Through the Port Hole

This is one of those pages that starts out simply, but ends up amazing. Or at least I think so!

It showcases two places … Whitefish Point State Docks, which features a barn and fishing boats on the shores of Lake Superior; and Whitefish Point Light Station, where the Edmund Fitzgerald went down in 1975. We didn’t have time to do much exploring the day we were there, but we did take a quick peek at the light and the beach. And, I was fortunate enough to see a ship passing in the distance.

One of the reasons I love the Mosaic Moments system so much is that you can use it to enhance your photos. Many times those photos that aren’t good enough to scrapbook, become perfect when cutting just the right way.

In this case, my photo of the ship was a bit hazy because it was so far away. By using the Three Circles Die as a frame, I turned the less-than-steller photo into the focal point.

I created a video to show you to do it …

(I receive compensation for making videos for Mosaic Moments.)

My First Bike (in 39 years)

I know you’ve seen plenty of photos of me with my bike, but I had to do one more …

For a little background info … At 44, I decided I was going to be bedridden if I didn’t get moving. My biggest hurdle was that it hurt to walk. After less than a mile, my right leg tenses up, the muscles contract, my foot goes numb and I lose control of it. It is extremely painful and the pain continues for hours after I stop walking. The first time it happened, more than 20 years ago, I pushed through the pain and actually fell and twisted my ankle. Since then, it has progressively gotten worse.

I didn’t go to a doctor because I didn’t want to hear, “lose weight and it will be fine.” Nor did I want to be one of those people who has an “excuse” for everything they cannot (or don’t want) to do.

So, I was looking for things I could do that wouldn’t hurt my leg and I thought bike riding might be good. Problem is, I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was 18 and I weighed so much that I was afraid it would be impossible. So, I set myself a goal. I decided that if I lost 50 pounds, I would try it.

That day came on Memorial Day in 2016. While my family hung out on the back deck of my mother-in-law’s house, I quietly slipped away and took her bike for a ride. I’m sure if anyone saw me, they were laughing hysterically at how wobbly I was, but after a few times of nearly hitting the curb before remembering that I had breaks, I figured it out. It’s amazing how the body can remember to do something again after so many years of not doing it!

My husband and I realized that this could be something fun to do together, so we each bought bikes. I selected a cruiser that allowed me to sit upright and put both feet firmly on the ground while sitting on the seat.

These photos were taken on our first official ride on a bike path — at a park in Linden, MI. They are some of the most important photos I have ever taken … Yes, they mark an important spot in my journey to losing weight and feeling great, but they mean so much more to me.

They were just quick snapshots my husband took with my phone, but they are the first pictures I looked at in many, many years where I thought, “I look good!” For the past few decades, whenever I saw my pictures, I always cringed because I was so much heavier than the person I saw in the mirror. I hated my photos. I still took them and scrapbooked them because they were important to me, but they made me depressed — often to the point of tears — every time I saw them. But when I saw these, I just kept looking at my thighs and thinking, “Wow! I look really good!”

It took me several weeks to share my feelings with my husband (and nearly a year to share with the world), but after that, it became a “thing.” Whenever we were riding and I was getting tired or thinking the hill was too hard to climb, I would look at my thighs and remember how good they looked in this photo and how much better they would look if I kept this up and it would push me further. My husband picked up on it and he would remind me to look at my thighs whenever the going got too hard. It was all the motivation I needed.

Yes, these two little pictures are responsible for me losing an additional 30 pounds and going from riding a mile to riding 13 miles in just one summer.

Such special photos need special treatment, so I went a little artsy on this page. I used papers from Authentique, a resin bike from Melissa Frances (accented with a bit of Distress Paint) and the Circle Tiles and Tab Die Set from Mosaic Moments to complete my page.

I made a video to show you how fun it can be to create embellishments with the Circle Tiles using different patterned papers. Check it out.

(I am compensated to create videos for Mosaic Moments).

By the way, I have talked to my doctor about my leg. After several tests, she thinks it is a mineral and amino-acid deficiency. I’ve been taking both for the past year. It’s not perfect yet, but I can walk faster and harder and when the pain does hit, it hurts less and it quits almost immediately after resting. Bike riding doesn’t hurt it one bit. And those are things I can live with.

Happy trails!

One Die, Two Looks

This page, which features photos I took while on a ski lift at Boyne Highlands last fall, features the Triple Diamond Die from Mosaic Moments. I used it to give the eye a break from the busy photographs, while framing the feature photo.

While I love the simplicity of this die, it can also be used to create more complex patterns, like I did below.

Here, I used the same die to create the look of a quilt. Although it looks complex, it really only takes a few sheets of patterned paper (use double-sided to save more time), a single die and a few runs through a die-cutting machine to create it.

I made a video for Mosaic Moments (I am compensated for creating videos for them) to show you how easy it is.

I’m Still Standing

Yes, I’m still here … I’ve been incredibly busy with crops and work and teaching, and well, there are just not enough hours in the day!

Of course, I have still been doing some scrapbooking, mostly Mosaic style, and making videos. And, that means I am way behind in my blog posts! So, I’ll try to get you caught back up …

For starters, this is a page I did featuring the Smile for the Camera die from Mosaic Moments. The die is a lot of fun because it comes with several different pieces you can put in the camera “lens.” I used the “smile” die on this page, but then I also used the heart as an accent. I should tell you, this is also a limited-edition die, so I’m not sure how much longer I can order them. I believe I have one in stock at the moment … just saying!

This page was to celebrate some of the new adventures I have discovered on my pink bike. Sadly, I traded the bike in for a new model yesterday … I LOVED that bike, so it hurt to let it go, but I have a new teal bike with 21 gears that can ride on pavement and dirt and will handle the hills much better. It’s not as stylish as my pink bike was, but it has reflective paint, so it will be safer, and that is always a good thing!

It’s Just Awesome

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I love this paper from Pink Fresh Studio. The minute I saw it, I knew it would be perfect for photos of a trip to the city. Fortunately, for me, my daughter went to NYC to visit her brother and I had a chance to use this awesome paper!

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I love how the words and stripes are “cut” from a photo of skyscrapers. It adds such a great touch.

For the right side, I covered up the word awesome with a stack of photos. I like how it gives the illusion that the stripes go completely across the page.

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Because the paper was already so dramatic, I kept the embellishments simple … I added a few wood tiles with gold embossing on them (also from Pink Fresh Studio).

I think this page “totally rocks!”

For more information on products from Pink Fresh Studio, visit Bayview Scrappers.

Cutting Tips

Some of you may have noticed that Mosaic Moments dies leave a little bit of a mark on your photos.

That’s normal. It’s how the die-cutting machine works. It’s on all of my pictures, but I don’t think anyone notices. However, some scrappers do see it and it bothers them.

If you have the We R Memory Keepers Evolution Advanced machine, you can dial down the pressure and you will not get the marks.

But, if you’re like me and you have a Sizzix Big Shot or Vagabond and you love your machine and do not want to buy another, you have to deal with the marks.

Fortunately, I recently had a customer who came up with a solution. And, I made a video to show you how to avoid that mark with the crease pad. You can watch how to do it, here: https://youtu.be/wQV4mhVmfhk

And, if you have any other questions, feel free to ask away!

 

West Coast (Michigan) Classes

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I’ve been neglecting my blog … I apologize for that. March is one of my busiest times of year (just behind October). Getting ready for all of the classes and crops means February is also very busy and I can’t seem to keep up with my blog …

One of the reasons I have been behind is a new venture in Muskegon, Michigan.

I’ve teamed up with Bayview Scrappers (a new papercrafting store opening in Traverse City this month!!!) to bring classes to one of the best west Michigan crops — Krop Around the Klock March 10-11. Bayview has rented a classroom at the Holiday Inn in Muskegon and we will be offering classes all day Friday and Saturday.

The classes (and shopping) are open to the general public, so if you want to sign up, just drop me a line, or stop by and say, “hi.” There is a limit of 12 per class, so be sure to contact me for prices, supply lists and reservations.

Of course, I am still behind, so I can only show you a few of the classes, but here they are …

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This one features products from Pink Fresh Studio. I’ll show you a technique to get perfectly stamped images, and a couple ideas for using washi tape. As an added bonus, you get an entire package of Pink Fresh paper to make additional pages!

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Next up is a pair of layouts from Echo Park. Except for the photo mats, these pages were made entirely with the products from one mini kit, which sells for less than $7! I’ll show you how easy it is to work with these kits and Bayview Scrappers will have a variety of them for sale.

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Of course, I will also be teaching Mosaic Moments with this two-page layout featuring summer strawberries and picnic baskets. I’ll show you how to cut by hand and with the dies.

img_3644Card makers will enjoy this class which uses Elizabeth Craft Designs stickers and glitter, along with alcohol ink markers. We’ll also learn the transfer technique so you can put a little bit inside …

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I am also teaching a shaker card class using a new ocean die from Memory Box (I am so into fish right now!), but I don’t have the sample finished yet. However, this technique will show you how you can make a shaker card with any die or punch … no special kits or products needed.

Lori, from Bayview Scrappers, will also be teaching card classes and some of the other vendors will be offering classes as well — some of which are free!

Since I will be teaching much of the weekend, Matt will be on hand to do demos and make and takes with you at the Candy Scraps booth. Never in my wildest dreams did I think he would be a crafter, but when left with nothing to do but play with my “toys,” his creative side has come out and he is quite good. He’s also good at diagnosing problems with machines, cutting tools, cars and even GPS systems during crops. (It’s amazing the things that can wrong …) So if you have a question, don’t be afraid to ask him.

I hope you get the chance to stop by, take some classes and explore all of the wonderful new products that will be available! Happy cropping!