Starting with A


Thin metal dies from Mosaic Moments makes putting together beautiful layouts take less time than ever … honestly … with a page pattern to follow and the dies, I can put together a complex page in just 15 minutes.

But, the basic dies … the ones that cut the squares and rectangles you need to complete your pages … are a bit of an investment. Fortunately, you don’t need all of the dies to get started. I did this entire page using only one set of dies, the A set.

The A set is one of my favorites and probably the one I use the most. And, it makes making layers and all different size squares quick and easy.

I created a video to show you how easy it is … click here to watch it.

NOTE: I am compensated for making videos for Mosaic Moments.

From Boyne Highlands


Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs, MI is one of my favorite places to visit.

It’s a ski lodge and features some of the best golf courses in the state, but I go to work — and relax. The place is truly magical. Less than four hours from my house, I feel like I am in another country every time I visit. The buildings have a Tudor vibe and are covered in ivy. Inside, the decor is quite Scottish — which I absolutely love. There are rustic log tables in the lobby, vintage Scottish posters in the halls, and lamps with antlers in many of the rooms. The hotel has a tower, although I still haven’t gotten my Rapunzel photo from it, with beautiful stone, spiral staircases. The bar has amazingly comfortable chairs to relax in and the carpet is red tartan. The rooms have robes to borrow and the hot tub and heated swimming pool are open the entire time we’re there. Every employee — from the front desk to the cleaning staff to the security staff — is polite and happy and they will go out of their way to do whatever you need. In the fall, you can ride the ski lift to look at the colors — more on that to come later. There are many other amenities to enjoy, but we never have the time to enjoy them.


I love this place. I feel like a fairy princess living in the castle with a beautiful room I get to call my own for 3-4 days, twice a year. Honestly, I never have to make my bed or my own coffee and wine is available by the glass or bottle. What more could a girl ask for?

candyscraps_boyneThis year, we got to go three times, since they added an additional Girls Just Wanna Crop weekend, the weekend following the traditional fall one. For me, these two October weekends were monumental.

candyscraps_boyne3On a professional level, I developed a new business plan limiting my products to Mosaic Moments, Elizabeth Craft Designs and my unique page and card kits. My husband built me some new displays to showcase my new lines and Boyne was the first time I got to try them out. I also worked out a deal with another vendor while I was there (you’ll see more about this later). And, I taught Mosaic Moments, in the form of a two-page layout, for the first time to a group of 15. The class sold out quickly, I had to turn many away and I was very nervous … but the ladies loved it. (Of course, I forgot to take any photos the entire first weekend)

candyscraps_boyne4As usual, I did free make and takes to show new techniques throughout the weekend. Here’s a card one cropper made after learning to use Elizabeth Craft Designs glitter and peel-off stickers.


And a pair of sweaters my new Canadian friends made with the Elizabeth Craft Designs Sweater Die.


Another created this amazing page with Mosaic Moments … the empty spot will be filled with a photo, once it is reprinted. It suffered a slip of the knife …candyscraps_boyne5

And, in the last few minutes of the second weekend, Sandy Wilkinson and Tami Migda came to show me these amazing pages they made … They liked them so much, they bought frames from another vendor and framed them! (Naturally, they were the only ones I managed to remember to take a photo of and get their name … you would never know I was a journalist for decades.)


I did not get a photo of a winning layout … one customer bought one of the Mosaic Moments dies from me and then created a two-page layout. During the crop, they have a contest and her layout was voted the winner! I had nothing to do with it, other than showing her how to use the die, but I felt pretty darn proud!

On a personal level, the second weekend at Boyne was also monumental. I drove there by myself — the longest drive I’ve ever done alone. And, on the way home, I drove with a custom-designed rack on the back of the car to hold all of my products. It wasn’t a big deal, but it was something I had never done before, so it made me feel pretty good.

For the first time in my life, I got out of the hot tub and pool without feeling self-conscious. This was a huge moment for me in my personal growth. I was so calm going from one to the other — even with others around and all of the hotel rooms looking onto the area — that I didn’t even notice I wasn’t uncomfortable until the third time I did it. I guess I’m finally learning to accept myself for who I am — well, and losing 75 pounds doesn’t hurt either.

Finally, I actually rode the ski lift to see the fall colors. I was scared to death — especially before we figured out there was a bar we could pull down in front of us. I held onto that bar with white knuckles, but I didn’t have a panic attack and I did manage to take pictures. (I have yet to download them, but I’m hoping the stabilizer on the lens combated the shaking in my hands.) From someone who a few months ago couldn’t climb up a step ladder, this was a HUGE deal! Thanks to the guys operating the lift for slowing down and even stopping it so I could get on and off.


So now I’m back down below the 45th parallel and getting special orders ordered and shipped, restocking my inventory and getting ready for my next crop … I have lots of samples I made for Boyne to share … stay tuned!

Mosaic Borders


One of the biggest natural attractions in Michigan is the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Along 40 miles of Lake Superior’s shore are these incredible rock formations.

On this trip, the weather didn’t cooperate, so we were unable to take the 3-hour boat tour to see all of the rocks, but we did get to view the few that are easily accessible from the shore. This one is called Miner’s Castle. Since I only had a few pictures, I wanted to do something that would really make the pictures stand out and show how unique they are.

I used my favorite die, the 1×1 Mosaic Die Borders, to extend the photo beyond the photo mat. Then I used some paper that reminded me of the colors of the Pictured Rocks in between.

Want to learn how to combine dies to get this look? I made a video! Click here to watch the video and take your photos beyond the border.

NOTE: I do receive compensation for making videos for Mosaic Moments.

A Fox in a Pot


Karen Burniston came out with a great die for Elizabeth Craft Designs … The Flower Pot Pop Stand comes with 12 dies and costs only $21.95 … a great value, in my opinion.

The package includes the dies to make this adorable flower pot, a piece that attaches it to a card base, and a variety of flowers, leaves and a butterfly. The flower pot folds flat and can be placed in a card or stand on its own.


This one was made using only the dies in the package … (paper is from Ken Oliver; Glitter Dots are from ECD)

christmas_fox_candy_spiegel3but then I wanted to have a bit more fun, so I put Dutch the Fox (a die from Elizabeth Craft Designs) in the pot and added some of the holiday props to him. I mean, who doesn’t love a fox in a Santa hat with wire rimmed glasses!?

I attached the fox pot to a card.


Here’s the front … (the paper is from Authentique and the stamps are also from Karen Burniston and Elizabeth Craft Designs.)


Here’s how it would look if you opened it the way a card is traditionally opened. You can see I had a lot more space to add stuff, but I stuck to just the fox and a few pieces of holly (also an ECD die).


And, amazingly, this is the card folded flat for mailing. You just open it and


here he is! I love it!

Here’s a great video that shows you how easy it is to make

And, once you make the pot, you can add anything you want to it! Amazing!

Mosaic Windows


As you probably know, my studio is in the corner of my living room beneath huge picture windows. When I sit at my desk, I look out over several vacant lots and woods owned by my husband’s parents. “The park,” as we call it, is filled with my mother-in-law’s flowers and a huge garden. I have a bird feeder in front of the window and I love my view … even though I live on a small lake lot, I feel like I live in the country when I look out my window. I’m used to seeing a variety of songbirds, crows, turkey vultures, squirrels, chipmunks, and the occasional bald eagle, or neighbor’s cat or dog.

But this day, when I looked up, I was surprised to see two deer in the yard!

For a few seconds, those deer and I locked eyes. I was afraid to move, but I really wanted to capture the moment. Telepathically, I suppose, I sort of asked the deer if he would stay put. Figuring I was no threat, he stood in place while I snapped a few pictures with my phone and called my in-laws to tell them to look out the window (they weren’t home, which made getting pictures even more important).

The pictures on my phone were way too far away, but my camera was, of course, nowhere near my desk. Again, I silently “asked” the deer to wait for me and took off to my bedroom. I ran back to my studio, removing the lens cap and turning on the camera as I went, but expecting them to be gone when I got back.

Amazingly, the deer were still there, slowly exploring my mother-in-law’s flowers.

Getting over “deer fever,” I was able to get quite a few photos of the two. The female wanted to head back to the woods, but the male was insistent that she stay and he kept encouraging her to come back to the park to play — until something spooked them and they both ran back into the woods.

It may have only lasted a few minutes, but it was the first time I had the opportunity to really observe deer being deer — outside of captivity. It was an incredible moment and although some of my photos didn’t come out (I was shaking beyond my camera’s stability control), I did get some great shots through my dirty window!

I wanted it to be obvious that these photos were taken while I was inside. One of the dies from Mosaic Moments reminded me of a window and I knew it would be the perfect way to visually show that the photos were taken through the window.

I made a video to show you how I made this page. Click here to watch it

Have you had an opportunity to photograph animals in nature?

(NOTE: I get paid to make videos for Mosaic Moments).

Where are the animals?


When I planned my trip to the Upper Peninsula, I went to see the animals. I had visions of hiking a trail for a mile or so, finding a big rock or log to sit on, sitting still for a few minutes, and then watching the birds and squirrels play. I thought, perhaps, I might even see an eagle, moose, elk, wolf or bear. (Well, I really didn’t expect to find one in the woods, but maybe along the side of the road or something …)

I spent a week and was along the shore and in and out of the woods. And I saw less than what I see in my own backyard. No songbirds. No deer. No rabbits. No squirrels. No raccoons. No foxes. No skunks. No coyotes. Not even any roadkill!

Honestly, I’m starting to think that whole bear and moose thing are myths! Probably something they tell us trolls (those who live below the bridge) to get us to travel up there and spend money.

I was extremely disappointed. And, since that was such a big part of our trip, I had to document it … so I scrapbooked the few animals I did see using the Mosaic Moments system.

Want to see how I did it? Click here to watch the video …