Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Hi Everyone,

Hope you are having a Happy Halloween!! I've had 20+ trick or treaters so far, and hoping for lots more. I think I over-purchased on the candy bars, and would hate to think there'll be bags of candy here to snack on all week!

Halloween Season this year included going to Vala's Pumpkin Patch a couple weeks ago, kind of by accident. It was something from another world! I suppose it is most fun with small children, but it does put you in the fall mood....and fills you with enough campfire smoke to feel like you've been out on the range. I picked up a cute bumpy pumpkin, and swan goard, and a little mini pumpkin.

Also this Halloween season I did an ornament exchange. We had such a variety of cute decorations, I was excited to put them on my Halloween tree! The kittens found a few of them with the frilly paper to be most interesting!

I was also gifted the sweetest little Halloween Box from my friend Lisa. She knows I love cats, especially black cats (don't tell the others).

In the past I always forced Harley and MaGraw into a costume for a few seconds, just long enough to get a picture. Well this year was no different. Yesterday I tried to put the kittens in costumes, but they were too wild.

I did get a good pic of Harley as Robin Hood.

So today I waited until the boys were just waking from a nap and were at their least wild state.

Here is Thunder as a piglet.

Bolt as a Shiny Dinosaur.

Noah as a Landshark.

Also each of the little guys (who aren't so little anymore) got a go as a Bumble Bee.

Friday my niece Allie and my parents visited for dinner. They found Allie a Pirate Costume so she tried it on for me. Bolt got into the act too!

Enjoy your Halloween, and Welcome November tomorrow!

- Rach

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Creative Connection

Looking back at September I packed so much in that I am happy to have made it through to the other side. One good reason I did, was that it was ALL good stuff.

I flew from Salt Lake City, (Spark 2) to Denver so I could have a work meeting. Then I flew back to Nebraska Tuesday, went to the Dave Matthews Concert that evening, then got up the next morning to drive to Minneapolis for the Creative Connection Event. Just a quick little 6.5 hr drive, no wasn't like I had to drive to Denver the next week for a MOVE...oh wait, I did....but that is another POST..

The Creative Connection. My goodness! This was the brainchild of Jo Packham and Nancy Soriano.

I had already booked so many creative weekends this year, that I was hesitating on this one. After talking with Jo at the Savannah weekend I did back in May, I was leaning towards going....then leaning even more after realizing that Jennifer Murphy, my fav, was teaching, and then fell flat over and signed up once Lisa decided she'd go! I think Lisa and I are both enablers....which is one of my favorite qualities of hers!! :)

Anywho, the weekend was so filled with fun, and shopping at the Handmade Market, visiting with friends, it was great!

One friend I somehow didn't get a photo with was Shelly from Oklahoma! She brought her mom and friend Leslie who I had met in Savannah as well. It was fun to see them again, but it is never enough time to really get to hang out!

Here I am with Jessi. We are now practically neighbors! I can't wait to get my studio set up so we can have some fun crafty time together.

Ree Drummond was such a treat to listen to. She has such a cool story of how she became the "Pioneer Woman". Can't wait to get the first issue of Where Women Cook and she will grace the cover.
How excited were Lisa and I that our Brave Girl Sisters Melody and Margie stopped by the event! They were teaching classes at the Mall of America where Scrapfest was being held....(little did Lisa and I know at the time we drove over there for lunch)...anyhoo, so excited to see both of them!

Melody and I.

That would be me, my project - Harold, Jennifer Murphy and the little mouse I purchased that she handmade.
The work table as we created our handmade heritage bunnies.

The mouse I bought and the bunny that Lisa purchased from Jennifer.

I took Jennifer's 2nd class in which we made a cute bird ornament. Most were writing something holiday-ish on the little sign, however Jennifer suggested I have something more timely for me! So she wrote Welcome Home 2010 on my ornament for my new home!

As a special treat Jennifer also showed us how to make our own pom poms to create another bird ornament.

So we began with this yarn.... (sorry hotels have the worst lighting!!)

From that we made the little bird below! So easy and fun! I do need to learn how to make knots though....Cub Scouts or in my case Girl Scouts would've come in handy for crafting!

My third class was Dara DiMagno's class making necklaces out of spoons and old belt buckles! I will have to share a photo of my finished project sometime soon. Dara also was more than sweet to us and gifted us all a one of kind necklace of her creation! What a treat!

Here she is showing us how to use power tools and a HAMMER! Man take up necklace making out of spoons and you may see positive side results of your stress going down :)

At one of our lunches we had Ree share stories with us along with Jo Packham moderating. It was a fun talk. For lunch we were treated to a really tasty noodle dish with chicken from one of Ree's cookbooks. For dessert a red velvet cake! YUM.

At the Cupcake Fairwell, saying goodbye to new friends. Lisa what a great trip!

Krista, me and her friend, sorry I can't remember your name!! Krista and I met at Spark 2 the weekend before!

And would it be an art event weekend without a Cupcake???

All in all this was a super event, next year I believe they will be tweaking things that will make it even better. The organizers always learn a little each year, and the best events keep getting better!!

Until 2011 TCC!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Spark 2

Year 2 - Spark!

Last year I ventured out to Utah, gorgeous country, for the first time to attend a little event called Spark. Some lovely ladies, Margie, Rhonna and Elizabeth hosted a wonderful event.

I had such a great time, when I saw they were doing it all again I didn't hesitate to sign up! I planned on going with my dear friend Lisa, but due to a loss in her family she wasn't able to make it. We made up for it the following weekend at the Creative be blogged about next :)

Luckily I checked in with my friend Dana who was also going and we coordinated times and decided to share a room. It worked out great and we had a terrific time.

I rented the car just in time to pick up Dana from her flight. We high-tailed it down to Dear Lizzie's boutique and bistro.

The picture below is just a little bit of heaven....the Dizzy Lizzie drink - YUM, the cupcake with a hint of almond flavoring - MAJOR YUM!! Man I love a good cupcake!

The rest of the evening we ran errands, picked up some last minute supplies for our classes, and tried unsuccessfully to find a good sushi restaurant in Utah....we found a sushi restaurant...the operative word was good.

Bright and Early the next morning we headed down to Noah's, the chosen location for the event this year. It was a beautiful facility and the decorations were SO COOL.

The ceiling was full of creative inspiration.

The tables were set with vintage goodness.

As you can see it is not Spark 1, it is SPARK No 2!!
One of my all time favorite things is an old fashioned photo booth. I loved that The Spark girls brought on in a photo booth and let us have at it...for FREE mind you, so great, so fun!

The most fun I usually have at these events is just connecting with old friends and new friends! Really makes an event better when you have fun and friendly folks!

So happy to get to know these two gals better, Rachel (great name:) and Jackie!

Day 2 was Margie's BIRTHDAY!! Of course she had to wear a birthday CROWN. Love you Margie! If you had to be stuck on a deserted island with only one person....and you wanted someone who would be positive, creative, and hilarious, I'll tell you what...Margie would be it! 'TM'

My roomie for the weekend Dana, she's a tell like it is gal! I love that about her.

It was great to see Crystal again too!

Of course the projects were a lot of fun too! We made a little mini album, a fun lampshade with fabrics to hang pictures from....need to finish and hang in my studio....

This is part of the Felted Wool Scarf I made. We were given a bag of raw colored wool. We wet the wool, laid it into the shape we wanted...and then using bubble wrap, WaaLA! Sooo not that easy, but there was a lot of rolling and kneading... let's just leave it at that.

Fun flower pin. A little glimmer mist here, and little shiny bauble there.
This was the canvas I did in April's class. I need to find a place to hang this. The word under the silhouette is Destiny.

I'd be remiss not to mention the food...more importantly the desserts. There were a ton of them. I decided to FOCUS, not spread my attention too thin...So I picked just one little cupcake...

It was tiny in the grand scheme of things...

Ok maybe it was a little more than I bargained for... one bite was about all I could do after the great meal that was provided for us....but it was a tasty bite!!

So great location, great people, great projects, great food (and cupcakes!!)...Great great great.

So what could top off this greatness?? Oh the Sparkers decided to throw in a little live music....but not ANY live music, not just some volunteer out of the audience to sign for these ladies brought in the one and only Mindy Gledhill!! Her voice is so sweet and soulful. It was beautiful. If you don't have her new album, stop, go out and buy it, then come back. Poor thing was freezing, but she hung out with us, shared some stories and songs. What a cherry on the tippy top!

And to top top it off....two Rachel's. Nuf' Said.

When is Spark 3??


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lauritzen Gardens

Hi Everyone,

I have finally moved to Omaha!! Yay. I'll be sharing photos of the house and neighborhood as I get settled, but for now I want to share some beautiful flowers I saw at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha last weekend.

Sunday was beautiful, the weather was warm! Even a little hot in the sun. It was the 10th Anniversary of the Gardens in Omaha, so it was 10 cent day! We were prepared to pay $7 each to get in and we were excited it cost less than a quarter! So you can imagine it was REALLY packed with everyone enjoying the Indian Summer.

There is an expansive Rose Garden at Lauritzen's that smells more wonderful than it looks.

The Gardens were full of many different beautiful fall colors of Mums. I have a purple Mum on my stoop, but these yellow Mums really drew me in.

The greenery throughout the walks were all so unique. It was fun to see the labels on everything!

This hidden gem was in a secret garden looking area. You could imagine it being on a beautiful old English Manor's grounds.

Sometimes it is nice to take a break from your busy life and smells the roses!

Enjoy those times!