Monday, April 30, 2007

Living past my expiration date...

Well, here I am...another year older. It's a good day. When I was originally diagnosed with heart problems I was told that if they hadn't caught it I would never have made it past 30. Then when I had my stroke I was told if they hadn't given me the pacemaker I probably wouldn't have made it past 35. Now I'm past 35 - and past my expiration date. The official prognosis now is that I'm going to get "old & wrinkly" more numbers, just like a normal person. So today is special and 36 is my magic number. Happy birthday to me.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Classes tomorrow...

Well, if you're in the DFW area & are wondering what to do with your weekend, I have a suggestion...I'll be teaching two classes at the Scrapbook Warehouse tomorrow and there are still some seats available!

First from 10-12 Best Friends Forever, a 5x5 friendship book in pink, ivory & brown, then Scrap to the Beat from 2-4, a fun decor piece about your favorite music that even stores CDs.

They're even getting me a birthday cake (it's Monday) to share with the students & my cousin Meg will be my TA all day. There will also be two fab make & takes created by IP's fab Design Coordinator, Kayla to round out the festivities. Hope to see you there!

Staggering Possibilities...

Here's another Scrap-a-Ganza class. This is with Blue Cardigan's latest line, Yesterdays which comes out in the next few weeks. I love the soft vintage look. I still need to add pictures & journaling... here's a gallery to the full project.

My friends tease me because my style is either very clean & mod or very vintage. Go figure - I stopped trying to fight it ages ago, now I just scrap what I like.

Rock On, Scrapper!

I just put together this class for Scrap-a-Ganza in the Netherlands - we'll be doing two 12x12 layouts in an hour about your favorite music. I went ahead & did these pages for myself...they were really fun.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Mojito - gum???

Oops, they did it again. I thought I would never find one I liked better than Orbit's Lemon Lime, but I was given a piece of Mint Mojito gum this weekend and was overwhelmed. Well, as overwhelmed as you can get about gum. I must go find this stuff!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Recapping CKU Detroit...

Well, I'm home and am totally wiped out, but happy. What a great time...a super duper thank you to all the students at CKU Detroit for their enthusiasm & kindness.

I had "battery issues" so I didn't take a lot of pictures, but my friends were quick to email them out so here they are...

Well, at the risk of repeating myself here are who everyone is I'll start with the top pic and work my way down...First off is at the Tailgate party standing with Debby, Stacey & Teresa.

Next is a pic {on the left} with Laura & Angie2 who came out to help me all weekend and on the right is another with Debby.

For the next {on the left}, well you haven't lived until you've seen Tracy White lip sync Motown songs - and yes, that's Becky in the pink feathers. Debby & I were lucky enough to spot Tracy alone in the lobby on Saturday & we dragged her up to watch us eat dinner. We were a pretty slap happy group by the time it was over. We tried to take a regular picture and a serious picture, but we caught a glimpse of Debby's serious face and lost it.

I got to see Robin from Ranger, which always makes me happy. While Debby was waiting for my class to be done to drive me out to the Scrapbook Zone, she sat in on one of Tim's classes next door & they got this pic.
Now, Tim is my friend. I think he's a super guy, but sometimes I have to tease him about what a scrapping heartthrob he has turned into. (Like when I passed out "future Mrs. Holtz buttons" to 20 women at an event in his classes to see if he noticed.) This time he caught me posing for a picture kissing a picture of his head on a stick. You know you've made it big when they put your head on a I thought I'd email it to him later as a little joke, but he was right behind me & quickly popped in the picture with "us". I loved the way the pic turned out! I ended up giving him a quick kiss for being such a good sport.
Well, CKU's...back to work. Thanks again to all of you! Pop on & say hi if you were there!!!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Long day, happy ending...

I never eat when I teach. I kick off the morning with an obscenely strong coffee but no food. Maybe I'm nervous or maybe I'm just afraid of the possible consequences of teaching with an upset stomach (I can't even get into the potential horror - use your imagination).

But I've never taught all day. 9 am-Starbucks "Turbo Charger"- no breakfast - class 10-12. No lunch class 1-2. Drive to other store 2-3. Tim Horton's Extra Large English Toffee Coffee. Set up & teach 3-6. Shop (delirious) 6-8. Finally dinner around 8:30/9. Wow - I feel so much better now. Debby came with me (heck, she took me) to teach & even took the class at the Zone which was absolutely fab. Then we shopped 'til I almost dropped and we visited the whole time it was great. We were lucky enough to spy Tracy in the lobby & shanghaied her into having dinner with us. I love Tracy White. Every time I spend time with her I am overwhelmed by what a neat, caring, funny person she is. My camera batteries were low, so the screen wasn't on, but I took this picture of Tracy at dinner...

So another CKU down...what a rush. I met so many great students & saw so many old's always a little sad to be heading home.

Tired but loving it...

I love CKU, it's one of the favorite things I do. I love seeing repeat students & reconnecting, making new friends, the energy, talent & enthusiasm of everybody here and I love, love, love seeing my friends who work in "the biz" {Debby, me, Marji & Stacey}. After hanging at the crop tonight we met in the bar...where we had exciting beverages like ice water & coffee because we were all so exhausted.
It's worth every minute, though. Tomorrow we'll do it all again & I'll be teaching out at The Scrapbook Zone from 3:30 - 6 if you're in the area!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

CKU Detroit...Day One

So, I'm here in Detroit...My camera batteries died before dinner & the tailgate (figures) - but I'm reloaded & ready for tomorrow! I'll be getting a ton of pics from Debby & Stacey when it's all over. There's now a picture floating around of me kissing Tim Holtz ON THE CHEEK...can you blame me? Sometimes (all the time) I like to tease him about his hype (although he totally deserves it).

The make & takes were like, THE BEST EVER & we jammed to tunes all day. Thank God for Laura & Angie2 {a.k.a. "Two-ie"} I couldn't have gotten through the day without them!

We had dinner with Debby again & met Stacey, Marji & the Luxe team for drinks afterwards. I've been reading Shopaholic & Baby on this trip and am rushing through blogging so I can read some more before I crash...

In case you're wondering - the apron...I have taught or have had my classes taught at every CKU since Anaheim 2002, so over the years I've gotten a lot of pins. I arranged them on my teaching apron & made each one of them a flower center to add some pizazz to a normally all black wardrobe. Guess what...I didn't wear crocs ALL DAY. (and no, I wasn't barefoot...I got new shoes & I can actually handle them all day!)

Live from Detroit...

Well, I've arrived. I'm in Detroit for CKU. I ran into Tim & Robin at the airport where I was meeting Debby to get a ride out to the hotel. It looks like every box made it {always a good thing}. Saw Teresa and her husband Ty, Stacy, Ali & Kelley from the Scrapbook Zone in the lobby as well as some of the CK events team. Debby & I had dinner with Marji Johns from Hot Off the Press...Laura & Angie2 got in around 1 AM {what troopers!} and are staying to help me at the event. now it's about that time to head down to set up make & takes. So check back this weekend - I'll still be blogging if I have time!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Kickin' it Old School at CKU...

I knew there was a reason I was saving my cassettes. Matt teases me about them, but I haven't been able to let them go yet. Well, today I'm glad I still have them. I've packed up my favorites {who knew there were so many 80's collections} and am taking them on the road to CKU. My friend Laura who's driving in to help me is bringing a cassette recorder for make and take day, but, bless her heart is too young to actually have the cassettes to play in it. My make & take is "My Favorite Music", so our table will be jammin' to mine...
I leave for Detroit in the morning, better get packing!

Spell with flickr...

L O V E is for Marsden
Have you ever tried SPELLING WITH FLICKR? What great eye candy...

My Style in Motion...

Another find...this one was from Brazilian designer Carlos Brito's blog. I don't need to speak the language to know fantastic design when I see it. So much cutting edge design is coming out of South America right now - I love it! This music video has the look of my new favorite magazine right now, Beautiful Decay. I was so inspired by the graphics on here, I wanted to share it with you.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Brick Testament (yes, that IS the Bible in legos)...

OK, I was doing the typical click around the internet to look for things I've never seen before and found this off of FMCS. It is called The Brick Testament, and, is the Bible illustrated in legos. I really would've loved to post these through Easter weekend, but better late than never. Being a lover of both legos and Christ (not equally, you understand) I am very amused. Someone went to a lot of work here, spend some time & click around. There's a lot more on there than meets the eye.

Just another Monday...

I made another wicked box this weekend - this time with some Blush by Basic Grey, Gin-X and Project Essentials. I finished it off with a silk flower, Ranger pink paint, some Bohemia rub-ons and a broken brooch I found at a garage sale. I wanted to show how different the altered box I would be teaching at CKU could look in totally different colors.

Not much going on, except getting ready to leave for Detroit. I added buttons to the sidebar so you can now shop online for my Circus Rose and Project Essentials products. Imagination Project has just launched their online store so go take a peek!

Friday, April 13, 2007

What are the odds...

Well, I stayed in all day & avoided potential weather until I went and picked up my cousin Meg for the weekend. We ran by ReCollections to pick up some cardstock I needed then crash-BAM- monster-thunder, so I thought it was high time to get out & get home. We were parked close, but between the door & the car it went straight from rain to hail. By the time we were pulling out of the parking lot the hail was thick, but still small. We got onto 75 (which is very close) and the hail exploded. Quarter - golf ball - bigger. We were sure it was going to break our windshield. I pulled up on a curb & we huddled under an overpass waiting for it to blow by. It only lasted about 10 terrifying minutes (and wouldn't you know I didn't have my camera) and as we drove away we saw a couple of those baseball size hailstones sitting in the grass. I should've followed my own advice & stayed in.

All Hail breaking loose...

Um, if you live in North Texas & missed the weather this morning here's the 10AM weather update. We're fine for a few hours, but plan to stay in & hide.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

My advice to the video

I've been reading the class materials for Shimelle's When I Grow Up class & she included a link to this video. It made me realize this is kind of why I scrapbook. To preserve the past, hold onto the moments that I love & celebrate my story as it unfolds - the ups, the downs, the everyday. So that in the end, hopefully, I will be able to pass on my story to someone who will listen. And if not, I will have told my story for me, and that is reason enough.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Peering out from behind the projects...

Yep, it's class season over here. Now they're designed I need to hunker down & write a bunch of instructions. Where have I been? What have I been doing other that work???

Thursday night I sang in the Maundy Thursday service (yes, not only have we found a church we like - I joined the choir!). My inlaws came in town Friday & I took the afternoon off for a nice visit. Friday night Matt's sister & family and my friend Martha came over & we cooked enchiladas. Saturday I worked on Scrap to the Beat & did a little fabric coaching with Matt in the evening {fyi - new fabric creations made completely by Matt to be added to his Etsy shop soon!!!}. I also made 60 bacon cups for a choir breakfast at church Sunday. Had to be at church at 7 for rehearsal before the 8am service for Easter - then the choir spread - then we did the second service. I went straight home & slept until 6pm - oooof. Monday day:work - Monday night: Martha Monday. Martha Monday is a new thing we're trying out. I'm usually too busy to even try to drop work and go out and do something with friend Martha is a super busy woman too - but - every Monday there are $2 margaritas at my favorite Mexican restaurant around the corner from my we meet for dinner every Monday I'm in town. Viva la Martha Monday! Tuesday day: work...then I had a Marcia Tuesday. My best friend from high school was in town from Seattle so we went to "our place" for dinner. Then work, work...can't forget choir practice tonight....oooof. This is busier than usual. But I miss my blogging, I will stay current.

BFF - Best Friends Forever...

Here's another class for The Scrapbook Warehouse in Lewisville on the 28th. It's made with Fashionista, my spring release, which should be arriving just in time for the class and some of the fun papers from the Office Supplied collection. Click here for the gallery of the project. I'll also be designing two make and takes for the day with some of our other fun designs so be sure to come by if you're in the DFW area!

Scrap To The Beat...

Are you ready to rock???? I have been busy designing some more classes and am still excited about Playlist & its funky look. In this class we'll create a 6 x 10 accordion album that makes a great home dec piece to hang out on a shelf with your stereo (or by your ipod dock). It has two pockets for cds to hold your favorite mixed tunes and lots of space to write up your favorite songs. We'll be working with acrylic paint & ink to make this wild child of an album. To see the gallery of the entire album click here.

I will be teaching this April 28th at The Scrapbook Warehouse in Lewisville, TX. My cousin Meg will be TA'ing for me & I've heard there will be cake... good times.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Easter Snow Flurries???

You read that right. We've had a break in our lovely 80 degree weather - a freak cold front blew in with a vengance yesterday afternoon & now there are snowflakes outside my window. SNOWFLAKES OUTSIDE MY WINDOW! What is the world coming to? It's predicted to be colder on Easter than it was on Christmas. It's like Bizarro-Texas over here.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Inter-Office Whimsy...

Well, another day another class down. These are some glimpses of Inter-Office Whimsy that I will be teaching in Farmington Hills, MI at The Scrapbook Zone on Saturday, April 21 from 3:30-6 {or 4-6:30}. I am so excited about this class!!!! It gives a playful spin to our Project Essentials Office Supplied collection. This is how I envisioned it {when I was thinking of it all together on its own, not just incorporated in with patterned paper}.

So get ready to kick back & step into my office space...oh, and I'm teaching for the first time on our new 6x10 accordion album - cool huh?
Never fear, this baby will be in the private teaching rotation for me for a while. I will also be teaching it at the Scrapbook Pad in Colleyville ,TX {along with something tbd} June 23rd. Now - back to work for me, two more classes to design for The Scrapbook Warehouse in Lewisville, TX April 28th.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Taking a class...

I don't really have the time to do it right now, but I'm taking Shimelle's When I Grow Up class. If you haven't tried her private online classes you're missing out - they're inspiring. I started with her You Think You Know Me class & was blown away. I printed all the pages from it and was shocked to find over 100 pages - emotional prompts, text and samples from some of the top scrappers out there. I also took her free mini class in January called Confessions, it was awesome. She is also a totally sweet & darling person & I'm lucky enough to have met her in person - she's the genuine article.

I found a Dr. Seuss fill in the blank My Book About Me my mom had me fill out when I was eight. I said when I grow up I want to be "a ballerina-peanut-butter-maker-gold-digger" {in retrospect, I'm pretty sure I meant miner, for the free cash aspect}. And then in all caps and dark pencil "but never, ever a burglar"...I went back sometime later and wrote in I might want to be a "cowboy-Indian-teacher". And, yep that's me in my bell bottomed leisure suit with the extra wide polyester collar {one of my favorites}. To complete the visual the shirt was reddish-orange with tiny white polka dots and the jumper part was navy blue. It's funny what you can remember...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Totally Wicked...

I've been dying to post this. This is Wicked Techniques - my other CKU class. I am so thrilled Cosmo Cricket agreed to be a sponsor of my classes & they are donating a Plain Jane Cigar Box for every one of my Wicked students!!!
Not only will we be doing a wicked cool box, you'll get a blank cd & we'll do up the jewel case to match! I am so loving the Playlist line {not just because it's mine}, because with it's graphic design and bold classic colors - the more I use it, the more ideas I'm having that I want to try.
Ranger is also getting us a classroom set of their paint dabbers to work with, and if you haven't played with them yet, prepare to be dazzled! They are one of those 'change the way you scrap' kind of products that do a lot more than meets the eye.
Stay tuned, this week I will also be designing Inter-Office Whimsy which I will be teaching locally when I'm in Detroit {and I will also be teaching in Colleyville, Texas on NSD}, BFF - Best Friends Forever {with Fashionista} and Scrap to the Beat {another Playlist creation, an album this time} both of which I will be teaching in Lewisville, Texas the end of this month. I am also posting on the Imagination Project blog this week and will be doing their new weekly challenge on Friday.

You Spin Me Right Round..., right round, like a record baby right round, round round. Well, I built my Spinning Class for CKU today. I'm in love with game board spinners & I was dying to incorporate one into my classes. So we'll be building this "All About Me" spinner book in class.

I'm still waiting on some cool product to finish out the inner pages, but I'm really digging the construction, and if you've taken a class from me lately, you'll know I'm working my way through a serious crush on cotton art bookbinding tape.

Now, I know I strayed from the posted description...I have a good excuse, we didn't create the product we were conceptualizing when I turned in the original class description {working as far in advance as we do, sometimes it's an issue}. While it's not a circular album, I think it's still infinitely cooler than I had originally planned & I'm sure we will have a great time building our spinner books!!!

My Favorite Music...

Coming to CKU? If you're getting ready for Detroit I wanted to give you a peek at the make & takes I'll be teaching there. For the last few years, every company hosting a project has had to create a 6x6 scrapbook page themed "My Favorite..." {whatever}. I have always stressed over what thing I would choose to do - I always over analyzed & thought it was some kind of a reflection on me & what I care most about. For the first time picking a topic was a snap. I did my favorite season in 2005, my favorite shoes in 2006 and now in 2007 I'm doing my favorite music. I'm combining papers from the Project Essentials' Office Supplied collection with elements from my Playlist line. Everyone's will be a little different, but all will include a dance card, 2 coaster stars, a jammin' jumble and either ledger or grid paper. We'll be tearing, inking & sanding and having a rockin' good time! It's designed to be a photo-free layout with space to write out your favorite tracks or albums {albums - wow - that makes me sound old...but that's still how I think}. Feel free to doodle it up!
If you're wondering what my favorite music is, take a listen to some of the songs in my playlist on the sidebar of my blog. I change it every month - this month I made the whole list my favorite color just for fun!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Sharing Ideas in the Creative Commons...

I went & got my Creative Commons license yesterday{tucked away in the sidebar}. I learned about the site in the book I'm reading now, The Long Tail. It's some very smart stuff. I recommend everyone with a blog should go check it out.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


This is not a test. This is not an April Fool's prank. Today is the day we've decided to launch ManHandled.

What is ManHandled? I'm glad you asked. My husband has been trying to figure out a side job or a hobby that will keep him occupied while he struggles through quitting smoking. As a result he's been inside with me, hanging out in my craft room for months.

He came to a few conclusions after spending serious time in here:
1. I will never be able to use everything that I have (he might have a point, especially since I'm still shopping).
2. If I can do it, he can do it (I love his sense of confidence).
and 3. I have some pretty cool tools (no arguing with that).

So after he abandoned his dream of an eBay empire, finding trash at garage sales and selling it for millions, he realized that we could craft together and that could "solve everything". So, ManHandled was born...

ManHandled is stuff built by Matt. He picks the papers & elements, I do the mini collages & he does everything else from precutting to assembling to binding. He has a factory-like system set up over here and is really getting into it - it's so cute. He is currently in love with my spiral binder, so he's started the shop with journals.

So help me help Matt quit smoking & go get ManHandled. Trust me it's fun!

Last day in Canada & the long ride home...

The warehouse sale at Open Page in Toronto turned out to be a great success. Not only did all of their stores get a chance to shop their massive warehouse & pick their own orders directly from their bins, most of the manufacturers were close enough to each other we could visit, talk shop & get silly. We had this sweet little store owner take pictures of us - it was interesting since she mostly spoke French....but from what we understood she wanted above & below pictures - so here they are. She started to climb the warehouse shelves before we convinced her a chair was safer. was my Toronto "crew" - Michelle, Vicki, Layle & Stacey. Girls, I miss you already & I'll be emailing you the pictures this week!
One other thing...I'm normally a pretty tough chic when it comes to plane rides, but we went through a doozy of a storm system on the way home. The flight from Toronto to Dallas was routed around Houston to get on the other side of the system. As a result, it was pretty late when I finally got in. I accomplished my only goal on Saturday - I woke up in time to have brunch at Amigo's then I went back to sleep until 4:20 in the afternoon. I was still so wiped I went right back to sleep.

Falling in love with Niagra Falls...

I mentioned in passing that I spent the day with Vicki Boutin on Thursday, running out in the middle of the day in a gap in my teaching schedule...well this is where we ended up - Niagara Falls. Stunning does not begin to describe it.

At the first glimpse of them from the car I burst into tears. It was one of those moments...I have always wanted to see the falls, but it was one of those things I had accepted I may never do, so being there in person was a little overwhelming.
I heard them as soon as we got out of the car a few blocks away. The sound was awesome. But getting the full view took my breath away. I never, ever considered that they could freeze or make such beautiful ice formations. I have so much to do, but I promise I'll upload the many, many pictures I took there to my flickr account into an album by the end of the week. Thank you, Vicki for the highlight of my trip - I had an amazing day with you & the kiddos!