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Splitcoast Love Fest

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Happy Friday to you! We are so thrilled to be a part of the Splitcoast community and to have the opportunity to share our products and inspiration with you. We are continually amazed by the exciting new ideas and projects you fill the gallery with.You teach us new ways to use the stamps, Die-namics, and supplies that we create for you and we have no doubt that you’ll continue to blow us away with future releases.
 
Now that we’ve gushed over your talent, we would be honored to have you participate in our challenge for you today. We think you’ll love all of the opportunities for interpretation this challenge allows for and we’re confident you’ll leave us swooning.
 
Head on over HERE to get all of the details. We can’t wait to see where our challenge inspires you to go!

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Catch Up with Kim

Howdy!  With January almost at a close (how can that be???), I thought I’d share some pictures and memories from our Winter CHA trip to sunny California.  We had a great time with well-known (old just doesn’t sound right) friends and with brand-new friends, too!

This year was the first year that Brianna joined Jody and I for the trip.  So of course we had to commemorate the occasion with Mimosa’s on the plane.  Cheers!

mimosas on the plane

Julie Dinn also joined us, and on our first day on the show floor we got to visit with Melody Rupple.  It’s always a pleasure to spend time with this cool, Cali chick. :-)  Scotch brand had an adorable photo booth make-n-take, so here we all are, enjoying the props.

cha prop pic

One of the highlights of any CHA is getting to spend time with people in our industry and people on our team.  We got to have dinner with Kimberly Crawford, Cindy Lawrence, and Sherrie Siemens followed by breakfast with Lori Craig. Below is a picture from our lunch with Suzy Plantamura and Laina Lamb.  SUCH fun!

lunch with suzy

We also got to spend time with our European distributors.  It was such a pleasure to meet them!  Prost!

Cheers with our netherlands distributors

Don’t tell the bosses, but on Monday we ditched the show and spent the day at Disneyland!  Here we are with our tickets, entering the park.

disneyland tix

And here is a collage of some great California Adventure fun!

mft at disneyland

Unfortunately the only souvenir I brought back with me was the flu.  But as you can see below, I had some amazing company to help me rest as my Tamiflu and cough suppressants kicked in. <3

flu day

I’m always so excited as CHA approaches.  Trend-spotting, friendship, belly laughs, and business just make for such an enjoyable time.  I hope you enjoyed taking a peek at our trip, and maybe someday we will see YOU there!

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Catch Up with Kim

With the new year just around the corner, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on 2013 and the blessings it brought.  Since I never manage to send out a Christmas letter, maybe this can serve as the van der Sanden/MFT year-in-review. :-)

Many of you have met our youngest daughter, Emma, whose presence is just as precious as can be (and yes, I’m biased, but it’s true!).  She’s the kid who begs for kiwis and star fruit in the grocery store, and who asks for a yo-yo or a 15-piece colored pencil set for Christmas.  Truly, a one-of-a-kind little soul.  Emma is a very serious fan of Phillip Phillips, and we were so excited to surprise her with her very first concert to see him at Universal Orlando!

Em at UO

Here she is on Martin’s shoulders, hearing him sing her favorite song, Gone Gone Gone.  SO SWEET. <3

Em at phillip phillips concert

One of the most exciting things as a parent is to watch your child flourish, and this year our oldest daughter, Brianna, has done just that.  For those of you that have met her, you’ll agree that she is as unique, determined, and spirited as they come. She is an unstoppable force, and I love watching her grow.  This year, at 20, she purchased her own home.  With very little help from us, she did it all on her own.  Here is a picture of her at her closing, as a brand-new homeowner.

B house buying

 We call our home the van der Sanden zoo for good reason, and this year we added 3 new members to the family.  Here is a picture of Hugo and Ty, both of which we adopted from the Cat Protection Society,

hugo and ty

And here is a picture of Boo, my new little fur baby adopted from Candy’s Cats. <3

boo

Here is Annie, our *lap dog* with her papa.

better lap dog annie

We have a thing for black animals as they are always the least likely to be adopted.  But since black is a classic, we will always be in fashion. :-)

This year was filled with exciting adventures as well.  We visited Alaska and had an amazing trip of a lifetime!

alaska

I know I’ll be in the doghouse for posting this picture, but it’s so adorable I can’t resist!

B and papa in moose hats

As soon as we came home from Alaska, we moved into our new home.  A series of miracles took place to make this a reality, and I am beyond grateful and thrilled to call this home.

our new house

This year MFT has much to be thankful for as well, including all of YOU.  We continue to grow each year, and are blessed to now have a staff of 13, including us.  It’s so hard to wrap my mind around our growth and our blessings!

We held our first annual Workshop Retreat in May of 2013, and here is a group shot of our amazing guests and instructors.

retreat guest shot

And here is a team member group shot of our local staff members during the Deliver the Difference charity event, which provided Thanksgiving meals to local residents who otherwise couldn’t afford them.

deliver the difference

And last, but certainly not least (although it is my least favorite news), we are saying goodbye to Karen Motz.  I always find it hard to say goodbye to a Design Team member that is leaving the MFT nest, but I am finding it especially hard to say goodbye to Karen.  Of course I will miss her talented creations, but mostly I will miss her joyful personality.  Having visited with with Karen IRL as well as online, I can truly say she’s a pleasure to spend time with.  Funny, easy-going, always smiling, and always FUN.

I know she has a busy year ahead and is looking forward to traveling and exciting adventures, but I know you’ll miss her as much as we will, so I hope you’ll join me in sending her off with a big, warm hug!

Whew! What a busy 2013!  I can only imagine the blessings and good times that are in store for us in 2014, and am looking forward to seeing what the new year brings.  I hope it brings you peace, health, prosperity, and joy beyond measure.

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Catch Up with Kim

I really love reading blogs and getting a little glimpse into the lives of those whose creativity inspires me, and it occurred to me that I hadn’t gotten up-close and personal, or behind-the-scenes, in quite some time.  So, today I am remedying that!

Recently we had our annual MFT Management Retreat.  I was present along with Jody Morrow, Julie Dinn, Joanne Basile, Laina Lamb, and of course Brianna.  We always do a little work and a lot of play, and we always have a marvelous time.  Here are some highlights from the weekend…

After a long day’s work play, pedicures and pampering were in order!  Here we are as happy as clams enjoying some much needed TLC.

pedis

Fancy feet all around!

pedis close up

After a strenuous morning meeting session, nothing could’ve refreshed us better than a visit to the Garden Gate Tea Room in Mt. Dora, FL.

garden gate

And once our meetings were done for the day, it was time for a BBQ.  Here are Frank and Jody enjoying a beautiful, balmy, Florida night.

Cookout photo 1

Joanne and Laina posed for this cute shot.  I helped Joanne transform her hair into a Cindy Lou Who look!

Cookout photo 2

On a serious note, although we discussed many planned, important topics, there came an unexpected yet vital discovery along the way.  As we strolled and shopped in different areas of town, we had many customer service encounters, and the majority of them left us very disappointed.  I was alarmed at how badly we were treated from stores, restaurants, and boutique-type shops, many of which were in nicer parts of Central Florida.  While I won’t go into detail (I might be typing for the better part of the day if I were to indulge you in every instance) suffice it to say that it COMPLETELY and TOTALLY reaffirmed our commitment to offering YOU legendary customer service.  And although that may not mean we won’t occasionally falter, and that we may not be able to please everyone, it does mean that it is vitally important to us to do our very best.  We believe that we have succeeded because of YOU.  And we will continue to focus on delivering excellent service, and thank you for every opportunity you provide us to do so.

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