Monday, December 27, 2010

Ho Ho Ho

Merry Christmas to All,

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas weekend.

Mine was fun and very full.

Here a few photos of my decor around the house.

The tree (which is in the kitchen bay window - due to 3 frisky kittens not being able to get into the kitchen ;)

At the beginning of December I went to the Brass Armadillo Antique Mall and bought them out of retro vintage ornaments. I had seen a gorgeous wreath online which was priced pretty I thought "I can do that"....which as you'll see below I DID! (however not sure it was for less than I could've purchased it online for when all was said and done....however I'm glad I made it myself since it'll mean more in years to come.)

Jennifer Murphy is one of my favorite artists. I am always excited when she has her website updates to sell her handmade pieces. I try and make sure I am near a computer at the moment the update is opened as her pieces FLY, and I mean FLY out the door within minutes. This time I was LUCKY enough to send in my request quickly enough to get my FIRST choice!!

Take a look at the cutest ornament! It is a vintage mitten filled with a mini mouse handmade by Jennifer, and a snowman spun by hand by Crystal Hanehan. Jennifer collaborated with Crystal on a few pieces, and I think their work nicely compliments eachother, don't you?

I was fortunate enough to be able to visit Wendy Addison's shop while I was in Northern California earlier this month. Jackie Cate and I ventured to the little out of the way studio and shop to be amazed by all the beautiful pieces. This was the ornament I picked out for my tree.

I purchase an acorn for my MOM for Christmas. (given her business is Acorn Ridge Quilting ;)

Speaking of her business and her work, take a look at this adorable quilt she created for me! My mom had asked me for pictures of my cats, the faces especially. I didn't know what she was up to, but when she sent me a number of JibJab greeting cards with my cats singing Christmas songs, I figured that was it!! Little did I know she was also creating this amazing quilt.

More to come on my holiday activites, but for now, I'm exhausted, and need some sleep. Working 2 days this week, so tomorrow morning is coming along quick!



Friday, December 3, 2010

December Journaling Projects

Hi Everyone,

As you may have learned if you've read my blog for awhile, on occasion, once in awhile, maybe once in a blue moon, I overcommit to too many projects or activities. I'm a born multi-tasker, however with work, moving and unpacking, and all the weekend workshops I've been taking, perhaps I should slow down on signing up for additional workshops or classes online, right?!?

I just couldn't pass up another Hope Wallace-Karney class. Although I have signed up for all of her journaling classes and haven't found too much time to work on them, I signed up ANYWAY! She is teaming up with her good friend Kari Ramstrom for this class. It is called WINTER STORIES.

I worked on the cover to my journal last night. This is what I came up with:

I am looking forward to working on this journal, and the other class I'm taking is Shimmel's Journaling my Christmas class.

Here is the journal cover for Journaling my Christmas:

The journal I purchased from one of my favorite shops for paper journaling items, Every Jot and Tittle. I also had purchased a cute valentiney mini book from her too.

Looking forward to working on my Holiday Manifesto's tonight and catch up with the last couple days!!

One of my favorite scrapbooks that I created when I use to scrapbook EVERYTHING, is my Christmas Albums. I have the few pictures we still have from our childhood in one and probably 4 or 5 years worth of the late 90's early 00's in one. I think it's fun to see year over year how people change, what fun things you do each year, and how many things remain the same.

What holiday memory recording will all of you be doing??

Happy Holidays,


Friday, November 19, 2010

Silver Bella Part 1 & December project Goals

Happy Holiday Season!!

That originally said Happy Thanksgiving...but as you can tell I'm a little behind! I've been busy busy busy with the house, and trying to get "settled". I am getting there, slowly but surely, and with the help of my parents...big time.

I am starting to see the floor of my art studio! I can't wait to get it set up so I can actually finish unfinished projects and start new ones!

In the meantime I wanted to share with you my amazing time at Silver Bella. This is the third year that I attended. It was probably my favorite time too!

This year my friend Lisa Stanton from Oklahoma came up to Omaha for the event!! Yay. I love traveling and attending these events with Lisa, it's EASY, and of course lots of fun.

I will say the lighting in hotels is just the worst, and I'm by no means a pro at adjusting I apologize for the offcolor pics!!

This year I signed up for quite a few swaps. And per usual, every time I try something new, I realize how I need to UP MY GAME!! These Bella's are AMAZING! I really need to think WAY OUT OF MY BOX, and go beyond what I think I can do. AND EMBELLISH EMBELLISH EMBELLISH. MORE IS MORE!!
My swap that I hosted was the Cupcake Swap. I was happiest with this one in the end. I spent so much time on my pages, and doing the front and back covers, as well as making cupcake pin buttons, tags, and I included a cupcake pen or pencil with each. FUN. Labor of LOVE!

The yummiest fun of course was making my cupcakes to take the photo for my page. The unfun part was the few pounds I put on from eating too many :) Oh well, you only live once.

I'll take pictures of each page to share soon.

All the women in my swap were just terrific to work with, and so happy to receive their books. Here are just a few of them:

I'll include each with their links when I include the pages.

That is all for now...SO Much more to come.

I am working on two December projects, you know because December is just usually a boring and SLOW month ;) I have blinkies on the left for Hope and Kari's Winter Stories class, and Shimmell's Journaling your Christmas class. Both are really fun..I am REALLY hoping to actually finish these projects this month....(and not just print out the instructions!!)

Wish me luck!!


Monday, November 1, 2010

New Home - Before and Afters

Hi Everyone,

As some of you know, I just moved permanently to a new home in Omaha. I've been here just about a month, and in that time feel like I've accomplished quite a bit, but still have a ways to go. My parents have helped tremendously!

Just waiting on furniture to come from work for my home office, and that room will be more organized. I also need to sit down and really REALLY purge my clothes. I'll give you a heads up when the nearby Goodwill will have some cool deals!

In the first installment of sharing my home with you, I thought I would show some before and after pics! I LOVE BEFORE & AFTER pics!! Hope you do too!



Note the 60's light fixture...retro, but not a COOL retro, also the "not my style" cream carpet.


First things first, we removed all the carpet in the dining room/living room. Oh what a breath of fresh air, it made all the difference!! A bit of a bummer the prior owners used 95million staples on it, but beyond that the hardwood floors are in great shape! (Thanks to my Dad for taking out all the staples and tack strips!!)

Also you will see I purchased a new light fixture to go with the new dining room table and chairs/bench.

The wallpaper is still in the dining steps. The painting/wallpaper removal is probably a spring 2011 project!!



Again note the carpet. I wasn't sure I was crazy about the mirrors on the walls, soooo 60's...but a friend has the same wall and said "good luck removing it" I thought I'd live with it awhile and see what I thought!


It makes such a difference in a home when all your own things are in it. Once I got all the pieces in the living room it all started to come together, and even the mirror wall doesn't bother me. It just adds another layer of texture.

I'm still adding things, and taking things out as I unpack a few other odds and ends. But I feel pretty good with the living room/dining room.

Maybe a new rug or two someday, but for now I'll move onto other rooms to finish!



Again did I tell you how much I wasn't a fan of the carpet?


Another addition that made a big difference were the red curtains. These windows are huge! My Dad and I picked up the hardward and then realized it was pretty tight given I didn't include the borders in the measurements!! Oops, however I don't think they'd have made hardware any least non-customized. We had a "make it work" moment and got the poles up. I had hours of ironing that weekend, 6 panels for this large window, 2 for the dining room, and 6 more for the downstairs window!

Hope you enjoyed the first installment of my New Home BEFORE and AFTERS!!

What house projects are you all working on??


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!