Sunday, March 24, 2013

CTMH Album Retreat

Last weekend, I was fortunate enough to attend an Album Retreat organized by Close To My Heart.  This was an amazingly fun weekend where we created ten 2-page scrapbook layouts along with a cover page.  A few weeks before the Album Retreat, we were sent "homework" assignments to gather specific photos and write journaling.  Each set of two pages had a specific theme of something that was "close to my heart".  The themes ranged from the roles we fill, to the music we love, to our favorite colors.

Fortunately, I completed most of my homework before the Album Retreat and was able to completely finish the pages at the event, including adding the photos.  Well, I still had to write and print journaling for each page, but that was much easier to do after seeing the pages with photos than before.  There were a few pages which the photos I had taken with me did not work quite right, so I had to search for appropriate photos yesterday.  Happily, I got them printed at our local drugstore and adhered in the Album last night.

For the cover page, we were asked to bring a 5"x7" photo of ourself.  Papers from the Chantilly kit were used along with Trinity alphabet, Hello Blooms, Wheel of Life, and In The Background stamp sets.  What looks like grey striped washi tape on the edges of the page are actually just a portion of one of the stamps from the In The Background stamp set.  This is a great way to use your stamps in an unexpected way for a faux washi-tape look. 

All of the page designs were ready for us to duplicate.  CTMH provided the appropriate stamp sets, pre-cut paper, and embellishments to complete the entire album.  It is obvious that a lot of thought went into the preparation for this event.  Even though different ink colors are used on different pages, the entire album is cohesive as embellishments and other details are repeated throughout the pages.

This 2-page layout is named "My Happy Life" and it focuses on the different roles that we play in our life.  Papers from the Later Sk8r kit are used in combination with some different cardstock colors.  The pink chevron design is stamped using the In The Background stamp set, several stamps from the Sightseer set are used to accent the page, and the Trinity alphabet is used for the title.

The title of these two pages is "They Mean So Much" and they tell a little about our immediate family.  Papers from both the For Always and the Surf's Up kits are used along with the Trinity alphabet, Hello Blooms, Wheel of Life, and Frame Flair stamp sets.  

For the next pages, titled "I Love It Here," we included photos of places in our lives that have been "close to my heart" either as a childhood home or current home.  Again, papers from the Later Sk8r kit are used with the grid texture paper from the Scholastic kit.  Stamp sets used were Honeycomb, Happy Thoughts, Patterned Pennants, and the Trinity alphabet.  The faux washi-tape technique was used on the edges of these pages using a stamp from the Patterned Pennants set.

Next layout is titled "No Place Like This Space" and it features specific spaces that are "close to my heart."  For these pages, I chose my kitchen, computer, ocean wake, stamping room, where my cats sleep, and an airplane on the way to a new adventure.  No patterned paper is used here, just solid cardstock.  The texture that you see on four squares of the page was simply a small stamp from the Honeycomb set stamped using three different colors of ink.  It took just a little while to stamp the pattern, and it is certainly not evenly spaced.  So, you can stamp your own background paper and not worry about it looking 'perfect' as it will still accent your page and is just a nice personal touch.  Again, the Trinity alphabet was used for the title and the arrows are a stamp from the Sightseer set. 

Some of the homework assignments were a bit challenging as they made you really give some thought to what you would like on the page.  For the "Favorite Things" pages, I have included some items from my grandparents, along with 'Little House' books (by Laura Ingalls Wilder) which introduced me to a lifelong love of reading, and some knitted items that I have made.  Patterned papers from both the Chantilly and the For Always kits were used, along with Juniper cardstock.  As with the other pages, the Trinity alphabet was used.  Additional stamped accents are from the Hello Blooms, Wheel of Life, Frame Flair, and Happy Thoughts stamp sets. 

Deciding what colors make you happy and explaining why was the challenge of the "Live Your Life in Color" set of pages.  A small amount of paper from the For Always kit was used with several solid colors of cardstock.  A chevron stamp from the In The Background set was used to stamp the colored edges.  The color wheel is a stamp from the Wheel of Life and the title was stamped using the Trinity alphabet. 

This "Beauty All Around" layout is designed to be all about yourself, and what makes you special.  A honeycomb patterned paper from the Buzz and Bumble kit is used.  As well as stamps from Sightseer, Wheel of Life, Happy Thoughts, and the Trinity alphabet. 

The "Real Friends" layout uses papers from both Later Sk8r and Surf's Up kits.  Stamping is done using Patterned Pennants, Happy Thoughts, and In The Background stamp sets.  

Some of our favorite scenes from nature were included on the "Collect Moments" layout.  Some patterned paper from both Surf's Up and the Chantilly kits were used for these pages.  A stamp from the Patterned Pennants set was used to create a partial circle using different colors of ink.  To accent the page, some stamps from Hello Blooms and the Sightseer stamp set are used. 

The final set of pages is titled "Music To My Ears" and it shows what music is and has been important in our lives.  The cute cassette tape embellishment is simply some different pieces cut using the Cricut machine and arranged to resemble a cassette tape, using letters from the Trinity alphabet.  Wonder how old you have to be to remember using cassette tapes?  Patterned paper from the Later Sk8R kit is used for some of the accent pieces, while the Cranberry cardstock was stamped using a sheet music flower stamp from the Hello Blooms kit, and the Whisper cardstock is detailed by using a sponge to apply Whisper ink to create an argyle pattern using a stencil that is actually the 'negative space' from cutting a shape using the Cricut. 

And this is the COMPLETE Album which I started last weekend under the direction of the CTMH Team.   Those seven ladies had the entire weekend organized extremely well, and I am definitely planning to attend the Fall Album Retreat later this year.  
Photo courtesy of Pamela O'Connor
This is not a fancy photo, but it does show ALL of the completed pages inserted into page protectors and in a nice Black Leather Album which was also given to us at the Album Retreat. 

I am so proud to have completed this project.  Each set of pages has special hints & tips for ways to use CTMH stamps, inks, and papers.  It was a fantastic weekend, with other wonderful creative women.  One of the best parts is that all of our meals were provided for us.  We simply had to walk to the room next door, eat, and then could return to our creative time.  

Since each set of two pages had a specific theme, it made it much easier to find appropriate photos and actually complete the pages.  Each page includes some very nice details, and we learned different ways to use our CTMH products. 

Believe it or not, this is all of the product which each person who attended the Album Retreat received.  What is not shown is all of the individually cut cardstock and background & texture paper which was used for each page.  That was distributed as we began working on a new page.  They did not want to overwhelm us with too much to keep track of right from the beginning!
Photo courtesy of Pamela O'Connor
CTMH announced that they will be holding another Album Retreat in the Fall in Salt Lake City.  The dates and other specifics will be announced at the annual Convention in June.  However, that retreat will focus on a ground-breaking new product line and the all-new exciting products to be unveiled at Convention.  It will be a pinnacle of innovative artwork and on-trend techniques.  It really will be a complete fusion of business, product, and wowza creativity!

All papers and stamps are from Close To My Heart (CTMH).
Sheila Bennett
Close To My Heart Independent Consultant
(913) 485-4355
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  1. Nice synopsis, Sheila, and I think I know you a little better, too, which is also nice.

  2. Sheila,

    These are some great pages! I am sure that you had a blast at the event!

  3. What a great album to have made! It's so cute and I'm so impressed that you completed the album - that's always the challenge with these things! I love what you did with it and thank you for the summary with all the pages! Hugs, Joy


Thanks for your comments! It is always nice to hear some feedback. :)