Thursday, February 28, 2013

fresh style...

So I'm all over the place with my project life weeks. Today I'm sharing week 8.

As you know, we are having a little 'Style it Up' week over at Greatest View . Loads of inspiration,  a fab Freebie  and a *Flair GIVEWAY*!
Gail created two sets of badges called In Style and Fresh Style, and there is a free downloadable journalling card set to match each style. I got to play with the yummy Fresh Style flair and download found here.
This week was a topsy turvey week. Watching Heidi Swapp on her live webshow was a definite high then having my son back in hospital for a few hours a low point.

 The left side.

and the right side...
Don't you just love the GR reader! I downloaded the QR reader App to my iphone and created this barcode, I can now scan it and watch the webshow at anytime.

 Here you can see I used one of the journalling cards! I just added some red pattern paper to it to match the colours in my PL spread!

I wanted to keep my sons drawing so I just cut it in half , folded it over and placed it into the plastic sleeve pockets.

Chevron flair from the Fresh Style set!

I teach at a local scrapbook shop once a month!  Lovin this striped flair also from Fresh Style!

My son and his best friend drawing maps, I took photos of their maps and printed them out onto photo paper, now I have a permanent record!

Dont forget there is a *GIVEAWAY* of each set of FRESH STYLE and IN STYLE flair over on the Greatest View blog, all you need to do is go leave a comment on the Greatest View blog ! Easy Right!

Hey There! with CAS(E) this Sketch!

This is my second post today.  If you are here
for The Alley Way Stamps blog hop - it's just a post away!!

It's time for another fun sketch at CAS(E) this Sketch!  I LOVE this one because I saw that I could use my new talk bubbles!!

Hey There

You will definitely have to click over to the CAS(E) this Sketch! blog - I am always in awe of how many different ideas come out of a simple sketch - butterflies and airplanes and there's even a mustache!

Then play along - I love seeing what everybody creates!!

(I'm also submitting this to the Simon Says Stamps challenge blog: Anything Goes.)
  • Stamps: Simon Says Stamp Talk Bubbles 2
  • Paper: Echo Park Scoot dsp, Stampin' Up Pacific Point
  • Ink: black
  • Accessories: Simon Says Stamp Talk Bubbles, misc twine

It's Blog Hop Day for The Alley Way Stamps!!

I love blog hop days - so many fun ideas out of brand new stamp sets!!  If you started with me, be sure to go back to the beginning of the hop at The Alley Way Stamps blog.

There are three new sets this month plus a mini set that is free with a $40 purchase and each is so very different.  Yesterday, I showed you a fun new border set.  There's also a fantastic cartoon super-hero set that I'll be playing with next week.  Today I have a sentiment and an image from the free set.  If you do the whole hop, you will see a little bit of all of it!!

You Amaze Me

The free set is called Wings of HOPE and it has other images and a number of its own sentiments (see below), but I paired it with a sentiment from Words to Live By because it says what I so often want to say to those dealing with breast cancer.  I have friends who have continued to deal with children and husbands and jobs and church activities - all while undergoing treatment - and they AMAZE me.  

FYI - the fun little dots are Candy Stripers from Queen & Co.
I am playing with the colors at Make My Monday.

And I'm adding it to the Simon Says Stamps challenge.  Did you know that they carry TAWS now?!

Next on the hop is: Melissa!

Here are the official words from TAWS:
One person will win ALL 3 NEW SETS!! YEP!! So if you want to be that person.. 
all you have to do is comment on the hop! 
Here are ways you can win.. You can pick and choose which ones you want to do.. 
but the more you comment, the more chances you have to win.. 

1-Comment on The Alley Way Stamps Blog
2-Comment on the DT girls blogs (below)
3-Post about it on facebook or your blog
4-Like us on Facebook
(leave a separate comment for each that you do)
You have until tonight at 9:00PM TAWS time to leave them.. 

This is a fun mini set that is yours FREE when you spend $40.00 or more during the month of March! Nothing to do but shop.. this little guy will be added to your package..
We think it is super important to spread the word of HOPE! 
So we created a new mini called Wings of Hope
What do you think?

Did you see?? We have something new that the amazing Kim created for all of you! A stamp checklist.. how fun is this.. you can download it from the right sidebar.
TAWS Stamp Checklist

Now off you go to do the HOP!!! :) You never know which blog will pick!
Here is the lineup.. if you get lost feel free to come back here at anytime :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

out and about: BYB 2013 Conference

Wondering what to expect at a blog conference? Here's a bit of my personal experience.

I attended the Build Your Blog 2103 Conference last weekend in Salt Lake City. The darling girls at Six Sisters Stuff blog (yes, they are actually sisters) hosted and did a beautiful job.

When I was deciding whether or not to go to the conference, I saw that Brooke Walker, host of KSL's Studio 5, was the keynote speaker. I watch Studio 5 almost every day while I'm on the treadmill, and think Brooke is darling, so that was the little push I needed. In real life, she's even more funny and inspiring.

I loved that the conference was just one Saturday, which made it very doable, less overwhelming, and cost-effective for so many attendees. And, I love, love, love that all the classes were recorded, and will be available for viewing soon (free for attendees and a small cost to non-attendees). That means I (and you!) can actually attend ALL the classes. I think that is a huge perk to attending this conference.

I attended/taught at more shows than I can count during my career in the scrapbooking industry, so I pretty much knew what to expect. I was a little concerned about being the "grandma" of the group, and surrounded by girls my own girls' ages. Not the case. We older more experienced women were definitely represented.

I really feel we older young at heart bloggers, have a unique voice that should be shared, and that is perhaps a part of what sets us apart from many other bloggers. Going to ponder that a bit. :) And possibly start acting my age. Nah. Madi loves it when I act cra-cra. :)

There were four breakout sessions with a choice of three classes in each section. Of the four classes I attended, my favorite was Fueling Your Blog's Fire Without Getting Burnt Out: Tips and Tricks to Manage It All. It was taught by Tara and Wendy from The Dating Divas. It had a lot of useful information on organization, having a plan, scheduling, and building a "dream team." I will be implementing a lot of the suggestions. The class was fun, but also very organized and to the point. I super appreciate that. And the visuals/downloads we have access to are exceptional. It was nice knowing I didn't have to take so many notes, because they made the visuals available on-line to class attendees. Super class all the way around.

Side note: I saw Tara in the restroom at the end of the day. We talked for a minute (she's very high-energy and so fun!), as I rummaged through my pack to find my keys. She pointed and asked, "Oh wait, is that them?" They were on my wrist! Seriously, I'm a dork. We laughed and then I actually admitted that one time I was running around trying to find my darn cell phone while I was talking on it. Please don't judge. :)

I took a lot of notes during the conference. I added a little star next to those items I want to implement first. And then I drew a little heart (something I've done forever) next to those things that really inspired me personally.

Here are just a few of my notes from Brooke's keynote presentation:
  • Take the process of creating your blog from your head to your heart, so you can inspire and influence others. Become an "influencer," not just a blogger. There is power in being an influencer.
  • Find your focus. 
  • Commit to a cause so you can do good, share, give back, and know when you need to say no to opportunities.
  • Add your voice and passion to your blog.
  • Ask interesting questions that will make others think, act, or desire something more.
  • It's okay to play up the positive. The world craves positive, happy headlines/information. Readers aren't stupid (okay, maybe Brooke didn't use that exact phrase), they know you have downfalls.
  • Balance the bucket. Take the opportunity to fill others' buckets (celebrate their success) by pinning, liking, leaving uplifting comments, and/or mentioning them on your blog. Give back to others--a lot! If you blog is already super successful, help others become successful too, by filling from the top down.
  • Strive to leave a lasting impact. Readers may not remember all the information you shared, but they will remember how you made them feel.
Good stuff. And there was a lot more. Wishing you were there? Sign ups for BYB 2014 are already in the works.  

Are you thinking about starting a blog? What's holding you back?

Sucré (A Sweets Boutique) Giveaway!!

Sucré Sweet Boutiques and Confection Studio are located in New Orleans, Louisiana and offer the definitive dessert and confection experience.  They have a wide array of offerings, including their award winning French macarons, artisan chocolates, toffee, pecans, and also regional specialties like king cake.  Chef Tariq uses only the finest ingredients, local if possible, to craft his one of a kind delights.
The Sucré King Cake is a signature buttery danish pastry sweetened by cinnamon and raw cane sugar, then folded with a light layer of creole cream cheese.  It has been voted a "favorite" by the Times Picayune and also voted "best" by the Washington Post.  Sounds like a winner to me!
After browsing through the collection of sweets I became enamored with all their chocolate offerings, especially this Caramel + Brown Butter Collection.  Avery chocolates, filled with a butter-soft caramel milk chocolate ganache, paired with our brown butter filled Meuniére chocolates make for a sinfully delicious collection.  Add in the chocolate almond toffee and dark chocolate caramel cookies and I'm totally in!

I'm also slightly obsessed with their aritsan chocolate bars, namely this Salted Pretzel Chocolate Bar. It's hard to beat the sweet and salty combination of creamy Swiss milk chocolate studded with pretzels sticks.

However, in the end it was these absolutely gorgeous and colorful macarons that won me over!  Don't they look irresistible?  Delicate little French macaron cookies filled with luscious mousseline.  Available in wonderful flavors such as pecan, chocolate, salted caramel, almond, pistachio, strawberry, hazelnut, and bananas foster. The picture above is Sucré's Signature Macaron Collection and one lucky reader will win their very own box!

Would you like a chance to win this gorgeous box of macarons?  All you need to do is visit the Sucré website, and tell me which treat you'd most like to try, then leave a comment below, along with your contact information (email address).  The contest ends this Saturday, March 2nd at midnight EST.  A winner will be drawn randomly (via random number generator) and announced on Sunday, March 3rdThis drawing is open to U.S. residents only!

Sneak Peek: Pillow Talk from TAWS

The Alley Way Stamps (TAWS) is coming out with a fun border set on March 1st.  There are three borders and each is entirely different.  I went for an elegant look with this border.  And as an added bonus - the sentiment comes from another new March 1 set - Words to Live By!

To My Friend
Here's a close-up so you can see the sparkle!!
To My Friend closeup
You will have to check the other sneak peeks of this set on the TAWS blog because each is very different.  And while you are at - look back two days to see the other sneak peek sets - THEN come back tomorrow for a blog hop with all of the sets!!
I used the colors from Sunday Stamps.

And the layout from The Paper Players.

And I'm adding it to the Simon Says Stamp challenge.  Did you know that they carry TAWS now!?

There's great prizes from TAWS too.  Here's the official word...
It's that time again - SNEAK PEEK TIME!!! And with sneak peeks come giveaways!!! We'll be giving one new set away each day of Sneak Peeks and for our hop on Thursday we'll give away ALL THREE to a lucky duck!  

All the comments posted today will go into a random drawing and one of you will win the new March set - Pillow Talk!  You can have up to 2 entries....
  1. One for leaving a comment on this post
  2. One for sharing on Facebook
Please leave a SEPARATE COMMENT FOR EACH! Commenting closes at 9:30 pm TAWS time!

  • Stamps: The Alley Way Stamps Pillow Talk, Words to Live By
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Daffodil Delight CS and dsp, Basic Black
  • Ink: Versamark
  • Accessories: Stamp 'n Stuff Starry Night embossing powder, Martha Stewart fine crystal glitter (on butterfly), Memory Box dies - Moonlight Butterfly (the solid base) and Kaleidoscope Butterfly (the open top wing)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My QuiltCon lecture hall days...

( quilts by Anna Maria Horner)

What an amazing event!  First of its kind and by the way things looked it will be around for a very long time.  Beautifully organized, it seemed to go smoothly like it had been put on a million times before. BRAVO to the organizers, sponsors and volunteers that made it a perfect event! Look as these hard working and gorgeous gals!!!!!

I did not find out I was for sure attending until the sometime in January so I did not sign up for classes ( cry) but I was able to get a four day lecture series pass which allowed me to go to ALL the lectures my little heart desired and to go into the quilt show and vendor area. The lectures were fantastic and there are some that are available for free at .

I was able to listen to my dear friend Thomas Knauer, Heather RossAnna Maria Horner, Amy Butler, Jacquie Gehring , Meg Cox, Mary Fons ( she wins the award for most animated!), and of course Denyse Schmidt and a few others.  There were many tears and so much inspiration it was literally dripping off the walls!  

One of the BEST things I learned about in the lectures was from Meg Cox, not only is she a great speaker, author and sweet person, she is also on the board of the Quilt Alliance.  She spoke about documenting the history of our quilts. She shared something I was unaware of and I HAVE to share this with you, The Quilt Index! If you are looking for a style, a block or a quilt there are thousands of records on this valuable resource. What a priceless treasure for quilters, go check it out!!!!

The Quilt Index aims to be a central resource that incorporates a wide variety of sources and information on quilts, quiltmakers and quiltmaking.  This will include:
  • images and information on privately held quilts compiled by state and regional quilt documentation projects in the United States and internationally; Current Contributors
  • images and information on quilts in museums, libraries, and private collections; Current Contributors
  • images and information on quilt-related ephemera;
  • lesson plansgalleriesjournals and essays;
  • bibliographies of secondary materials relevant to quilt study; and
  • finding aids developed to assist researchers with locating hard-to-find quilt-related primary and secondary materials in public collections.
This website currently features images and information, provided by an array of contributors, on thousands of quilts from documentation projects, museums, libraries, and private collections.
The Quilt Index represents years of research and development to bring together quilt information in a centralized online tool for education, research, and public access. The Quilt Index is a joint project of The Alliance for American QuiltsMATRIX: The Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online at Michigan State University and the Michigan State University Museum.

I did have the great pleasure to meet a couple of the speakers. Starstruck and in awe as usual!  if you have ever read my blog or know me  personally, you know this was SO EXCITING for me ( thanks to Katie for taking this photo)...HEATHER ROSS!!! 

And this one may win as best dumb luck EVER ( next to the guy with the bra)!!!! I was saving the seat next to me for Katie who was in the back of the room from the previous lecture. Unknown to me at the time, she had to leave since she was not feeling well.  Amy Butler was the lecture and well, who should walk up and ask if the seat next to me was taken but David Butler. Sorry Katie, I knew you would understand ;o)  So here I was, sitting with Mr. Alex Veronelli on my right and Mr. David Butler on my left. I HAD to ask to get a photo of this since no one would ever believe me,LOL! David was kind enough to take this for me ;o) LUCKY LUCKY ME!

Amy Butler's lecture was fantastic, lots of beautiful images and lively words. Cannot wait for her new line of fabric! And thank you David and Alex for being so kind as to indulge a girl a little fun!

One of the best things about Quiltcon was the accessibility to the designers and authors. They were everywhere and were so very kind to just stop and chat in the hall and around the floor. I ran into the beautiful Anna Maria Horner outside in the hall and she allowed me to photograph her and her stack of quilts and then I noticed her necklace and she was even more kind and let me take the photo I wanted, I promised it would not be of her boobs!!!! The very cool thing to me is that she is WEARING her fabric colors!  She lives her color choices and I admire that! 

Here she is showing one of her quilts inside. I loved all the eye candy quilts hanging everywhere, so cool!

I am hoping to keep the posts short and sweet since I know there are so many different blogs posting about Quiltcon. Tomorrow will be quilts and the 80's Party!!!! Hopefully, if the 5 yr old allows me the time. Back to real life here!

Monday, February 25, 2013

The story of my quilt...

The Quilt Alliance does amazing work in keeping the history of quilts alive!

At QuiltCon 2013 they asked for volunteers to bring one quilt to talk about for three minutes on video and it was called Go Tell It at the Quilt Show! It opened up a wonderful opportunity for anyone and everyone to share a personal story about a quilt that they made and every quilt has a story that should be shared.

I did not happen to bring a quilt but Thomas Knauer did bring the quilt I had made from his Frippery line from Andover Fabrics and Lisa Sipes quilted for his newest baby who was lovingly named Milo before he was born. Thomas was happy to know that I wanted to tell the story of Milo's quilt but then the story of that quilt got even better once it was handed over into my care for the filming the following morning. 

And this is that story...

These two sweet ladies were kind enough to put up with me for dinner more than one night but do not let their mild manner looks  fool you...Faith and Lee ( Lee,I have deleted ALL the photos of you eating...and maybe the one of your bum...)  are WILD WOMEN...Katie was supposed to be with us too but she fell ill. We missed her company very much and I am happy to say she has recovered and hope that she was very entertained by all of these antics ;o)

Austin is a GREAT place with friendly people, I was standing on a street corner trying to figure out where the hotel was to meet up with the girls for dinner the previous night and this guy walks up with the MOST fantastic was a perfectly waxed curly tipped hairy wonder! As most of you know I am very shy and have great difficulty speaking to people :o) I had to say I say "Guy, that is a fantastic mustache, I love it!"...he took his earbuds out and said, "Really?"  " Yes, I really like it".

He then informed me that Austin is a city of facial hair LOVERS and that the following night there was to be a contest at a club called the Mohawk .  OMG!!!! REALLY!!!!! HOW COOL!!!!!! I HAD to share this information!

When I met up with the girls the next night we went out for delicious Mexican food and the topic of the facial hair contest was brought up when a very large group of facial hair walked right by the window of our table. I was so intrigued but alas it looked like it was not to be so...

We finished up and started walking back our hotels and I was WHINING A LOT and then Lee said..."Kim, if you want I will walk by the place with you..."

YES!!!!!  It was only a couple of blocks away and when we arrived we did see more very interesting facial hair in the line to get in and the the stands ( yes, there were stands) with more people with facial hair. Apparently this is SERIOUS BUSINESS!!!!

We came, we saw but there was a cover charge...GAH! It would have been great to stay but then we would have missed some of the most fun I have ever had!

 Faith was really digging the cool Come and Shave It logos so we had to take a photo, I can see the next series on her blog..."Solstice Staches"!  This gentleman agreed to pose for a photo by the sign out front...

 After we took the photo, we were going to leave and I remembered we had the quilt...what I great pic that would be. I cannot remember who asked this guy to hold Milo's quilt outside the bar but he said yes and then I was PHOTOBOMBED!!!!! Did not even know the guy was there,LMAO!!!!!  I wanted to get a photo of the bouncer at the club holding the quilt with the bearded guy. He was MASSIVE. I have seen WWF wrestlers in the airpot before and this guy was seriously as big as them. Beard guy lost interest in holding the quilt but the bouncer had already agreed to be in the shot, he was a sweetie pie!

So we got a photo with him too!!!!!  Thank you C...I was going to tag you on FB but could not find you :o( Hopefully, you will see this here and THANK YOU!!!!!

Next, I was going to take a photo of a tattoo parlor , as a joke, saying that is where we were headed        ( mostly to entertain poor sick Katie) and Faith remembered that the popular tattoo spot Affinity was right around the corner on 6th Street. We walked by to see if any of our friends happened to be in there but they were not.  I was not feeling very brave and neither were my companions but we were drawn into the LIFE on the street!

Then it really started, this bear with the smoke was BEGGING to have his photo taken with the quilt and who can say no to a fuzzy mammal at a bar? ( no animals were harmed in this photo shoot)

Next door there was a guy with a video camera and these gorgeous girls.  I asked if they would hold up the quilt and they were super excited to do so!  The video guy asked us to join in and be in the video he was taping ( with the quilt) and we were super excited to do so Faith and Lee, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the #springbreakforever spot we may be in, LOL!!!!

We were followed by a completely scary goth guy but there were cops, and ambulance on the next block. There was also this guy in a top hat, bow tie and yes...facial hair. You know you are succeeding in Austin when people start looking at you like you are odd and we were starting to succeed.  When we got this shot the goth guy was asking if he could hold the quilt.  I thought Lee was going to hurt him.  Lee was the keeper of the quilt, when it was not being photographed, she folded it and was holding it so close to her I am surprised it did not become a part of her. THANK YOU LEE!!!!  She totally scared the goth guy away.  All 5ft 2 of her can be my bodyguard ANYTIME!

I have to share the before photo of this performance artist.  I could have stood and watched for a very long time. I could not help but think about Tom Robbins Skinny Legs and All when seeing this beauty.
"The inertia of objects is deceptive. The inanimate world appears static, “dead” to humans only because of our neuro-muscular chauvinism … Look deeper. You’ll need a magnifying glass … On the atomic and sub-atomic levels, weird electrical forces are crackling and flaring, and amorphous particles are spinning simultaneously forward and backward, sideways and forever at speeds so incalculable that expressions such as “arrival,” “departure,” and “have a nice day” become meaningless. It is on these levels that “magic” occurs."

Some people could not find the cover charge for the bar (ahem) but were able to gather some money so that I could ask to have this vision of beauty hold Milo's precious quilt.  This was a lovely gift!  The artist agreed with no words and after holding the quilt,  bade me goodbye with blown kisses...I was very happy!

AHOY! Me Quilties!!!!! The sideburns (yes, Austin may be the facial hair capital of the US and possibly the world) are the FIRST thing I saw and KNEW this nautical gang needed to be included!!!!

I did not realize that while I was trying to fit all the people in the frame, the sidewalk traffic had stopped on both sides. I took two shots and when the quilt was safely back in Lee's hands, I thanked the four kind people and then a SEA of people started moving again. I yelled out a BIG THANKS...I LOVE AUSTIN PEOPLE!

This is the BEST one of the WHOLE night and I am still laughing over it!  There was a play and these were a couple of actors outside on a smoke break.  Faith pointed them out to me and OMG...YES we had to have this one!!!! A COWBOY on STILTS...only in Austin...okay maybe in Las Vegas too ;o) They said yes but quickly they were about to go on stage. Took this one super quick and then something very unexpected happened...

an older man was selling flowers on the sidewalk, he walk up and said something about a good picture. I said okay and he started to unbutton his shirt...

This was the final pic of the cannot top this one...

Life is is is sad but is unexpected...embrace it!