Monday, August 26, 2013

Getting Organized LOL

No photos to go with this post but I have a feeling that Spring is not far away in our corner of the world. My tulips are budding up, a lonely crocus is out, and my plum trees have their first blossoms.  Obviously we can feel the Spring in the air because there has been a flurry of activity around cleaning and moving furniture and sorting stuff out.  I have cleaned out boxes and boxes of "stuff" (mostly old CM stuff!) and it has been quite a cathartic process.  Tonight DH brought home a new t.v. cabinet (he recently won a t.v. that was too big for the cabinet we had) and so I have had to move my knitting basket and have a general re-sort (not funny to find lots of projects I had even forgotten I had!)
My craft room looks HUGE without its usual mess (although there are still plenty of corners to clean up and I haven't even looked at my sewing nook!)
There has also been a bit of scrapping - I am loving the Close to My Heart Ideas Books.  They have a "formula" for cutting different papers and putting them together in a snazzy layout.  I don't usually like to measure things but I am finding that the formulas are great for mixing together old CM papers and new CTMH papers.  Another thing I really like about CTMH is they have a real passion for double page layouts (which I also love!)  Re-organising my crafty room has gotten me re-inspired about sewing and quilting so I cannot wait for a few free days to get into it!  Alas, not this week, as I have 3 days of kindy work and a training and development day Friday!
Happy Monday to you - I hope you are seeing signs of Spring too!
Keep smiling,

Friday, August 23, 2013

Falling in Love Again

I can't remember how much I have shared here about the pain I felt when Creative Memories Australia closed its doors.  I truly did go through almost all of the stages of grief.  Luckily for me, and the many thousands of Australian CM consultants, our CEO Brian, and top directors, Susan and Diane, negotiated a plan with an American company called Close to My Heart.  I was soooo grateful that Close to My Heart gave us a home but I do have to be honest.  As thankful as I was, I was not "in love" with the new company the way that I was with CM.

When my box of goodies arrived I did these three pages just to familiarise myself with the products.

That made me feel so much better.  Then last weekend I went away on our first ever Close to My Heart Conference.  WOW!!!! Right from the start I was blown away by their compassion, their generosity, and their integrity.  I have found a new home.  I am learning new things.  I am re-building my business.  I think I might be falling in love again. This feels so right!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

More Paris

Apologies to all who were reading along with our Paris Adventure when it got cut short.  It just proved too hard to keep up with blogging while we were away.
Now that we are back you get the opportunity to hear me wax lyrical on all of the fond memories of this trip without remembering the whining children, the blisters, or the husband having a fit over how many euros it takes to feed a family of five!
 We certainly managed to cram a lot into our week in Paris.  Hannah was thrilled to tick Notre Dame off her bucket list.  James surprised me by taking us on a walking tour that ended up at Shakespeare and Company's book store.  This was an AMAZING experience for me.  The interior is exactly as I imagined it - you could almost see Ezra Pound and James Joyce sitting smoking in the big overstuffed arm chairs.  When I went upstairs there was a crazy-haired young man sitting by the window typing frantically on an old olivetti typewriter.
 This time around we booked a tour to go up the Eiffel Tower.  It was worth paying extra to skip the queue and our tour guide (a lovely young Irish woman) told us lots of incredible facts about the Eiffel Tower and its history.  Did you know that the tower was never meant to be permanent but after the World Fair, Gustav Eiffel convinced the French government to let him lease it for ten years.  He put lifts in and charged an admission and re-couped the cost of the building within the first 3 months! He lived very comfortably off the profits for the next 9 3/4 years!

 The view from the top is incredible and well worth braving any fear of heights and confined spaces for!
 After our tour we picnicked at the base of the tower (with baguettes and hotdogs bigger than our heads!)
 One of the nicest things about this trip is that the kids are getting old enough to take photos so Hannah took some quite respectable shots of James and I together.  Here we are on the lover's bridge over the Seine.  The glittering on the fence behind us is all of the padlocks inscribed with lovers names on them.
 We also managed a fair bit of people watching and enjoyed some lovely cafe meals - almost always eaten outside because the weather was just soooo perfect (and outside is preferrable when you have messy little people!)
 Our two big day trips were to Versailles and Giverny.  The Hall of Mirrors at Versailles was on James' bucket list.  I loved the formal gardens.

 It was all very opulent and over-the-top.  Our poor kids got a great view of stranger's backsides in Versailles as it was so crowded in the palace that they were just shunted from room to room and not able to see much.

A few people have expressed how crazy we were to take 3 small children to Paris but you know most of the time the kids coped pretty admirably, which just goes to show:
Next time I will show you Monet's garden and a bit of the U.K. travels too.
I also have lots of scrapping to show you, and details of our exciting new company, Close To My Heart.
Watch this space as I am getting some help to "revamp" my blog (thanks to lovely Kirsty!)
Until next time,
Keep smiling,