Monday, March 31, 2008

New Hero Arts Blog

Good morning everyone. I've reposted this photo in honor of the exciting news of the day. Hero Arts has added a blog to the great online inspiration that they already provide. And of course with the kickoff of the new blog come challenges, prizes and more. If it's inspiration you're looking for, Jennifer McGuire has some wonderful projects on the blog, and Hero Arts has also started a Flickr group where people can post their projects and share the inspiration.
Check it out:

Friday, March 28, 2008

Libby, Montana

We are back from Libby, Montana. We went to visit Matt's sister and her family. We drove to Libby with Matt's parents, and we all had a great time.

Here is one of the things we did for fun...loaded up on their big ATV and drove off into the snow. You can't tell by this picture, but there was actually a fair amount of snow once you got out of the yard. We saw lots of deer when we were out riding. I was so amazed that they weren't very scared of us. They just stood there and watched us . If I lived here, I would definately need one of these.
We went to see the Kootenai River. Just a short little hike in, and the kids loved it. Especially Noah. I think he could have sat there all day just watching the river. Beautiful.

This is Matt's mom with the grandkids, (L to R) Preston, Mary, Bryton, Hannah, and Noah. Hannah and Noah had lots of fun playing with their cousins. Now it's time to unpack and do laundry.

Friday, March 21, 2008

You Make My Day Award

I opened my email this morning and look what I found. This is so fun! Now I've got to tell you about the sweet lady who gave me this award. And let me just say, she's made my day many times herself. Lauren Nwachukwu is an awesome designer and instructor. Every now and then I come across people on the internet who just amaze me with their beautiful art. Lauren is one of those. So when I found her blog, I wrote her an email, and surprise of all surprises, she wrote me back...MADE MY DAY. Since that time we have emailed and talked on the phone, she has given me wonderful encouragement and advice just when I needed it most. So, thanks so much make my day too, you really do.

So, here are the rules for the “You Make My Day” award:

Re-present it to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blog land. Let them know through email or by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times, and if you do, consider yourself really, really loved.

Here are some ladies whose blogs I visit on a regular basis, they inspire me in many different ways. Some with their faith and life choices, some artistically, and by the way they share their lives through blogging. I couldn't figure out how to put the links in here the way that I wanted to, so what you see is what you get:

Missy (my sister-in-law) -
Nicole (old friend) -
Lauren (provides artistic encouragement, just an all around great person) -

now for some more that I am going to give you links for, here are some blogs that I visit all the time and I love, but I don't personally know these ladies, so I won't make them play this little game. These are wonderfully inspiring blogs:

Robin Beam -
Wendi Vecchi -
Linda Cain -
Debbie Olson -
Anna Wight -
Caroline -
Deb -

So thanks to each of you ladies, whether you know it or not, you inspire me on a regular basis. Thanks for sharing your lives with the world through your blogs.

Spring break has officially started, so with all of our exciting plans, I may not be back to blog much this week, but I will be back to blogging before you know it. So to those of you who get a spring break...enjoy, and I will catch you up on my life later.

Have a wonderful Easter remembering Jesus' love for us!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Cloudy days

It has been frustratingly typical Oregon weather. Yesterday started rainy, grey and dismal, then broke into beautiful bursts of sunshine with the rain showers and clouds still mixed in. My son and I spent some time outside exploring the new little budding plants, and taking pictures. This is one of our flowering pear trees in the front, taken during a brief spell of sunshine. Today it has been the same. The weather is mocking me. I was trying to take pictures, and the sun would disappear...then, as soon as I would give up and decided to just download what I had, the sun would start shining beautifully.
I tried to photograph a card today, but it wasn't easy to capture the illusive sun. However, I will show you how I tried to do it. I have this little fabric box that used to be a collapsible storage box for Hannah's stuffed animals, but I decided it would make a perfect box to filter the sunlight. So I set my cards in this box with a piece of thin vellum behind it to soften the corner. Sometimes I set it on a little table, and sometimes (like today), when I need extra light I balance the box between the window and the tripod to get light coming in on all sides. Of course this is all trial and error and I usually have to take LOTS of pictures before I get one that I like. That is the beauty of digital photography. I could never have attempted this 15 years ago with my limited knowledge and experience. Having seen this, some of you photography experts may have tips for me to improve my process. Please feel free to give advice. Now, on to todays project. This is a fun housewarming card. The inside says, "Welcome to your new home." You can't really tell in the picture, but there is a looped cord coming out the top of the arch so you can hang this card on a doorknob, or attach to a gift. This card will be going to stay at Stampin' Cat Studio, so if you want to look at it more closely you can see it there. The beautiful chandelier is cut from glittery patterned paper by Best Creation Inc.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Here's another little card I made when my mom was here visiting. The bird is from the Bird Notes set by Crafty Secrets. It's amazing what just a tiny little piece of beautiful lace can add to a project. While my mom was here I was trying to use up some scraps. I have an entire drawer full of little tidbits that I stamped for demos in classes or something I stamped when I was working on a project, then chose not to use. This bird was one of those. I used him on a card we made in a Hero Arts Collage class. Wow, look how much different he looks scanned than photographed. I'm so glad that my neighbor taught me how to photograph my cards. It was completely gray and overcast when I took that top picture this morning (using only natural light), so it could have been a little better, but not bad considering the light I had to work with. Someday I'll show you how I set up to photograph my pictures.
Now, on to other topics. Yesterday was my husbands 31st birthday. Some family and friends got together and surprised him with supper at the Olive Garden. These are Matt's parents and his youngest sister. We had a great time right up until it was time to leave. As we were grabbing our things to head out, my little two year old accidentally pulled over a chair on top of himself. It hit him right in the face, and his front teeth went into his lip. He did that thing kids do where they are screaming but no sound comes out...then all of a sudden, the sound came out...nice and loud. Pore thing, his lip was bleeding and already puffing up. It took awhile to calm him down, then he was just fine. This morning he woke up with a big, fat-lipped smile. Isn't he cute and pitiful looking.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Birthdays are for the Birds

I am having so much fun today. My mom is here to visit, and we are making cards together. I am so happy that this is a hobby that we both enjoy. I made this card with one of the new stamp sets that I posted about a few posts ago, Bird Lovers by Crafty Secrets. Such a fun set. I would highly recommend it. Look at the beautiful detailed images. And I LOVE the egg stamp that I used to make the background. The little beaded "leaves" on copper wire are from some little clip on Christmas ornaments that I purchased after Christmas on a 75% off sale. I didn't like them as ornaments, but as soon as I saw them I knew I had to have them to cut up and use as embellishments.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Art of Microfine Glitter

The Art of Microfine Glitter is a new class coming up (Edit: Date should be April 5th) March 22 at Stampin' Cat Studio in Salem. I've been slowly collecting sets of Microfine glitter. It is a bit more expensive than the Ultrafine glitter, but is just to elegant and lovely. It is rich, velvety, a bit less shiny and flashy...and I think it can be used a bit more easily on projects that you want to use a lot of glitter on, like the chipboard flower here. Because it is not quite as sparkly it doesn't overwhelm the eye so much, or look gaudy. Sometimes you want lots of bling, but sometimes the microfine glitter adds just the right touch. Unfortunately the glitter didn't show up well in most of the pictures, but you can get an idea of what the finished products will look like. If you live in the area, you really need to stop by the store and see the sample board in person. Even if you can't take the class, maybe I can convince you to get your hands on some Microfine glitter. Warning...don't sneeze, breathe hard, or emit any loud exclamatory statements with loose microfine glitter in front of you. I believe my entire craft area is now coated in a fine layer of glitter. Not that I mind, but I think my husband may be scared to enter the room to use the computer. Maybe that's why he's just been using his laptop...ha,ha. My daughter, on the other hand, has been hovering nearby trying to get in on the action as much as possible. In fact she made a little card with the same layout as the chipboard flower cute...copying is the highest form of flattery, especially when it is your daughter doing the copying.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


This last Friday our local MOPS (Mother of Preschoolers) group met. I get to coordinate the activities (crafts) for this group. This time we made these pretty little necklaces. Very simple and inexpensive to make. They are made with Creative Impressions tags, we used rectangular ones. We rubbed on designs from American Crafts, then coated them with Versamark and embossed with clear embossing powder. Add a large jump ring with a bead on it, and you are finished. An easy, beautiful craft to do with a large group of people, including many who do not usually do crafty things. Here are some photos of some of these beautiful moms working on thier necklaces.
Yesterday I got to spend most of the day teaching my Texture Tiles class right here in McMinnville. It is so fun to teach classes like this one. Tons of techniques, tons of products, and each person creates a project that is uniquely their own. I wanted to take pictures of all of their projects at the end, but I forgot my camera. One of the ladies suggested taking pictures on my phone, so I did take one, then realized that I don't know how to put them on my computer. I think my husband will have to help me figure out how to do that. I am learning a lot on the technology end of things, but I still have a long way to go.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Hero Arts CardArt Class

Coming April 5th to Stampin' Cat Studio in Salem. A brand new class: Hero Arts CardArt Class - Hero Arts has a beautiful new line of CardArt Stamps. In this class we will make 4 cards using the CardArt Thinking of You stamp. This beautiful and versatile stamp is included in the class fee.
If you would like to see additional photos of projects for this class you will find them in the link to the left.

Monday, March 3, 2008

A few of my favorite things

I had a great time at the Creating Keepsakes Convention in Portland. I'm actually not much of a scrapbooker, but I like to go volunteer at these events to meet people in the papercrafting industry, and to gain insight on class management and development. I got to talk with some wonderful people on Saturday, including the lovely and talented Sandy Redburn of Crafty Secrets. I was able to get my hands on two of their new stamp sets, Flourishes and Bird Lovers. They are such beautiful, detailed stamp sets, and I can't wait to start playing with them, and making samples with them. All of their stamp sets are just beautiful. In fact, check it out for yourself, here is a link to their site:
I also visited the people from Rusty Pickle and picked up (among other things) these beautiful trims. The picture includes trim from two different sets, Princess Bride and Mayflower.
And of course I am always a sucker for beautiful glitter, and Barbara Trombley's Vintage Glass Glitter is beyond gorgeous. A friend and I bought the Fine Sea Sprite glitter and the Fine Ultramarine glitter to share...two for the price of one.

It is always interesting visiting these conventions and seeing the different classes offered. So many...well, almost all of the classes were project based classes, and there didn't seem to be very many classes geared towards the more experienced papercrafter. Maybe that is because this was a scrapbook convention vs. a stamping or art convention. I just wonder why there aren't more technique based classes for scrapbookers. Maybe it's just me, but when I take a class I like to learn new things, not just make a pretty project. What do you think? I would love to get some feedback here. What kinds of classes do you prefer or would you like to see more of? Feel free to set me straight here.