Friday, November 30, 2007

Oh, what fun it is to

play with glitter

be crafty

drag out the Christmas cd's and listen to holiday music

make handmade gifts for those you love

and play with new Distress crackle paint from Tim Holtz-yippee!

And yes, it's Saturday again and this is how I'm spending my day. No worries-just right!

What are you doing today? Can't wait to share about a little holiday inspiration I'm participating in beginning today.

Also, if you're in to the comforts of home and a handmade holiday check out Rebecca Sower's blog for some inspiration. She is original, honest and impeccable in her taste. enjoy!

P.S. This is my new friend, Sam. He's hanging out with me and Jack today. You'll have to excuse him as his glue is still drying. He wasn't quite ready for his close up, but I had to share. He reminds me of someone. Hmmm.....can you guess who?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Who's To Blame?

I guess it's the Christmas music, but I am SO in the holiday spirit tonight.
This is Jack. He's one of the little snow fellows I've been bringing to life. He and his friends are so cute-if I do say so myself! Here's a peek at how they'll eventually look. Well, minus the jingle bell. I forgot to purchase jump rings at Michaels. I did slip one into the cello bag with some faux snow and wee! what fun! They're really going to look sweet all packaged up with a candy cane. :)

And look what I exchanged for my chips at Bread Co. Aren't these darling?!? Not sure what I'll do with them, but I couldn't resist. Whoever did their holiday marketing this year did a great job. Even the paper they wrap your sandwich in is uber cute!

Can you tell what colors I'm loving this year?! Okay, I'm off to paint some more carrot noses!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

(beep) Turn the Page...

Remember the books with the record and it would *beep* and tell you to turn the page?

Before we turn the page on the calendar I wanted to share a few photos from our Thanksgiving Day celebration. We love spending time together and I think it shows! What a fun, relaxing day-so good to spend it with the ones you love most. Teasing, laughing, inside jokes-all the things that make family, well, FAMILY. Love you guys and can't wait for Christmas morning. Let the countdown begin!

We're already gearing up beginning with A Charlie Brown Christmas tonight and starting our Advent chain. I'll be finishing up those snowmen this week and starting some other projects too, including an indulgence-12 Days of Comfort & Joy with Queen of the Bellas, Teresa McFayden.

Off to bed with visions of decorating and crafting and wrapping in my head!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cheap Therapy

My husband doesn't believe me when I say the cheapest therapy on earth has to be paper and glue. Spent the day doing what I set out to do-just playing. And manged to get all my snowmen
Well, started anyway. Inspired by Pam Garrison and Colleen Moody, I decided I would make snowmen ornaments for our Sunday School kids. They have to air-dry for 24 hours and then I'll paint them up, throw on some glitter and velvet ribbon and a jingle bell or two. This is just the BEFORE-stay tuned for the AFTER when they're ready for their closeups.

I was also able to put together the Bella's Banner kit I purchased from Pam Garrison at Silver Bella. The base of these are chipboard cards from Maya Road.
Covered with patterned paper designed by Amy Butler, vintage wallpaper and book text and embellished with my fav glass glitter, these were a blast to work on. I was super nervous tho' to freehand the letters, but managed pretty well for my first time, I think. I'd like to make another one of these if I can get my hands on more of the chipboard cards.

What a relaxing day. Sure beats fighting the crowds in the stores! And while you can debate whether it's the cheapest, there's no debating it's my kind of therapy.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I'm Dreaming...

of a 4 day weekend! A weekend full of family, fun and relaxation. Looking forward to spending the day at Mom and Dad's on Thanksgiving Day celebrating with our own comforting traditions. Unfortunately, most of them involving food! Hey, guys do you have your gift exchange lists ready? All of the adult children in my family have been exchanging names after dinner for the last several years. It's really silly 'cause none of us needs anything, but we have alot of fun. Somehow, my sister and I always end up with each other's names. :)

I'm also looking forward to a very rare Saturday with Jeff home from work. We're planning to see the new Disney movie, "Enchanted", but mostly just hanging out and doing what most families do on Saturday's-whatever we decide to do! Also on my list, if the weather doesn't take a total dive, is to work on painting the cabinet for my studio and to work on Christmas gifts for my Sunday School class-so excited about these.

Right now I'm looking forward to Friday morning-XM radio on, white chocolate mocha from Starbucks and working on my Pam Garrison projects from Silver Bella. Time to reflect, rejuvenate and gear up for the Christmas holiday. I'll be making my lists and getting organized. Oh, and dragging out decorations and getting some of them up.

Hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Sweet Dreams!

Photo is two of my favorite little dudes taken last Thanksgiving day at my sister's.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Very Bella Weekend

To say the least, last weekend was like a dream. I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to be among so many creative and delightful ladies. Many of these women own businesses while others have managed to find their bliss simply for their own pleasure. All of them passionate about one thing-paper arts! Here's a little recap of my Silver Bella weekend and a peek at some of the projects we made.

Tam and I headed out after work on Thursday and arrived in Omaha about 10:30 pm. After picking up our welcome paks at the Hilton, we headed for our hotel just in time to get settled and to bed for our early morning wake-up call. Friday morning was a full day beinning with a class with Rebecca Sower.

So cool to meet her and have her share with us some of her tips and tricks. That's always my favorite part of taking classes. She was just lovely-very gracious and kind. Even the way in which she packaged the kit demonstrated the care and detail she gives to all she does.

Here are some of the vignettes we made in her class. These make great stand alone gifts, but would also be beautiful tied onto a package or as an ornament on the tree.

Our second class on Friday was with none other than Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom. Yes, can you believe after gushing about wanting to take a class with her I actually did?!? I was so impressed with how down to earth, engaging and fun she was. She was sweet enough to give each student in her two classes the materials for each class. In other words, you actually got to take both classes. How cool is that?!?

Here is the banner I made in her class. This is a terrific project and would make a wonderful hostess gift. Can't wait to make a bag or apron out of her gorgeous fabrics and maybe even try on her beaded Christmas trees. One of the gals at our table was smart enough to trace the pattern before she cut hers out and shared it with us. I probably had the best time in this class. It was so relaxing and we had great gals at our table and ended up sitting together at lunch, too.

And the luncheon-WOW! I do alot of events so I totaly understand what all went into planning the entire weekend and no detail was overlooked particularly the luncheon. The room just shimmered and was so, so pretty. The table was decorated simply, but very elegantly.

Here's Tam at our table just beaming because that's how we felt the whole day. We were treated so well!

The only glitch we were aware of the entire weekend was that the guest speaker for the luncheon cancelled at the last moment. Bummer. But what a delight to have senior editors from Country Living magazine pitch in for a Q&A session. They happened to be there along with photographers doing a feature on the event. Look for the Silver Bella feature in the October 2008 issue. WOWSER!

After lunch on Friday, I had my class with Pam Garrison. The project was called "Jack on the Box." What a cute, cute project. And not totally difficult, but very detailed. Needless to say, it's not quite finished, but I hope to complete it soon and will share it with you. I was a little freaked out anyway and super nervous to be in this class with folks like Charlotte Lyons and Cari Kraft. You know, I love PamG's aestetic and even purchased a kit from one of her other classes. I'm hoping to work on it next week.

That was just the first part of day one. It was so fun and exciting to see so many we only knew through their blogs and the online world. Exchanging MOO cards and talking as tho' we've know each other for years. So wonderful to meet gals from all over that share the same interests for all things pink and blue and glittery. We met gals from Wisconsin, New York, Illinois, Oklahoma, Nebraska (of course!) and California just to name a few.

On Friday evening, we attended the Silver Bella vendor faire which had evolved into more of a costume party. The theme was junk gypsy so we put on our best cowgirl glam and spent the evening shopping and enjoying an hors devours and dessert buffet. And what a fabulous assortment of vendors it was. I was already familiar with some of their online shops such as, Heather Bullard of Present Past and Jenni Bowlin. I made purchases from them as well as new discoveries such as Raised In Cotton. What a fun time! This is me and Tam with the head Bella, Teresa McFayden. I also met Coleen Moody who was the Bella willing to switch with me so I could be in one of Pam Garrison's classes. I'll share more about her later, but you can see some of her amazing art HERE.

On Saturday I took two classes with Carolyn Peeler who is the creative director for Melissa Frances. The first class used one of their new Open Up albums-the star and some of their gorgeous papers. I learned one of the coolest techniques in this class. Using a waterbased ink in a spray bottle, you spritz your paper-in this case she used a vintage dictionary page. Then since the ink is waterbased, when you use acrylic paint-also waterbased or water and reactivate the ink you get a really cool varigated effect. She had us use bubble wrap as a stamp with cream paint and stamp on top of the spritz'd paper. But the magic really happened when later on she had us use Sally Jean's charcoal pencil antique treatment and when we reactivated the ink with water to smear the charcoal then this is what we got. Lots more to add to this fun album, but wanted to share this technique which I think is awesome.

I can't wait to use this technique again-very, very cool. We also learned to cut and assemble this beautiful flower made from upholstery fabric.

This would also make a great pin! Yeah, you know I'm making a couple of those!

Most of my day Saturday was spent hanging out in the fabulous Omaha Hilton hotel since I had the bulk of my classes on Friday and Tammy had most of hers on Saturday. I'm hoping she'll share on her blog some of the projects she made. We had a couple of classes that were different and she was fortunate enough to take a class with Jenny & Aaron and her project turned out fabulous. BTW, Jenny & Aaron have a very hip style that is all their own-you can read about them and their art HERE. I loved chatting it up with Kim Haynes who was on hand as the event photog. Talk about down to earth and the ability to put you totally at ease. Here's a photo she snapped of me and Tammy.

The light streaming through the windows that day made everyone look so fabulous. This is just a scan of the original so it's not as crisp. Check out Kim's blog and website for more info about her Oklahoma City based business HERE.

We set out Sunday morning for a fabulous brunch at one of the local eateries, but didn't find any open other than a little bakery and coffee shop. We did enjoy great coffee and pastries, but were sad that none of the local shops opened until Noon. So we headed back home on the lookout for a cool antique mall. And we found two great ones next to each other! Just outside St Joe's, we stumbled upon The Rusty Chandelier (how could we NOT stop there?!) and Jesse James Antique Mall.

Here's a couple of the great things I picked up. I'm totally loving the scale-I had passed up one similiar to it before, but not in this color which is too perfect. And although I had a small collection of the westies, I was so excited to find this one with pink accents.

Like I said, this was a dream of a weekend. In fact, it's taken me a week to catch up on my sleep and get organized and motivated enough to complete some of the unfinished projects. It certainly has kicked off the holiday season in true Bella fashion. I'm ready to start making lists and get busy. My goal is to make most of my gifts this year so I'm off to clear out my studio so I can get to work. If you're looking for me between now and Christmas Eve, I'll be the one with glitter in her hair!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


wanna know a secret? i'm getting really jazzed about the holidays. i can't believe thanksgiving is next week! can you? do you think it's too early to begin listening to christmas music? i'm dying to dig out all my cd's. it was so fun at silver bella to have christmas music playing in the background of some of our classes. can't wait to finish up some of those projects this weekend-think i'll just have to put on the christmas tunes. i usually buy at least one new christmas cd each year. technically, i already made that purchase-michael bulbe's ep from itunes. but don't tell! ;)

we have had several beautiful fall days this week. really enjoying the leaves and the sunlight-so pretty in the afternoon before the sun starts setting. trying to take it all in since it lasts such a short time. when we were in nebraska last weekend we noticed the trees had lost most of their leaves already. always so good to be back home again as john denver would say!

still hoping to post about my weekend at silver bella. it's been fun seeing our photos and blog links show up on other bella's websites! this is quite a network of glittery, fun, crafty gals. i'm still so overwhelmed by it all. here's a great blog of a gal i met there. she and her pals have a shop in kansas city that is only open on saturday's. they have some great stuff-can't wait to vsit their shop. check out her blog HERE.

okay, it's thursday and i'm still exhausted from last week so i'm off to put on some comfy cozy clothes and settle in for the evening and get ready for grey's. total tv junky that i am. until tomorrow...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Happiness To Me

What an amazing weekend I had at Silver Bella! I can't wait to share about all of the amazing gals I met, classes I took and projects I made (well, started). I'm still decompressing and trying to recooperate from lack of sleep the past week so I'll be back with all the details soon.

Until then, want to send a shout out to my BFF Tammy-HOLLA. I'm so glad you were able to go along and hope you had a great time. This is me hanging out in Rebecca Sower's class on Friday morning. Thanks to the uber talented Kim Haynes for the photo. Making stuff and being around women with the same passion for artistic pursuits-that is happiness to me!

Be back soon.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Ready, Set...

Just a few more to do's on my list and then I'll be pretty much packed and ready for my trip except for last minute things in the morning. And what's that you say? Where am I going? Why, to Silver Bella, of course! I'll save you from reminding you how excited I am. But in case you're wondering, here are 5 things I'm looking forward to (in no particular order).

1. spending time w/ my BFF

2. taking a class with Pam Garrison

3. hob knobbing with the who's who in the paper arts world

4. coming home in the Christmas spirit with gifts already made

5. the junk gypsy themed party on Friday night

Can't wait to share all the details when I return. You will not believe the attention to detail that has gone into this event. Even the tickets for each of our workshops has been artistically created by the teachers and designed to be souvenirs.

Ready, set, let the glittering begin! YEE HA!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Life is Bee-utiful

What a day this has turned out to bee. Brady and I met Cam after school to see The Bee Movie. How fun was this movie?!? Very quick-paced and witty as is usually the case with Jerry Seinfeld. And don't know if he meant it to be, but it was very timely with the message of how every life has value and the place even the smallest of creatures have in our world. Fun times with my boys. Laughed so hard watching them do Dance Dance Revolution-the faces they make are hilarious!

And, I can't believe this has actually happened, but I just found out I will be taking a class with my favorite Bella of all, Pam Garrison. I think I am in shock! This whole trip has been a dream and now this is just the cherry on top. The project for this particular class is too, too sweet-Jack on the Box. We'll be making a paper maiche snowman on top of a box we'll decorate as well. I have a thing for sad-eyed snowmen, you know!

Speaking of Seinfeld, have you seen the Brad Paisley video for the song, Online with Jason Alexander? It also stars William Shatner and "George's" mother as well as Patrick Warburton and Taylor Swift and Kelly Pickler in the LIVE concert scenes. Oh! and Marsha Brady (Maureen McCormack). Very funny.

Laughter is good for the soul! This has been an all around bee-utiful day!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

You Say It's Your Birthday?!

Well, it's my little sister's, too! Happy Birthday, Missy! Just love my sister and am so glad she is also one of my best pals. I hope you have a wonderful day today and an even better trip to Mexico. She and some friends are going there to celebrate her momentous birthday. Earlier today she told me it is 82 there today. Sounds lovely doesn't it?

Enjoying the crisp fall mornings here, but need to begin pulling out some warmer clothes. Soon I'm sure we'll miss our balmy days. Going to spend the day with no real agenda other than to get to Target and spend time with my hubby. He leaves for his annual golf trip with his brother and dad tomorrow. And then...

yep, SILVER BELLA! In just 5 short days Tammy and I will be heading to Omaha. I am excited about every aspect of this trip. Still having to pinch myself-I CAN't believe we're actually going! Trying to trade a class with someone so I can get into a class with Pam Garrison. Don't know that you'd be able to contain me if that happens. Keeping my fingers crossed it works out!

Going to spend some time this weekend trying to pull together my "costume" for our Friday night Vendor Faire/Party. The theme is Southern Fried, but this is more what they have in mind HERE. Also, so excited that Chris Brown from Urban Prairie is the guest speaker for our luncheon on Friday. I described him to my sister this morning as the Jesse James (tattoed husband of Sandra Bullock-not the gangster) of country decorating/collecting. Check out his website HERE. I think I'm going to go for more of a Mary Emmerling look (classic jeans and white shirt, lots of silver and turquoise and hopefully, a cowboy hat). I'd love to do something more gypsy-esque, but I'll have to leave that to Tammy!

Great start to my weekend this morning-hugs from Brady boy and long phone call with my sister. Topping it off with Starbucks. Hope you have a great weekend, too. Enjoy!