Saturday, December 26, 2009

The morning after .....

A bittersweet relief .... sad to see the joy of the holidays pass by again, happy that the hustle and bustle is complete for another year. I hope everyone had a fabulous time with family and friends and had at least one very special moment, near and dear to them!

I certainly did. I was working on a very special project the last couple weeks before Christmas, totally stressed trying to get them done in time. Couldn't share it until now because I didn't want to take any chances of spoiling the surprise!

My mom passed away September of 2008, and my sisters and I spent a good part of 2009 sorting through her belongings and getting her house in order. I was able to quietly gather up enough of her clothing, the pieces that we all recognized and remembered, to make a couple quilts.

Yes, they look like the "quilts of many colors" that don't particularly match, but they are beautiful to us. They hold years and years of great memories!
All bundled up with love ....
We cried, we laughed ... very special moments!

I only wish she'd had a larger wardrobe so that everyone in the family could have one .. but I'm sure these will be passed down for many generations.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

Wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas surrounded with family, friends and everything special to you. May God bless everyone with a happy, healthy, prosperous and blessed New Year!!

Here's the last Christmas project for this season ... a dimensional tree, all done with Ten Seconds Studio metal, all glittery and full of sparkle (that you can't see in the photo) .... now we're onto planning and cooking the big meal, wrapping presents and tying up all the loose ends for this holiday season.

Have a very merry and bright one!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wish I could make time ....

... Like i make dinner, (thanks Terri for putting that idea in my head) because there just isn't enough of it to go around during the holidays! Everyone is feeling the pinch. Don't we all wish we had the time to bake all our holiday special recipes, to check out all the beautiful holiday displays and special shows, to really enjoy the shopping trips to pick out the perfectly special gifts for friends and family .... yes, its all about having the time to really enjoy the special moments of the holiday season!!

My hat goes off to the working moms, who have children at home, and that have to keep up with all the demands of the holidays. I don't know how you do it except with the help of an angel or two!!

I've been spending alot of time working on a very special project, which I'll post about when its done .... a true labor of love!

Through the hustle and bustle of the season, I hope everyone has a little time to just sit back and enjoy their families, friends and many blessings!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Are you ever guilty ....

... of not seeing what's right in front of you?

I love leaves, fall colored leaves .. on trees. I love fall colors .... I travel to Wisconsin, New York and into Northern Arizona to see fall colored leaves on trees. They're beautiful.

But this week I opened my eyes and this is what I saw right next door to me ...
I've lived in my home for almost 5 years now. I've noticed these trees before, but never really paid attention to them. But last weekend, the sky had a patchwork of clouds with sun shining through and it brought a beauty to these trees that I had never "seen" before. They looked like they were on fire they were so aglow .... unfortunately I didn't have my camera in hand at that moment, but it sure got my attention. Now, I see these trees everyday and admire their beauty.

Take a look around you, is there something you're missing? Look at the distant landscape, the close landscape ... do you take the mountains for granted, the sunsets? How about the people that surround you ... when was the last time you took a moment to really appreciate your wife/husband, your parents, your siblings? kids? pets?

In these busy and trying times .... we sometimes forget just how fortunate and blessed we are.

Take a moment and look ......

Monday, November 30, 2009

Nothing better ....

.. than a long weekend full of family, friends and fun ... and getting lots accomplished!

A little shopping on Black Friday ... just can't say no to some of those opportunities ... a new Christmas tree and decorations up on Saturday .... and studio playtime on Sunday.

When I saw this stamp at Frenzy Stamper on Friday, i just had to color it with Copics! And when I saw the "whatever ..." stamp ... well ... they just went together at the moment. It just makes me laugh!

Happy Cyber Monday!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Through good times and bad, we all have so many things in our lives to be thankful for!

I wish everyone the most fabulous day, spent with loved ones, with plates full of food, and a day to focus on everything good.

May God bless each and everyone one of you!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Discover Copics!

I'll be teaching a basic class using Copic markers at Frenzy Stamper, Wednesday, December 2 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. Come play with me! Get a Copic in your hand and discover why everyone is falling in love with them!

They are great for making your Christmas cards and gift tags!

For more details or to sign up ... call Debbie at 480-946-0007

Friday, November 13, 2009

One happy dog!

Two happy dogs .... especially when they get to go for their walks! Every morning they give us the "look" with those big dark eyes .... sitting, staring, waiting for the sign that we're heading out.

Now Wesley is 14 1/2 years old, and his eyesight and hearing isn't quite what it used to be. But he still loves to go for walks, but he was spending more time sniffing every tree and bush along the way than he, or we, were walking ... so here's how we resolved that issue! We got him a pet stroller ... best thing ever!! (thanks Claudine Hellmuth for that link) Wesley took to it without any issue at all. Now he walks a little, rides alot, walks a little more ... and he's happy as can be .... and now we're all getting better exercise.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Great class!

I took a class with Zana Clark from Stamp Zia on Thursday evening at Frenzy Stamper. A couple friends who are quite familiar with her products highly recommended her .... and I'm so glad I did.

This is what I made. We started with watercolor paper, and applied numerous of her products, in layers, to create this look.

She's demo-ing at the Mesa Stamp show today, if anyone is heading out there.

Check out her products .... they're pretty cool!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Practice, practice, practice ....

After watching demonstrations, for years, at CHA ... knowing full well that I could get totally hooked ..... I finally caved and started my own collection of Copic markers .... and I'm loving them!

The easy flow, the blendability, the beautiful colors .... yep, I'm hooked!

Here's one of my first efforts ......

I have to thank Debbie at Frenzy Stamper for bringing them into inventory ... makes it much easier to feed my addictions!

And speaking of addictions ..... SPICA pens! Spica pens are high quality glitter pens .... they're like Stickles with precision! They are part of the Copic marker line and go hand in hand with them ... many beautiful colors! Debbie was so nice to bring the entire color line of Spicas into inventory too!

These pens just color my world!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Days!

A very busy, productive weekend .... my favorite kind!

Frank was busy playing golf, watching ASU football, and the Yankees ... he's a die hard Yankee fan from growing up watching them as a little boy. He's hoping they finish off the world series tonight!

I was busy making this ....

Its a plain little wood chest that I got at Hobby Lobby when I was in Wisconsin. Its covered with 10SS pearl metal, highlighted with Rangers dimensional pearls acrylic paint, which gave it a very cool marbled effect. There's close to 180 smokey topaz gems on it ... and it just sparkles in the light! The drawers have cork lining on the bottom and distressed papers on the sides.

And of course the back has to be pretty too ...

And my Copic markers and 10SS tools fit perfectly in the drawers!

Frenzy Stamper has Copic markers in stock now!! If you haven't played with them yet ... oh, yeah, you really should try them out!

Hey Phoenix people!! Do you know that we now have two more Hobby Lobby's that are having a grand opening today?? One is on Cactus and Tatum, the other Ray and I-10 .... both, much closer to me than the others!! I won't tell you how many times I've been to the one on Cactus and they've only been open a week!! Oh, I'm in trouble!

Have a great week!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Watch out for the ghosts and goblins!

Wishing everyone a ghoulishly happy halloween!

Click on this link for a special FREE offering from Jessica! Grow Your Skills.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Absent, but having so much fun!

Before I tell you what I've been doing ... a quick update on Erin. She's going to physical and speech therapy still, but doing great! She's slowly regaining her strength and getting her life back in order.

Me .... I just got back from a week with Terri. I can't even tell you how much fun we had and how special it was! First of all, she has this basement that would be an envy for any artist. When I'm there, we rarely leave the basement. Her husband knows this and her children know this. We come up only for meals and the bathroom. And what a sweetheart her husband was over the weekend ... making all our meals ... and just hollering down the stairs when it was time for us to come up and eat.

I arrived Thursday early afternoon .... we made a quick stop at our favorite shoe store before heading home to start our first project.

We made our version of a class from the Club Scrap retreat earlier this month

The next morning we headed down to the basement in our jammies with coffee cups in hand and started designing what was supposed to be a big metal project. Throughout the day it took many shapes and changes .... a 360 degree turn and it became this. The frame is 22 x 28, and this photo does it no justice. Its cork background ... the words are distressed grungeboard and chipboad, embellished with rusty objects, woven trim and metal squares. If I had a suitcase big enough to hold this, there would have been a battle over who was going to keep this piece! But sweet Terri sent me home with the ingredients to make another!

That evening we added photos and embellishments to my most recent Carol Wingert book. I love leaves and autumn colors, so its full of photos that remind me of just that.

Next morning, back to the basement in our jammies with coffee cup in hand. Today we decided to play with wax. We played, experimented, added, deleted, re-designed .... and ended up with these creations.

Next was a project from the Farmers Market kit .... a magnetic board .... and here's what we did with it ...

Next morning, back to the basement in our jammies with coffee cup in hand ... decided to work with metal today ... We made the frames out of foamboard, covered them with dictionary paper. distressed them and went to work on the metal.

The best Hobby Lobby is in Appleton, and of course we made time to do our 3 hour shopping trip and found lots of treasures!

We started a 4-drawer wooden chest thats going to be covered in metal, but darn if it wasn't time for me to leave by that time, so that project is sitting upstairs in my studio waiting to be finished.
Thanks Mike, Jack and Greta for letting your mom and I share these very special times together!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The miracle ...

I drove to California last weekend with my sister, Erin's mother. We spent the mornings helping out with the new baby, Peyton, and Makayla, then spent the afternoon and evening at the hospital with Erin. We watched Erin progress each day, almost by the hour, you could see more life come back to her ... and I'm happy to say that she went home yesterday!! She's got a few weeks of intense physical therapy to get her strength back, but she IS our miracle! We're so proud of her for the fight for life that she put up. Here's little baby, Peyton ... we, also, watched him over a three day period, almost double his intake of food ... he's growing like a weed!

And one of the many highlights of the weekend was to watch Makayla play soccer with her team, the Glitter Girls! 5 and 6 year olds, no referees, no goalees, not too much structure even, but 45 minutes of such joy and laughter.

And each night, Mallory and I spent hours putting together the scrapbook for Erin. All the work last weekend on the pre-made pages, made this task so much easier. Thanks again, my friends, for taking part in that. I do believe that book will make Erin feel like she didn't miss the first 3 weeks of Peyton's life ... and I'm sure she'll treasure it. Who knows, maybe she'll show it to Peyton when he's grown ... and what a story to tell that goes along with it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I've got the BEST friends ....

About ten years ago, a group of women came together. We all had two common threads .. we were all members of Club Scrap, and we all shared the same passion for scrapbooking. We started meeting once a month, sometimes working on particular projects, teaching each other new techniques we'd learned, sometimes visiting stores together, and forming strong lasting friendships.

We've shared some amazing adventures together over the years and I treasure each and every one of them!

On September 11, my niece, Erin, gave birth to a healthy baby boy! What a great day .... but by that night Erin had developed some complications. Over the next two days, she had emergency surgery, and ended up on a ventilator in ICU in very critical condition. Yesterday we got the best news since all this happened ... she breathed on her own for 1 1/2 hours, and she recognized her husband and pictures of her kids!! This is the kind of stuff you read about in the paper, or see on TV, but not in your own family .... we are so thankful for her baby steps forward .... and the thoughts and prayers from so many people.

Erin is missing the first weeks of her new baby boys life, so her oldest daughter, Mallory, is putting together a scrapbook, so Erin will be able to see his progress through photos when she is feeling better. Mallory hasn't scrapbooked before ....

So back to my friends ...... Club Scrap donated several packs of paper perfect for a new baby boy, along with their famous ALSB (assembly line scrap book) instructions, so we had a gathering of the group at my house yesterday. We formed several "assembly line" lines ... and we pumped out a good supply of pre-made pages to help Mallory accomplish the scrapbook for her mom!

These photos don't show everyone that was there, but from the bottom of my heart I thank each and everyone of you for taking part in making this happen. Thank you Dinah and Tricia for supplying us with the perfect batch of goodies!

I really do have the BEST friends!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy birthday, Bug!

This is Vito, he's my baby! He's six years old today.

This morning was a perfect fall morning, crisp air, nice breeze, leaves blowing in the air ..... so big baby, tough guy got an extra long walk. He was sniffing, and rolling in all the wet lawns and scratching his back with the green blades of grass. Loving every second of it! Thats why he looks a bit "scruffy" and his curls are enhanced more than normal.

I think he'll get pizza for lunch, cake in the afternoon and balloons just for him, maybe some chewies, and a few more toys to shred .... whatever he wants!

Love you bug!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I love to make books ...

... I love how they come together and just feel so nice, so "book" like ... and to think I made it!

But I've never finished one ... from front to back, with photos and embellishments, I mean finished, filled .... until this past weekend!! This book is full of hidden spots and little books inside the big book ... must have 40-50 photos in it ... and the blues and browns just called out for my Bahamas photos.

I started with Carol Wingert's August Creatolgie kit. If you haven't experienced them, and you love to make books, you need to check them out. They come with all the instructions, the paper, the embellishments, and special techniques to complete it ... you just add your own touches and photos. This kit truly inspired me to finish one to the end! Thanks Carol!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Where does a week go ....

... whoosh, and its gone!

Last weekend (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) was Creative Escape. Wow! What an event. Close to 600 women at the beautiful Wild Horse Pass Resort, 8 very talented teachers bringing their varied styles into their workshops.

Each day was full of classes, activities and fun ... no one had a moment to rest. If you want a complete recap of the weekend, you can visit Carol Wingert's blog, Tim Holtz's or Heidi Swapp's.

I had the distinct pleasure of working with Carol Wingert this year. A great talent, a real sweetheart of a lady. Thanks Carol for inviting me into your world!

If you're not familiar with Carol's Creatologie kits .... click on her link to the left. Her September kit is up for pre-orders right now. All I can say is these kits are addicting! The September kit reflects Autumn ... anyone that knows me is aware of my passion for autumn colors and autumn leaves ..... I'm all over the September kit! And what perfect timing .... i'm heading to Wisconsin to visit Terri .. mid-october .... autumn colors, autumn leaves!!

I got to do my civil duty this week too ... called for jury duty ... and was chosen for a jury. I've been called a couple times before, but never was chosen. It was/is an experience to see our judicial system close up .... and I get to go back for a second day!

Now, its a nice three day weekend. Frank is in New York, and I plan on spending alot of time with my art supplies!

Hope your long weekend is a true delight!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How sweet was this??

My good friend, Debbie Bick, made this for me!

I just love it!

You can see other designs on her blog, just click on Frenzy Stamper in my blog list.

She learned this technique at Art Unraveled and has been hooked on making these ever since ... she used odd pieces of wood, india ink, wood yardsticks and all kinds of ephemera to complete the look.

Thanks Deb! You're the best!

I'm off to Creative Escape tomorrow ... nope, not as an attendee, but as a volunteer. This is my second year ... lots of work ... but tons of fun. So much energy buzzing around this event!

I get to assist Carol Wingert ... really looking forward to working with her ... love her style. I purchased her Creatologie kit last month ... Wow, think it might be one of the coolest books I've ever made .... check it out .. she's on my blog list too!

Lots of very cool classes .... tell you all about it on Sunday!

Sunday, August 16, 2009


And more wax!

Took a class yesterday at Frenzy Stamper taught by Mike Putnam! What a great guy ... and so talented! If you haven't discovered him yet, click on the Jack and Cat Curio link in my blog list and check him out!

Here's my finished project ...
We started with acrylic paints, distress inks, transparencies and printed images on paper, then wax, and a little more wax .... lots of layers and depth to this project.

I took the photo at an angle so you could see the edges a little better ... we built up the wax on the edge, then used stamps and decorative metal plates and 10SS molds to emboss into it. Then highlighted the embossing with paint sticks, perfect pearls, stickles.

Thanks Mike for sharing your talents ... had a blast!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

So much fun!

The class yesterday was a hoot!

Thanks Debbie for having me, Wendy for continually pushing me, Rox for the support ... and most of all the ladies in the class that were so eager to learn!

Tons of fun!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Metal 101.5

Thats the name of the class I'll be teaching next Saturday, August 8, at Frenzy Stamper, 3-6 PM.

When I was first taken in by embossed metal, I thought it was so amazing; the touch, the feel, the look ... and I held off learning how to do it because it just looked sooooo "involved" .... but that never stopped me before ... so I dove right in!

In Metal 101.5, I'll show you all the tips, tricks, and techniques that Ive learned along the way ..... help you get started .... and then you'll be on your way to making beautiful embossed metal pieces!

Call Debbie at 480-946-0007 to sign up!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Great times ...

Not sure if it was our visit to Frenzy Stamper where my cousin Alane fell in love with the "monster" dolls ....

or riding the segways around
Tempe Town Lake ....

or our day at the spa ....
but we had a fabulous time!

Its very special when you get to share time with family that you love!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The best weekend!

I don't remember the last time I got to spend the entire weekend playing with all my "stuff" ... no grocery shopping, no laundry, no errands .. none of the regular weekend chores .... I never left the house, i just played ....

Here's what I made today

Definitely inspired by Wendy ... those flowers are addicting ...

The background and all the flowers are metal, as well as the butterfly ... the leaves are grungepaper ... used distress and alcohol inks ...

Another of my favorite quotes ... a stamp from Club Scrap ... and I do believe Terri did the stamp design! Love it!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A finished project ...

and just in time. My cousin arrives Monday morning and I can't wait to give this to her. I hope she likes it ... there's lots of special little things inside!

The cover .. one of my favorite quotes from a special kit Club Scrap made to benefit people in need after Hurricane Katrina. Alane was born and raised in New Orleans.

And the flower ... one of the many floral inspirations from Wendy.

Another of my favorite quotes ... "I hope we're never to old for ice cream and fancy dresses"

Special family photos ...

More special family photos ...

This could be my all time favorite photo of my mother and her sister, Alane's mom. There's a long story that goes along with this photo, which I won't bore you with, but it was a very special time that Alane and I shared together.

When Alane's son was born ...

And the end, because I just love my little cuzzin!

I sure had fun making this ... special stuff! Thanks for looking!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

And the heat goes on ....

Yes, its been pretty warm in Phoenix lately, but then what else would you expect ... afterall we do live in a desert! And this heat happens every single summer .... but the good part of that is there's no better time of the year to stay inside with the air conditioning and work with your favorite crafting media.

I'm so excited because my dear cousin Alane is coming to visit me in a week. Our mothers were sisters, and were very close, and we continue that family link.

Recently I ran across some photos of my grandparents and our mothers, as young ladies, so I decided to put together a small scrapbook for Alane, as a little gift when she arrives.

I made the book from a Club Scrap kit. 6x6 pages in the front which makes the lid, which opens to a box to hold memorabilia. Alane and I share a passion for the history and photos of our family.

The first page was a photo of the house our grandmother grew up in, the second page is our grandparents on my mothers side ... i'll share the rest when they're complete.

Hmmmmm, i guess i just ruined her surprise if she reads this ... oh, well, she'll know how much I love her ahead of time, I guess!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy 4th of July!!

Hopefully we'll all be celebrating independence day with family and friends. Lots of pool parties, bbq's, fireworks and red, white and blue!

Please make sure you are aware of your little furry family members during the festivities surrounding this weekend. Many of them don't like the loud noises, crowds and bright lights.

Speaking of furry friends, take a moment to visit Claudine Hellmuth's blog Watch the quick video clips from her Tuesday post about Bernie Berlin and A Place to Bark. Bernie does such great things! If you can help with any kind of donation, please do.

Have a safe and great long weekend!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Home Sweet Home

We just got back late last night from a 3-day stay in San Diego. Perfect is the best way to describe that place .... i think it is just always 70 degrees!

Thank you Farmers Insurance for giving us the opportunity to qualify for this event!

I can't believe I didn't take one photo .. never even took my camera out. Was just too "into" the moments.

We stayed at the Westin Gaslamp Quarter right in the heart of downtown within walking distance to almost anything ... and about 20 steps from Horton Plaza. Horton Plaza is a 5-story shopping center with some very nice opportunities!

But besides shopping, we spent time at the beach, at Balboa Park (you could spend a week there just wandering through all the museums), a visit to Body Worlds (which I don't think anyone should miss), a visit to Old Town (the livery stable was my favorite .. oh, and the shoe store) and some time with friends.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

So funky ...

but yet it just makes me smile. We came across this "thing" in the 80% off aisle at Hobby Lobby. Its got a deer head hanging out the top and room for lots of photos in the photo sleeves. It was marked down to 4$ .. how could we possibly say no?? All three of us walked away with one!

My friend Lia (biscuit dough, as I lovingly call her) came to visit me today, along with her friend Sandy. They both live in California.

Sandy's boss made arrangments for them to stay the weekend at the Montelucia Resort in Paradise Valley. I got a tour of it this morning when I met up with them. Wow! What a property, absolutely gorgeous.

We started out with an early breakfast, then hit Scrapbooks Etc, then Hobby Lobby, then Culvers for a little frozen custard pick-me-up, then Mystic Paper, then Melrose Place, then Paris Envy, then back to Frenzy Stamper. Tons of fun, lots of laughs and we all were so happy with the little treasures we found throughout the day.

Thanks girls for a great time today!! Come back anytime!