Sunday, September 29, 2013

Long time, no see ( or post, as the case may be)...

Life has been busy as usual as it for everyone! Job hunts, working towards adopting, and so much more  takes over but as creativity is the thing that fulfills me and makes me feel most alive and zen, I have been creating all along. So it's time to finally share some of what I've been working on!

Most of my creativity has involved using my Silhouette Cameo - since getting this little beauty a few months back I've had all kinds of fun experimenting with everything this marvelous machine can do. One of the main selling points was it's ability to cut fabric. As a fabric designer and one who loves to design quilts with appliqué elements, this was huge for me! And it does all sorts of amazing things too - paper crafting, glass etching, rhinestone patterns, and the list goes on and on. I love using the designs available throughout the online store but as a designer, I design most of what I create myself which is possible if you upgrade to the Designer edition of their software.

My burlap table runner stenciled with a gothic font thanks to the Silhouette. ( A slightly more labor intensive project but so worth it - I love it!) 

A hobo bag jazzed up with stenciling and fabric leaves both crated with the Silhouette.

A simple little candle wrap with flowers cut on the Silhouette.

One of my java jackets with the letters cut out on the Silhouette.

Potholder made with one of my fabric designs and cut with the Silhouette.

A Hensley Home sign with Silhouette vinyl on glass in a simple black frame.

Silhouette vinyl on painted wood for a fun jewelry display.

A stenciled lacy border around my Mason jar cubby courtesy of the Silhouette.

A dressed up Ikea RAST dresser with doily and antique french handwriting stencils created on the Silhouette.

A pallet art project with stencils created on the Silhouette.

* Disclaimer - I am not compensated by Silhouette in any way, shape or form. I just am gaga over the product!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Creating Time Mega Book Launch!

I've been so busy, but then again haven't we all! That is no excuse for being such a bad blogger but today of all days and in the vein of making the most of your time (and to focus on a much happier topic than tax day) I had to post about this wonderful new book which launches today and which I am a contributor to!!!! Yay!!!! I have been a part of Artella for over six years now as their Artistic Admin Alchemist! I am so happy to be even a teeny tiny part of this amazing book and I will definitely be devoting some of my time in the coming days to spend poring over this gorgeous book! I'm hoping I'll be able to do a giveaway of this book at some point down the road but in the meantime order a copy TODAY as there are all sorts of wonderful Artella goodies ($125 worth) you'll get for FREE if you order today!!!!!

Creating Time: Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life by Marney K. Makridakis turns the concept of time management upside-down and creatively shows you that you do have all the time you need and can create a rich new experience with time that consistently supports you. You can order from any online bookseller any time this week and get an awe-inspiring bundle of time-expanding bonuses, and if you order Today, April 17 only, you’ll also get over $125 worth of Artella merchandise. Isn’t it time for a new kind of time? Go here to order and get your goodies!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

In an Instagram

It's time for another installment of In an Instagram! This week is all about Halloween and stitchery! Check out all the other wonderful Instagram pics over at Life Rearranged.

Clockwise from top left

Hubby dressed as B. F. Skinner for his department Halloween party (he teaches psychology).

My Halloween Bunting O' Greetings is up in the living room and will be changed out to Thanksgiving soon.

Stacks of Java Jackets all stitched up for a little Handmade Goods fair this weekend. 

My newest little shabby chic style Java Jacket just for me!

Friday, October 21, 2011

In an Instagram

Once again, after a too lengthy absence, it's time for another installment of In an Instagram! This time it's all about fall (which is far too short here in my neck of the woods if you ask me). Check out all the other wonderful Instagram pics over at Life Rearranged.

Clockwise from top left

The fall decorating projects have begun with a woven ribbon table runner for the dining room that will be layered with all sorts of other decorations!

We took in the St. Scholastica Homecoming Football game where they continued their undefeated season after only four years of their program.

My autumn Bunting O' Greetings is up in the living room and will be changed out to Halloween in just a few days.

A little drive through Jay Cooke State Park to take in the fall colors before they're all gone (which they very nearly are.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Digital Scrapbooking Software

I am so sorry for the lengthy absence - life has been a bit out of control and it's taken a bit to get back on even keel and I'm happy to be back. I'm even happier for you as there's a chance for you to win a really cool product a bit later on!

A project I've wanted to work on for quite a long time is creating a recipe/memory book using the recipe cards from my grandma. I always loved looking at the handwriting of both my grandma and grandpa (especially with writing by hand becoming a dying art) - grandpa wrote in a journal everyday but most of the writing from my grandma was seen on our cards for special occasions or her recipe cards. As I spent part of my young life living with my grandparents, I got to spend lots of quality time with them and especially with grandma in the kitchen. One of my favorite memories of time at their house was having toast made from grandma's homemade bread (which she used to make twice a week to help feed her family of six kids and grandpa) and homemade hot chocolate warmed up on the stove (before microwaves were around - so much better the old-fashioned way!).

I use Photoshop all the time for my creations but I was looking for a little bit simpler way to begin putting it together. A while back I had stumbled across some software called My Memories. After a bit of investigating (and an invitation from them to review the software) I thought I would give it a try to get this little (or big) project started.

I began with one of my grandma's recipe cards and went from there. I scanned the card and a picture of my grandma in her younger days as well as a wooden spoon and cleaned them up in Photoshop before I added them to my layout. There are lots of wonderful backgrounds and additional embellishments that are included with the My Memories Suite software when you purchase it. Once I decided on the background, it was really quick work to put the page together. Honestly, choosing from all the backgrounds really was the most difficult and time consuming part of the whole process. There are so many tools to make it super easy to put a project together in no time - layouts so you don't even have to think about photo placement, embellishments and flourishes,

I can't wait to put together the rest of the pages and get the whole book together and take advantage of some of the other great features that make it really easy to share your work. I definitely want to get at least a few books printed and the My Memories Suite allows you to do that pretty simply. I can't really afford to have them printed for everyone in my extended family but the My Memories Suite also allows you to share your work virtually and even add multimedia elements such as background music which I can't wait to try out!

In addition to their software, there are all kinds of fabulous designs for your digital scrapbooking on the My Memories site. I've downloaded a few and can't wait to get even more!

Now on to the really good news for you - head over to My Memories and peruse their vast selection of digital paper packs and layouts. Once you've thoroughly overwhelmed yourself with all they have to offer, come back here and leave a comment about your favorite paper pack or layout and you'll be entered into a contest to win your very own My Memories Suite Software (a $40 value!). For an additional entry head over to their blog and become a follower. You can get an additional entry by liking them on Facebook. And one more entry for becoming a follower of their Twitter feed. That is four total entries you can get into this great giveaway - just make sure to come back here and post a comment about each action you've taken to be entered into the contest.

And if you really can't wait to win the software and want to get started with all the fun stuff that the My Memories Suite has to offer, you can use this special code to get a $10 discount off the purchase price of the software AND get a $10 coupon for the My Memories store so you can start scrapbooking away to your heart's content! Just copy and paste this code at checkout to get your discount: STMMMS63148 (Copying and pasting the code is the way to go to avoid any typos). This coupon code doesn't have an expiration date!

The contest does have a deadline, however - make sure to get your comments posted and and entries in by midnight next Tuesday, October 25 for your chance to win the My Memories Suite software! The winner will be announced right here On Wednesday, October 26! Good luck and have fun browsing!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Thank you Serena!

I was so shocked, excited and surprised to see my face on the wonderful Serena's blog over at The Farm Chicks! She wrote about shining a light on others a couple of weeks back and asked her followers to write to her if they'd like to be considered. So I sent off a little something about my dream of being a licensed fabric designer and didn't know if anything would come of it but there I was today. I love Serena's work and was so thrilled to get to hear her speak at last year's Creative Connection Event. She is such a sweet and talented woman and I thank her so much for shining her light on me! Check out her blog and my fabric designs over at Spoonflower.

Friday, August 19, 2011

In an Instagram...

It's time for another look at life through the lens of my iPhone camera and our little everyday adventures. 

Top Row: Happy Birthday Bunting Banner for my hubby's birthday | Glensheen Mansion exterior
Large Pic: Full moon over Lake Superior
Far Right (top to bottom): Glensheen Gardens | Lake Superior view from Glensheen | Homemade Quiche

My very best friend in the world - my hubby - celebrated his birthday. We had a low key day going to see a movie and me making him a yummy dinner with chocolate creme brulee for dessert. We've been trying to take advantage of the beautiful weather here while it lasts so we took a stroll through the grounds and gardens of Glensheen for their annual Art Fair. We've been enjoying the fruits of my little herb garden in dishes like spinach and ricotta quiche. Going out for a walk as the sun is beginning to set and enjoying the cooler temps by the lake is another favorite and is made even better when we reward ourselves with DQ along the shore by the light of the silvery moon.

Check out the wonderful people sharing their phone pics over at Life Rearranged.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Better World Wednesday

Our recent trip to Iowa included lots of quality time with friends and family. We got to have lots of fun, good food and comfy beds to sleep in. All of these things that we take mostly for granted there are so many others who don't have that luxury. I was made acutely aware of this when we attended church with my new sister-in-law Cindy as part of our BIX 7 festivities. Her wonderful church, St. Paul's, has a jazz service each year at BIX time but this year they were also kicking off their Nuts About Nets program. They have partnered with to get 50,000 nets to Nigeria to help prevent the spread of malaria. One net can cover 3-4 people and help save so many lives. A good night's sleep is something we take for granted most nights but there are millions who can't do the same. 

I'm hoping to make a donation to this wonderful cause but don't really have the disposable income to do so. So I decided that I could stitch up a little something to raise funds to send along. One donation of $10 will purchase four nets. I have been stitching up these little heart sachets of netting and lace filled with miniature dried rosebuds and am selling them on Etsy. The profits from the sale of these sachets will go to this program and hopefully make another corner of the world a little better and safer place Please visit my Etsy shop and consider helping out.

Friday, August 5, 2011

In an Instagram...

Here's a look back at the most recent everyday adventures. These little pics are all from our whirlwind trip through Iowa visiting old and new friends and new family and taking part in old traditions and reliving wonderful memories. You can also be a part of the Instagram fun over at Life Rearranged where lots of other wonderful people are sharing their phone photos.

We were able to spend lots of quality time with my friend Sara and her wonderful family (including her daughter Abby). My hubby was able to visit a couple of his oldest friends and spend more quality time with his newly found sister and I was able to finally meet a blogging friend in person and spend quality time at a quilt shop! We both felt so blessed to get to spend precious time with all of these people in our lives - they are all phenomenal people and feel so lucky to call them friends and family and to feel so loved and completely accepted by them.

Row 1: Bob & Abby | Bob & his sister Cindy having their pics taken for their big newspaper story | Bob & his friend Scott
Row 2: Abby & me | Bob & his friend Jason | My blogging friend Linda & I

Taking in old and new sights was also part of our Iowa adventures. We were able to take a tour of a beautiful new hotel on my hubby's old campus and were introduced to a beautiful organic farm where we picked up our friend's weekly produce share. We visited one of my old campuses and stood on the spot where Bob proposed to me a few years back. I got to see the Weinermobile for my second time in Iowa and we took in a new tradition of watching the Jr. BIX the night before participating in the BIX 7 with our new family.

Row 1: Hotel Kirkwood lobby | Abbe Hills Farm | the bridge at Central College where Bob proposed
Row 2: Home of the best Dutch Letters | My old hall | the phone booth at Central College
Row 3: Smokey Row where I got my daily doses of caffeine in Pella | the Weinermobile in Davenport | Jr. BIX runners

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

You might be a winner...

If you haven't heard about The Creative Connection Event yet, you have been missing out. If you've been reading my blog for a while you know how much I loved this happening last year. I was able to meet so many of my creative sheroes including Amy Butler (the absolute highlight of my whole TCC experience! There's even a picture of me meeting her in the issue of the Where Women Create magazine wrapping up last year's event.) I'm hoping I'll be able to attend this year again, but it's not a sure thing. The wonderful people over at TCC are having a giveaway and you might be able to win a pass and hotel stay for you and a friend to attend the event! That is a huge value and a phenomenal opportunity but you have to get over to their blog before tomorrow, Thursday August 4 at 11:59 pm to get your entires in. Don't miss out on this opportunity to win a great prize!