Friday, 16 January 2015

Operation smile Australasian Blog Hop

Welcome to our Australasian Operation Smile Blog Hop.
Today we will be sharing some inspiration using the "You're the Bomb" C sized stamp set which is featured on the back page of our Seasonal Expressions Idea Book. For each “You’re the Bomb” stamp set sold CTMH will donate $3USD directly to Operation Smile.

Here is my project:
Ingredients: White daisy card base, white shimmer trim, Heart Strings paper pack, slate ink, hollyhock ink, cherry pink ShinHan marker, honeycomb embossing folderYou're the bomb stamp set.

The blog hop is a loop with about 10 participants so follow along and you will end up right back here. If you have hopped through from Mandy's Hall of Indulgence you are in the right place.  If you get lost there is a list of participants on Mandy's Blog here.

To learn more about Operation Smile and the involvement Close to my Heart has with this important work keep reading below,  otherwise, pop over and see Vandra's has created in her Virtual CTMH Craftroom.

So what does operation Smile do?
Throughout the world Operation Smile Volunteers repair childhood facial deformities while building public and private partnerships that advocate for sustainable healthcare systems for children and families.

In more visual terms - this is what they do:

This is Thanh and Ngan. You can read their full stories on the Operation Smile Australia site.

In developing countries approximately 1 in 500 children are born with a facial deformity. These children often  have difficulty breathing, drinking, eating and speaking and as a result many suffer from malnutrition, medical and psychological problems.

It only takes a surgeon 45 minutes and donations of $300 to change a child's life forever.

During the Brisbane convention last year Brian Holman (CTMH Chief Operating Officer) shared his experience with Operation Smile with us. He had gone on an international mission to the Phillipines -
Operation Smile conducts more than 25 of these international medical missions a year. Volunteer surgeons, anesthetists, nurses, dentists, speech pathologists and other medical professionals travel with non-medical volunteers to Operation Smile partner countries to treat children during a 2 week period.

Brian showed us photos of the hundreds of children and parents waiting and hoping that they would be accepted into the program. Many families had walked a long way to get there, some children had even come on their own and all of them sat waiting in the hot sun hoping....
On a typical mission 300-500 children will receive full medical evaluations but only 100-150 children will be surgically treated.

Despite being queasy at the sight of blood, Brian developed a bond with many of the children in the program and was able to give them moral and emotional support through their treatments.

This is what I love about our relationship with Operation Smile - it is embedded in the roots of our company. The very people who grow our company and are the heart of Close to my Heart are involved with our Operation Smile Mission at the most devoted level.

Jeanette Lynton (CTMH CEO) several years ago also served on an international medical mission to Mexico. She said of this experience " truly changed my life as I wept with joyous parents or bonded with these sweet, beautiful children. I will never forget that experience and it has made me a lifelong advocate for Operation Smile."

In 2012 Jeanette was asked: why operation smile over other charitable organisations? You can read her answer on her blog here.

CTMH raises money for this worthy cause in many ways. We donate a portion of profit from all stamp sets sold, as consultants we run events to raise funds, our customers can make donations at any time which we pass directly onto Operation Smile, we raise awareness and as consultants we are very generous. At our convention in Brisbane last year we could choose to purchase a custom made piece of jewellery with the profit going to Operation Smile. Then we held an auction of artwork with page layouts and cards being auctioned off for as much as $500! The final auction item was a complete Sticky Boy stamp set (very rare indeed), from memory there were 5 of these sets and each set was sold for $500. After convention the auctioned artworks and sticky boys continued to raise money through workshops, sets of instructions available for consultant purchase and sticky boys stamped on cards sold for Operation Smile donations.

This photo was included in an email to Jeanette in 2010 - from the children of Rwanda some of whom are just post surgery and others awaiting their big day. An excerpt from the email reads: Thank you so much for your extraordinary support. Once again and despite the economic downturn, you and the fabulous team at Close To My Heart seem to find a way to rise to the occasion and exceed your goals. With great pleasure, we wanted to share this tribute message with you in hopes of reminding you just how special you are to so many, especially the children around the world!

I am so proud to be part of a company changing lives of children around the world and I hope you have gained some insight into Operation Smile via this blog.

Thanks for joining me on this journey, the “You’re the Bomb” stamp set is only available until the 31st of March 2015 from your CTMH consultant and $3USD from every purchase will go directly to Operation Smile. You can also choose to make a donation of any size directly to your consultant, donations over $2 are tax deductible.
To continue your journey, hop over to see what Vandra has crerated in her Virtual CTMH Craftroom

Friday, 9 January 2015

New Years Resolutions - let's keep them!

So, start of another year and we promise ourselves the same things again that we promised last year. The problem most of the time is that we don't keep our resolutions or the reasons we made them visible. One way to keep them front of mind is using a vision board but I don't have the right space in my house to put one so instead I am completing a vision journal.

I hoped to have it done before I wrote this blog but life got in the way (off to a great start with my resolutions, aren't I? LOL) however one of my resolutions is to write more blog posts even if the project is not complete yet. So here you get to see my work in progress.

I am using the Year Noted kit which is on special this month for only $10 for the pack plus an extra $5 for the mini album (bargain!).

So the albums are a new addition since the seasonal inspirations catalogue came out - they are available normally in Kraft or black and have plastic pocket sleeves. The first pocket is 6x4 then the next page has two pockets each 3x4 and it continues to alternate for the entire 10 pages.

Here are the contents of the year noted kit:
You may be able to see that the b&t paper is printed on one side to be able to be divided into 6x4 sections - the opposite side is all one pattern.

So I have divided my goals up into categories and called them : family adventures, CTMH goals, Health highlights and Scrapbooking snapshots. For each category I have created a title page and then a checklist of resolutions for that category.
I have left gaps for photos which are so important when creating a vision - I may use family photos but it can be just as powerful to use clippings from magazines.

I really like that the stamp set in this kit has a set of dotted lines for writing on which line up perfectly with a set of  check boxes so you can either have a block of text or a check list. The arrows and the scallop banners are pretty cute too. Considering that C sized stamp sets are usually $21, the value of this set for only $10 which includes stamps, papers and stickers is pretty awesome.

So this little book is going to sit on my bedside table for me to look at before I go to sleep and when I wake up - it's a reminder to keep me on track through the year. I am going to include some blank pages at the back with just the heading 'accomplishments' so I can keep track of what I am accomplishing as I go.

The year noted set is only available until the end of this month with any purchase over $75.

I'd love to hear about your resolutions and what you do to keep them so leave me a comment!


Thursday, 1 January 2015

This Moment S1501 : CTMH Stamp of the Month Australasian Blog Hop

 Hello and welcome to my first blog for 2015! It's also the first Stamp of the Month Australasian Close to My Heart Blog Hop for 2015!
If you have arrived here from Patricia Manhire's Creative Corner then your in the right place. If you landed here by happy accident then come and join us on a hopping adventure - just follow the links at the bottom of each blog until you get back to where you started!

So, if you know me, you'll know that I'm not that 'girly girl' - hearts aren't my thing and valentines day isn't something I go crazy over... so this stamp set was a challenge... until as per my usual odd way of looking at things I found myself madly cutting circles and watching as various creatures popped out at me.

Say Hello to Teddy and Frog:

Watch my short time lapse video of them being created:

Cricut machine (all shapes are from CTMH cartridges but most are just circles)
Pear Cardstock
Canary Cardstock
White Daisy Cardstock
Desert Sand Cardstock
Black Cardstock
Cocoa Ink
Black Ink
Ruby Ink
Stuck on you Puffies
Junebug Puffies
January Stamp of the Month (available exclusively throughout January for $27 or for just $5 when you spend $75)

I cut the tips off the leaf shaped puffies to make the eyes for Teddy.
To make Frog's tongue I used the back side of the heart stamp so as not to stamp the sentiment.
Teddy's eyes were stamped with the O from the HELLO.

A few of Teddy's and Frog's friends are on the brink of joining the party... namely Monkey, Fish and Caterpillar but they were running a bit late so you'll have to do those ones on your own!

January's Stamp of the month: This Moment is only available until the 31st of January from your CTMH consultant. Please leave a message for Frog, Teddy and I before you leap into Wendy's blog -  Expressions of the Heart.

Thanks for hopping by!