On the Horizon

Another Great Lakes Mega Meet has come and gone … and this one was the best yet!

For those of you who don’t live near, GLMM is a papercrafting convention where manufacturers and retailers set up mini stores. Ladies come from all over Michigan, Canada, Ohio and Wisconsin to the show — I even met one who flew from California just to attend — the show is that good! Attendees can shop, take classes, do make-and-takes, meet their favorite designers (including Tim Holtz and Wendy Vecchi), catch up with old friends and see thousands of amazing creations to get their creative juices flowing.

But this year was extra special for me, since I got to meet, and work for, Els Van de Burgt, owner of Elizabeth Craft Designs. I started using, and teaching with, Elizabeth Craft Designs’ products many years ago. For a few years, I was even on ECD’s design team, so there are lots of posts using their products. Naturally, when Els asked me to help out in their booth, I gladly accepted. I’ve done that for several companies before, including my own, so I thought I knew what to expect. Boy was I wrong.

Els and her husband, Joep, took the time to get to know me, offered me some advice and told me what I’d been doing wrong. By the time the weekend was over, I had regained my confidence, found opportunities to possibly teach at three new stores and was inspired to give Candy Scraps another go. (And she didn’t even comment on how dirty my car was because I don’t have time to clean it!)

I believe the scrapbooking trend is returning and I’m ready to ride the wagon for a bit! I came home with a huge bag of ECD products to get me started (and an apron!!). And I signed up for a crop at a friend’s house, so I can design without the distractions of kayaking, playing with baby turkeys, watching the chickens, planting flowers and cleaning my house.

I’m going to be expanding my ECD line by bringing in colored glitter … in 21 flavors to start … along with the tools to make it work. And, I’m gearing up to take my classes on the road. So, if you see Matt, remind him that he needs to build Candy Scraps on Wheels, please.

Take care and let me know if there is a crop or store near you that would welcome my classes!

 

Back from Boyne Highlands

I’m back from Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs, Michigan. It is one of my favorite events of the year and is by far the largest … there were 389 women this time! I’m there to work, not crop, but I’ve made dozens of friends and I love spending time with them. The rest of the time I was shopping from my favorite vendors (my purchases are still in their bag), having my traditional Thursday night dinner at the bar (grilled whitefish and sweet potato fries, all made gluten free), and teaching others to use Elizabeth Craft Designs and Mosaic Moments products. It’s tiring, but wonderful and it always goes way too fast.

Last fall, one of my customers-turned-friends asked me to make a page kit showing some of the resort. I used Mosaic Moments Grid paper and dies to create the layout and sold every one — including my sample. Fortunately I have the photo so I can make another for myself!

Matt has taken over many of the make-and-take duties during the event — especially since I had so many classes this time. While demonstrating how to use a transfer sheet to use the leftover stickers, he came up with a few new techniques. (Well, either he did or customers did … I never did get the answer, but I came back to this)

And this …

And this …

and this! I was quite impressed.

Another customer worked up an idea with Silk Microfine Glitter that I helped her implement. I thought I took a photo, but I must not have. I will be making a tutorial to show you how she did it soon — it’s that fantastic.

This time, I taught classes for Bayview Scrappers, a new store in Traverse City, Michigan, in addition to teaching my own. One of the classes I taught was on using rubber stamps from Art Impressions to create watercolor art. I was so impressed that even I could watercolor that I came home with several sets of stamps. Stay tuned for more!

I also taught a Mosaic Moments class and worked one-on-one with others showing them how easy this system is. It amazes me when ladies learn and then come back and show me their first page … yes, this is her first page! I love the mix of detail and distant photos and how she mixed in family pics with scenery. This one is going in a frame on the wall in her family’s cottage … she plans to do one each year. What a wonderful idea!

This is another first-time page, believe it or not. Although you can’t see it very well in the photo, she used different depths of dimensional foam adhesive on different squares in the photo. The effect was amazing!

I will admit to helping her decide between lavender and navy grid paper and showing her how to use the Mosaic Moments At-a-Glance-Guide to make sure she didn’t cut the sun, but otherwise, it is all her! An amazing idea I plan to steal and a truly beautiful page.

Each year, there is a layout contest as part of the fun. Ladies submit their favorite works and the other croppers vote on them. I was pretty proud to see three Mosaic Moments pages registered for the contest. And, even more proud to hear the winner of the contest was one of them! She did photos of her trip to Ireland.

We also gave away an Ott-Lite and a box of stamps, inks and card bases. Of course, I forgot to take photos of the winners with their prizes. Going to have to change that for next year!

The ladies totally spoiled us while we were there. They came with hugs for us both (I even heard one of them calling Matt, “honey”) and tons of gifts. My friend from Marquette brought me these dish cloths with the UP knitted right in. I’m not sure how she knew blue was my favorite color. She also brought me jam and Matt the Yooper version of biscotti. yumm

A mother and daughter from Northern Michigan brought Matt and I each a birdhouse filled with candy eggs. And they brought me a “Take-and-Make.” They gave me a great tip for using my tweezers to thread the ribbon and quietly fixed my bag when I did it wrong. lol. I love these ladies!

My friend from Ohio who keeps me laughing until I cry, gave me a copy of this beautiful picture she took last fall at the resort. I told her I was going to put it on my fridge and wanted to show her this proof that I did!

And, my wonderful friends from Canada brought me this adorable chicken to welcome everyone to my house. I love it and I love them!

These ladies make this trip so wonderful for me. I come back with new ideas and techniques and lots of inspiration and I think I actually learn more than I teach. It is such a wonderfully uplifting event. I cannot wait until fall when I see them all again.

Coffee Four Ways

Welcome to A Year of Card Techniques Blog Hop where each month we’ll feature a different card technique. We’ve assembled a team of fabulous card makers who range from new to advanced, so you’ll see a wide variety of cards and ideas.
The month of April features a Showdown! A stamp set showdown, that is. We’re using one stamp set in various ways. Let’s face it, stamp sets are getting more and more expensive; so we’re here to inspire you by demonstrating how to s-t-r-e-t-c-h those stamps!
If you would like to check out our past technique hops, you can do that here:

 

 

We have an amazing sponsor this month, Wilma Payne of Fun Stamper’s Journey:

Please take a moment to check out the great products Fun Stampers Journey has to offer. To visit Wilma’s blog, click here and her Facebook Group here.
And the awesome prize this month is:
We really appreciate feedback, so please leave a comment on each of the blogs in the hop today. One winner will be chosen from all comments on the hop as of April 28, 2017. The winner will be announced in our May hop, so be sure to come back next month.
You should have arrived here from Sandy’s Blog. If you’re visiting here first, you might want to start at the beginning so you don’t miss a thing and increase your chances of winning by leaving a comment on each blog.
I decided to work with stamps that match my latest obsession … coffee. I chose this set from JustRite Clear.
The set is huge with many possibilities. So, to keep within the spirit of the challenge, I limited myself further … I “required” myself to use the coffee-house cup on each card.
For the first one, I stamped the cup with Wendy Vecchi’s Potting Soil Archival Ink, added a sentiment on the label and a saying. I worked on a kraft card and added a bit of Distress Ink (in Ground Espresso) around the edges of the card. It’s simple, but I like it for its simplicity.
Next, I stamped the image twice, colored it with Copic markers, cut it out and adhered it with dimensional foam adhesive to the layered card. The black is done with Memento Ink; the brown is the same Wendy Vecchi ink. The coffee stains and the saying are also from the stamp set.
For this one, I stamped the cup over and over in order to create a background with it. I used the coffee beans to make a strip and stamped another of the sentiments, as well, which I cut out and adhered.
And, finally, my favorite one … I used the same inks, but this time layered the elements in a soft teal. I stamped the cup on paper, added the word Java to the label and then cut out the image and adhered it with dimensional foam adhesive.
I created the background paper by placing each of the coffee beans on a single acrylic block and then turning and stamping repeatedly. I made sure to stamp off of the paper in some places and even stamped a few beans a second time for a softer look. I love how the background paper turned out!
I’m the last stop on the blog hop this month, but if you missed the earlier ones, it is worth a visit to the beginning.
I hope you had fun and thanks for stopping by. See you next month with another technique!
And, if you choose to try this one, post a photo of your creations on my Facebook page or, send me a copy and I’ll post it here.
Candy
Here’s the full line-up in case you get lost:

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!