my “customers” and have become my friends.  The Corporate staff and the consultants I have grown to love and to know on an individual basis light a fire in me that says that what we do makes a difference.  And my sweet family, my dear husband, who creates a way for me to soar, with brave wings I fly, and my babies, not babies any more, but always will be to me, decorate my projects with faces and milestones that adorn my art, my creativity and my heart.  I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve learned,  I’ve grown,  I’ve taught and have been taught, with and by the most lovely people I will ever know.  I love my life, and all things Close To My Heart.