Stampin Up Retiring List Winter 2008

It's that time of year when we have to say goodbye to some stamps to make room for new ones! Here is the Stampin Up retiring and dormant list for Winter 2008. They are available only until Jan 18. Order now to take advantage of my 15% off sale now through Dec 31.

Stickles Storage- more info

The Stickles are attached to the sides of the storage unit using velcro strips. I stuck the prickly side to the unit itself then cut each soft strip into thirds and attached them to each individual bottle.

Easy Peasy.

I'm Back!

So I got totally slack the last month. Sue me. I'll post birthday pics and Halloween pics and Thanksgiving pics (wow I really totally dropped the blogging ball huh?) this week. But now for my moment of storage genius!

I have been looking for a wooden spinning storage rack for my ink pads so I don't need to dig through a steralite drawer every time I needed one. The problem they are super expensive and because they are huge and wood they cost an additional fortune to ship! And you know me I am cheap cheap cheap! So when I found a seller on ebay with a free shipping offer AND I could take advantage of Microsoft's 30% cash back offer I jumped on the deal.

My unit arrived super fast and it is beautifully crafted. I highly recommend these to anyone!

Of course the first thing I set out to do was to decorate it. There are these empty spaces on each side and I had visions of hamblee mod tree rubons and decoupaged birds but then a light bulb went off. I could actually make USE of that space!!!

I had seen this great storage idea for stickles on 2Peas and realized it would work perfectly on the empty space on my spinning rack. I was originally going to build a framed display for them but I don't have a lot of spare desk space. Using space on something I am keeping right at hand was just perfect!

So here it is - My storage genius moment for the month.

Voter #407

2.5 hours start to finish. Luckily the weather totally cooperated and it was 70 and sunny.

Not too bad and a very small price to exercise my civic duty.

If you don't vote- you don't get to complain. Period.

Fall Outings...

Paul and I love taking spontaneous mini outings. We just decide to get up and go. Last night we went to Stone Mountain not realizing they were already on their off season hours so the attractions were closed. We took a nice little walk up part of the mountain and just stood and enjoyed a beautiful sunset.

We then had fantastic Sicilian Pizza at Enzo's. We had never been before but I will certainly be going back! It's the only place I have seen in Atlanta where you can buy by the slice at dinner time. We sat on the porch eating and reading the news paper (such as it is in Atlanta). My only wish was that we could have been closer to the outdoor fireplace. It is definitely beginning to feel like fall is finally here!

Then home to snuggle up with my latest obsession- the Sookie Stackhouse novels. I finished #5 last night. At this pace I will be done with the series before Friday. lol

All in all just a perfect way to end the day.

Stories in Hand

Jessica Sprague is offering a free online class all about capturing the stories of our lives. Since she described her reasons so eloquently here is the story behind the class in her own words:

"So here’s the backstory.

A few weeks ago, I was sitting down looking through my albums. They’re disorganized. They’re out of order. There are photography tags and shipping labels on the page protectors. Not user friendly at all. As I was flipping through the pages, I realized that I have spent a lot of time on the pages that are there. And I’m proud of them, don’t get me wrong. But there are so many other stories I have to tell, and want to tell. So many stories for which I didn’t have a picture, or the picture wasn’t good enough, or I ran out of time and went on to something else, or whatever other reason kept me from telling it.

I actually asked myself as I looked through my albums, “If I disappear tomorrow, and this is all there is, is that enough?” And I’ve been haunted by the answer to that question.

This experience was part of a process I’ve been going through this summer, while I’ve been working on other projects, traveling and teaching (photo editing, digital scrapbooking, etc). I’ve been realizing that for me, there needs to be a way to capture little stories that can either be made into scrapbook pages, or not. There needs to be a way to fill in those gaps for which there might not be a full-blown 2-page spread that took me 4 hours. But that is a story worth telling nonetheless.

For example, I’ve never told the story of how my beautiful bridesmaid and her fiance and my wedding photographer all gathered together at my wedding reception, produced guitars and a bongo drum, literally out of nowhere, and played us a set of love songs. A story worth telling? You better believe it. And this might otherwise go unscrapped, because of course I have no photos of it.

We all have stories like that. Everyone. And I’m here to tell you that what you have to say matters, whether it makes it onto a scrapbook page or not. Whether you took a picture of it or not.

So I began devising a system. For capturing the stuff that lives in between the Big Events that we tend to scrap more often. For recording the little things that make life rich and fulfilling and unique. I am really excited about it. I hope that this new system will give me a lot of freedom to spend time on the projects I want to spend time on, without stressing that stories are going untold otherwise. AND, most importantly, that it will gives me Stories in Hand when I am ready to pick a new project to work on.

So are you ready to gather some stories, so you can have them in hand?

In class, we will learn:

  • Techniques for capturing memories from our own lives and from others
  • Dozens of prompts for stories you might have forgotten
  • A cool system for capturing the stories happening in your life right now, AND for listing the stories you have yet to tell
  • Printable goodies that will make your “capture” system work, AND keep it cute! (you know we gotta keep it cute - there’s nothing in life that’s not better with a great design)
  • “Next steps” video tutorials for turning your stories into pages
  • Technologies you can use to help you gather your stories together with photos, video, your blog, or any other media you have that gives a peek into your life
And we will make a REALLY CUTE project! (You’ll find out the supply list when you register). You are not required to have Photoshop to complete the project.

Oh yeah, by the way, this class is COMPLETELY FREE.

All you need to do to register is follow the links that will appear here, on the home page at, and in the email I’ll send to everyone on my newsletter list on October 20, and type in the code we’ll give you. You’ll be added to the class group and have FREE unlimited access to the class materials. Everyone who is interested will be IN. There is no class limit.

So, why? Why THIS class? And WHY FREE?

Partly it’s because I feel strongly about the concept here. I think starting from stories is a unique approach that is independent of the actual means we use to capture them (for example, I have a good friend who is WAY into video - you’ll be meeting him in a few months - and he has captured all his stories on film and DVD. Amazing.). I think that’s a powerful way to connect with other people and begin capturing, collecting, and sharing stories.

“There was this one time when I …” Doesn’t that sound awesome? I can’t wait! I LOVE stories. And I am anxious to work right alongside everyone in class to list and catalog some of my own stories that would otherwise have gone untold.

And the other part is this. I want you to see what the learning experience is like. There’s never been a better opportunity to check out what the videos are like, to participate in a private class message board, and to have access to top-of-the-line class materials than the Stories in Hand class.

So consider this my invitation to you.

Come on in, and tell some stories. Make a cute project. Change your life.

Registration begins at midnight eastern on Monday, October 20. Links will go live, codes will go out, and you can register yourself for FREE!"

So I have registered as of first thing this morning. The more I scrap the more I realize I'm not an event scrapper but scrap more to tell my story- like a visual journal. This class is just perfect for me. And even better - It starts on my birthday :) I hope to see some of you there!

Happy 60th Birthday Obata Sensei!

While I am not currently active in Shinkendo due to scheduling difficulties, I wanted to take a moment to with the founder of Shinkendo, Obata Kaiso a very happy 60th birthday.

He is truly a living legend, and I was privileged and honored to have the opportunity to train with him during the course of my studies. He has such a unique outlook on life and his influence will remain with me for the remainder of my life.


Otanjou-bi Omedetou Gozaimasu!


As I have been in sort of funk over the last year, I have been on a mission to try to get inspired by other people's work. Well ok- Ive been looking for cool gals to scraplift. I spend my mornings perusing various galleries and when I find a piece I like I explore their portfolios and blogs.

Every once in a while I find a person who is just so amazing I am actually awed by their talent. This chick Dina is just such a woman. Here is her blog - Ponderings.

Her work is just so original and innovative and yet is what I see in my head when I envision a layout. Of course mine don't ever look like that. lol

So I am going to try to actually sit down this weekend and WORK. Work at being creative, work at defining my style, just work at being the creative person I know is in here somewhere.

He who hears music, feels his solitude peopled at once. -Robert Browning

Somehow I had gotten away from listening to music. well my music anyways. I had forgotten how much richer my life, my feelings my creativity are when accompanied by a soundtrack.

I know I know how can one forget such a passion. Well it isn't so much that I had forgotten it's that my life has just been inundated with the music of others. Which I thought was fine. Paul and I have enough crossover in our libraries that I thought I was ok. (The fact that there is any crossover is sort of amazing given how eclectic we both are). I am stuck listening to regular commercial radio in my car and haven't really turned any music on in my studio either.

Then I stopped being lazy and actually organized my giant iTunes library. and OH.MY.GOD. How in the world did I think just getting by was ok. Now I listen to my little ipod constantly. In the car, while at lunch, in my studio. Any spare moment I get where I don't need to be listening to other people. If I thought I could somehow listen at work I would in a heart beat.

The music has filled this giant silent void I didn't even consciously realize was there. In the words of Nietzsche "Without music life would be a mistake." It's a mistake I won't soon repeat.

Just back from the Happiest Place on Earth

Ok well mostly it was the happiest place on earth. It was also one of the hottest. I think I have learned that the only safe time to go to Disney world is mid November through Mid March. I also learned that even the tiny amount of aerobics I have been doing this year since March makes a huge difference when you get out there and start walking 5+miles a day.

Luckily I got to see and do just about everything I had planned to. I also took pictures. Lots and Lots of pictures. About 25 GIGS worth. Sure a ton of them were crappy but some weren't bad at all. This was my first real trip with my Rebel and I tried to take full advantage of that.

I have just started culling some of the photos: Here are some decent ones so far (no I'm not going to post more than a few so don't worry about being trapped in someone else's vacation slide show hell. lol)

Now I have to get back to the reality of laundry and housekeeping. Sigh.....

PS: a HUGE THANK YOU to Krissy for allowing the Atlanta peas to use her DVC! Without her generosity we wouldn't have gone!

My New Obsession

I love every little thing about the TV show (and am devouring the books as quickly as I can buy them). After being a devoted Ann Rice fan and thoroughly enjoying the Twilight series, I was eager to find more Vampire stories. I have always been attracted to their tales and the very folklore itself is just so pervasive across so many cultures part of me has always wondered if it was just a teensy bit possible. I even know several people who claim to be Vampires (hi Vi!)

And so now I have a Tivo loaded full of the first 6 episodes and I watch and re-watch them. From the opening theme song (which I think has the best visuals to ANY TV or movie ever!) to the the scenes from next week clips, I am transported to a world just this side of my own, and I love every minute of being there and am often loathe to leave it.

I figure this latest obsession will tide me over until the Twilight movie comes out November 21.

September Contest Entry for Scrap Freak

After taking some time off from Scrap Freak I realized how much I missed it so I am back. I decided to enter their Monthly Layout challenge.

Here is my entry:

I tried to use a little of everything on this and am pretty happy with the way it came out. I actually did the layout on a very thick piece of chipboard so I could hang it in my scrap room.

Paper- Scenic Route (blue), Pink Paisley (the owl cut out), Cosmo Cricket (yellow) and KI (orange hand cut brackets)

The hearts and keys are grungeboard covered in Making Memories paints then stickled.

Felt swoosh and flowers from Fancy Pants.

I made the house from some left over chipboard and covered it with scalloped strips from SU scallop edge punch.

Journaling reads:
While I always dreamed of owning my own home, I had no idea how profoundly it would change me (and not just by emptying my pocketbooks) I feel like a real grown up- A home owner! It's given me a sanctuary, a nest, a place to create and hopefully will become a place to raise a family. I love my Home Sweet Home!!!

I've been a card making fool!

Ive been trying to build up my card supply for the upcoming craft shows. Stupidly I made about 20 more cards I forgot to get pictures of before handing them off to Virginia.

The World is ending!

There is something I am LUSTING after at Walmart!

I NEED This! All of it! It is just absolutely stinking perfect! And the name of the line??? Stockholm. Like Sweden aka the land of IKEA.

Suddenly I wish I had gotten the White Expedit instead of the brown so it would match better cause there is no way that beast is coming out of that room anytime soon.

Ok so I don't really NEED it nor do I really have a place to put it (well I could actually use the book case and the smaller cabinet piece) but it was a shock to come across something so hip and cool at Walmart of all places!

Whew- I need a weekend to relax from my weekend!

I had an uber fun and productive weekend!

Friday night my DH surprised me by taking me to the Gwinnett County fair. While nothing overly exciting or special about this fair, we both just love the whole atmosphere- the rides, the games, the food!

We even got the opportunity to handle some sugar gliders. I think we were both amazed and impressed at how cuddly and friendly they seemed to be even being handle by the masses at the fair. Fortunately cooler heads prevailed and we didn't get a set (since of course they do better in pairs.) The $400 a piece price tag helped too. For those of you who may not be familiar this is what they look like:

Saturday was my spend all day crafting day! I haven't sat down and made cards in a while and with the holiday season fast approaching it was time to start getting down to business. I knocked out 28 various occasion cards and did some planning for my Stampin Up workshop this coming weekend. I was so tired that I didn't take pics so I will post them later. I still haven't settled on designs for Christmas card sets this year but I need to finalize those pretty soon as well.

Sunday was the standard housecleaning, get ready for work, do some electronics rewiring, go on a brief outing to Costco and lunch sort of day. My husband found a really cool possible Christmas present for my nephew.
He has very fond memories of riding one just like it as a boy. I think with a 2 year old and another set to be born in Dec it might be a great investment for a way for the boys to play inside during the cold Maine winters.

Its hard to believe that the holiday season really is right around the corner but it is. Somehow this year has just FLOWN by! Next thing on the agenda- start digging out Halloween decorations!

Slacking Again...

Sorry I haven't posted in so long. I spent almost an entire week in New York visiting with my brother Aleks, SIL Tiffany and my ever delightful nephew Kristopher. It was Kris' 3rd birthday. I hate living so far with them so I just absolutely treasured every second I was there.

Kris is just an adorable little boy who loved to read (well he would drag out every book he owned and insist I read them to him -his favorite by far was Dr Suess' My Many Colored Days) and play on his new "computer" we bought him for his birthday. We got him the Leapfrog clickstart computer you hook to a TV since they only had a laptop and he is still a little too rough to play nice with it.
It was really amazing to watch him learn how to mouse- something we as adults just take for granted. It took him just a few hours of intermittent play to figure out that the cursor and his hand movements were connected and how to then click on what he wanted. He loved several of the built in games as well as the Nemo cartridge we got him.

I also got a chance to see a friend from High School who I had lost touch with over the years. She was several years behind me but we still became very close friends and she also shared a very close friendship with Aleks as well. It was amazing how much and yet how little we had all changed. It was an absolutely wonderful way to spend an afternoon!

I will post pics as soon as I get a chance to work on them. Oh and speaking of pictures- Kristopher LOVES to take photographs as well- and some of them are actually quite good. I will have to share those as well. It was a real trip to see the world through his eyes- what he thought was important- the different perspective of someone who is only 3' tall etc. I found it very eye opening. My mom actually bought him a small digital camera of his own to encourage him in his pursuits.

So now that I have come down from my trip and recovered a bit on housework and bills and such- I hope to get back to posting more regularly. Next Up - I HAVE to get ready for my Stamp Club meeting on Sept 20th, start gearing up for Christmas card season and last and most importantly- Not loose my mind waiting for my Disney Trip on 10/4!!!

Birdhouse in My Soul

Here is the rest of the little house i have been working on for Scrapfreak's August class. I still have to build the "yard" but am very happy with the way the building came out!

My artistic struggle

I have always been a pretty creative person. I can "see" all these wonderful items I could create in my head. My problem has always been in the execution. I struggle constantly with getting what's in front of me to match the vision I have for a project. I usually fail.

It's why I stopped scrapbooking several years ago.

I just got too frustrated sitting down and not being able to create what I could envision. I felt like Salieri from the movie Amadeus, and like him- this disconnect between what I could see and appreciate in other's and what I could do myself was making me more and more depressed. So I stopped creating.

But I have a need to create. It's who I am. and so with the support of some very special friends I am starting again. Slowly but surely. And I have discovered something interesting.... The more I create the easier it is, the better I get. Funny how things work sometime.

Currently I am working on the August Class at Scrap Freak. I had a vision of what I wanted to do but immediately started getting cold feet. So I sketched and plotted and planned and revised and planned some more. And then I started working on it. Slowly. I did the inside first then the chimney. Then the back of the little house. then the roof.

And you know what. I LOVE how it is turning out! for once everything seems to be just working out. And so here are some pics of my little project so far:

Striped Paper is Crate Paper - Birdie

Tree: Chipboard - Maya road covered in SEI Dill Blossom Paper. The trunk was painted with Making Memories paint then coated with a bronze glaze. The birdies in the tree are Bam Pop stamps and the one in my grommet window is Hero Arts.
The epoxy stickers are also from the
SEI Dill Blossom collection.

The ribbon on the roof is from everyone. Paper Trey Ink, American Crafts, KI Memories, SEI, Offray and others.

I made a little nest out of some mohair fiber and added bling eggs. Then I stamped and cut out a bird and coated both sides with stickles. He is my blue bird of happiness.

I will post more pics as I finish more of the little house.

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming...

THE NEW STAMPIN UP CATALOG IS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and it is soooo pretty. They really have out done themselves this time. The catalog is chock full of new and exciting stamps, paper, ribbon and my favorite punches! PLUS Stampin up now has their very own BigShot and exclusive dies!

And if that weren't enough they also put some of the cutest NEW stamps on sale now through September 30th!

Item Code

Pg. #


Regular Price

15% off Price



Snow Swirled





It's a Stretch





Putt Putt (Not available until August 18)





Eastern Blooms





Pocket Silhouettes





Upsy Daisy





Under the Stars





Heard from the Heart





Contempo Alphabet





Felicidades Siempre*



If you would like one of the new Fall Winter Idea Books and catalog please contact me and I will be happy to order one for you!


I haven't posted much lately but the reason for that is all good! I have totally found a new online home at ScrapFreak

The women there are not only super talented they are super supportive. My very good friend Jessica/Bree is on their design team and encouraged me to start posting over there. I quickly became engrossed in their uber friendly community and it has inspired me to actually start scrapbooking again!!!!

I was even honored to win the monthly contest for July on Scrapfreak. For someone who hasn't scrapped in a LOOOOOONG time it was a truly special thing to have my work chosen over many beautiful entries!

Since joining and jumping in with both feet I have completed 6 mini albums and more shockingly 12 traditional layouts (in addition to the regular cards I make).

I just spent this past weekend hosting an overnight Open house to celebrate the release of the new SU catalog (more on that in another post) and to get a chance to work on stuff for the summer splash freakfest online crop. I am exhausted but completely psyched about the time I got to spend with friends being creative!

Here are some photos of some of my projects from the last 2 weeks:

So there you have it - my excuse for being a little remiss in posting here. It's a pretty good feeling excuse if I do say so myself ;)