Saturday, May 29, 2010

Surprise Birthday!

For close to two months, I have been planning a surprise party for one of my dearest friends at the behest of her loving husband. This particular friend is very difficult to surprise, so it has been a huge undertaking with a lot of collaboration between other mutual friends. It involved a lot of secret text messages and emails, a fake "decoy" party, and a very elaborate plan to keep her away from the house but get her back at the right time. It's pretty much a miracle we pulled it off, but I'm so glad we did!

As part of the plan to bless her, a friend and I worked on a memory scrapbook with some photos and letters written by close friends and family. What a fun and rewarding project! It was such a joy to put it all together and see the lovely things people had to say about my sweet friend who has been so generous and thoughtful to everyone around her.

I didn't tell four-year-old Maddie about it until today (not trusting her abilities at discretion!) but then we each made a birthday card for the birthday girl and I thought I'd share them with you all! I'm really starting to dig this mommy/daughter crafting deal, but it only works when I'm not feeling pressed for time and when the littlest one isn't lurking about, trying to abscond with markers and glitter jars.

Here is what we made. Maddie made hers with very little help. I'll let you guess who made which card ;-).

Ok, for those of you who couldn't guess, the first one is mine ;-). But Maddie did pretty good, right? All I did for her was stamp the Birthday Wishes Circle and tie the bow (She's a girl after my own heart... the card just isn't complete without ribbon and button).

Have a fun and safe holiday weekend and remember why we celebrate... for those who have sacrificed to keep us safe and free!


Beka's Birthday Card Supplies
DeNami Design stamps: Mini Solid Flower, Teeny Swiss Dot, Birthday Wishes Circle, Flower Vine Swirl, Large Dot Swirls, Rosevine Flowers stamp set
Cardstocks: White, Black, Magenta, Sky Blue, Iridescent Emerald Green
Hot Pink grosgrain ribbon (3/8-in width)
Clear rhinestones
Ink pads: Cherry Pink Impress, Pearlescent Sky Blue Brilliance, Fresh Green Versacolor, Sea Breeze Versamagic
Markers: Magenta

Thursday, May 20, 2010

DeNami Sketch Challenge #2

Hi everyone! I know I just posted cards a little bit ago for the Featured Product at DeNami, but we now have a great new sketch challenge and I hope lots of people play along. It's easy; all the instructions are on the DeNami Blog.

So far I have really enjoyed all the challenges at the DeNami Blog, but I have to say sketch challenges are probably my favorite. I'm not very fast when it comes to creating cards. I have a hard time making up my mind what I want to do, and usually the finished card looks nothing like the idea I had in the first place! One of the biggest decisions for me is the basic layout, or "sketch," of the card. That's why I love sketch challenges! They help me make up my mind a lot faster so I can get on to the fun bits of stamping, coloring, and accessorizing my card!

Fellow design team member (and fellow DeNami class instructor -- woot woot!) Wendy came up with this sketch, and I love it. I like things in three's and DeNami Design has endless amounts of cute circle stamps and small stamps that work beautifully with this sketch. Check out the Petit Fours section for a sampling of sweet little stamp sets.

The first card was made with my good friend in mine who was expecting and has now had an adorable baby boy. I've gotten to see them twice now and I can't wait to visit again and hold that sweet little man!

My second card was made for another friend's little girl who just turned one (two weeks after my own little Jolee had HER first birthday). Confession: I made my challenge cards way in advance, forgot I made this one, and wound up making a different card for the little birthday girl! Oh, well, at least I have it for someone else's birthday now! Oh, and I just have to point out the perfect flower-shaped button I found to put on the bow. Super cute. DeNami Design Boutique Buttons are like stamping candy!

 Happy spring everyone! You can tell it's spring here in the Seattle area when you are driving with both your sunglasses and your windshield wipers on at the same time! Our weather is almost as indecisive as I am when making cards! ;-)


Baby Blue Button Card Supplies
DeNami Design Stamps: D123 Small Stitched Circle, F149 Small Congratulations, N128 Three Line Border, PF24 Baby stamp set
Cardstocks: Sky Blue, Navy Blue, White
Aqua Boutique Buttons
Baby Blue grosgrain ribbon (3/8 inch and 5/8 inch)
Ink pads: Majestic Blue Versafine, Sea Breeze Versamagic

Happy Birthday Flowers Card
DeNami Design Stamps: A93 Teeny Swiss Dot, PF27 Whimsical Flowers stamp set, TR16 All Occasion Sentiments stamp set
Cardstocks: Brown Kraft, Chocolate Brown, White
Flower decorative paper
Pastel Boutique Buttons
Chocolate Brown grosgrain ribbon (3/8 inch)
Ink pad: Vintage Sepia Versafine
Quickie Glue Pen
Extra Fine Sparklets Glitter

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Graduation Owl Cards

Hi all,

Earlier this month I made some cute (if I do say so myself) graduation cards for this month's Featured Product at DeNami Design. I didn't think I knew anyone graduating this year, but within the past two days I've gotten two announcements in the mail. Good thing we have all these great card ideas at the DeNami blog now!

I tried to make cards that would be good for guys as well, but it would be an easy thing to switch up the color scheme (funny though, both announcements I received were from girls!).

The first uses a bold striped paper with some simple layering.  I admit, the addition of ribbon, buttons, and glitter make it not as appropriate for a guy, but those could easily be left off. I'm sorry, I can't help it, I'm a compulsive card accessorizer.

The second card is a little more elegant, and even though it uses ribbon (no bow though!) and buttons, this time the accessories are a little more understated and a little less girly. I think.

So, congratulations to all the graduates out there, including a big shout-out to Allison M and Dani L! My oldest daughter is starting Kindergarten in the fall.  Time continues to fly by at a dizzying rate, and I'm sure she, too, will be graduating before I know it!


SUPPLIES - Blue & Green Striped Graduation Card
Stamps: A93 Teeny Swiss Dot, E128 Graduation Owl, F149 Small Congratulations, N119 Dot Border
Cardstock: White, Sky Blue, Iridescent Chocolate Satin, Iridescent Emerald Green
Striped patterned paper
Vintage Sepia Versafine
Essential Glue Pad
Quickie Glue Pen
Extra Fine Glitter
Aqua Boutique Buttons
Chocolate Brown Grosgrain ribbon (3/8-in width)
Markers: lime, aqua, pale yellow, tan

SUPPLIES - Golden Vines Graduation Card
Stamps: E128 Graduation Owl, I57 Congratulations Circle, M68 Large Double Circle, N128 Three Line Border
Cardstock: Black, Cream, Chocolate Brown
Leafy Vines paper 
Ink Pads: Vintage Sepia Versafine, Onyx Black Versafine
Espresso Boutique Buttons
Black Grosgrain ribbon (5/8-in width)
Markers: pale yellow, light brown, beige

Monday, May 17, 2010

Weekend in Vancouver 2010

Hi all! I just got back from a quick weekend trip to beautiful British Columbia, Canada. I had the privilege of teaching stamp classes for the Stamp Out Breast Cancer event (hosted by I'm Impressed). This is one of my favorite places to teach. The store is located on Granville Island, a mecca of shops, galleries, restaurants, a farmers/fish market, and so much more!

 This is me and Raya, owner of I'm Impressed. She is the heart and the brains behind the spectacular Stamp Out Breast Cancer event. She puts on a great weekend for a great cause, and between the shopping, stamping, and lovely location, there's no reason not to come! Watch for it next year!

The days leading up to the class were hectic, as I realized afresh how difficult it is to get things done with a 1-year-old toddling around (my older daughter is almost five, so it's been a while!). But it all came together and thanks to our local loving grandparents, my hubby and I turned my working weekend into a little getaway for just to two of us as well.

Hubby is not a fan of getting his picture taken.
 But he had to get over that pretty quickly. He took this one himself.

We enjoyed a lovely dinner together (thank you Steve and Val for the gift card!) after seeing Iron Man 2 (very fun). We decided to stay in an inexpensive hotel close to the border so the drive up the next morning would be easier. Very glad we did. It was a teeny room with a less-than-soft mattress, but it was so nice to be able to sleep in without kids waking us up I didn't even care.
This is us outside the hotel. Andre didn't want to ask anyone to take our picture, so he grudgingly offered to do it himself. I'm terrible at taking a self-portrait with my digital camera. I always aim too high or too low.

And here is the customary stop at the Duty Free store so my man can stock up on certain, er, essentials.

We made it to the hotel at Granville Island in Vancouver with plenty of time to spare, so we checked in (beautiful room! I neglected to take pictures, but you can visit the website and see better pictures, anyway) and had a bite to eat at the hotel restaurant. It was such a beautiful day with a gorgeous view.

This is the view from our room.

Another well-composed self-portrait photo by my honey. See, our heads aren't even cut off.

I had a great afternoon class with some wonderful ladies, a few of whom have taken DeNami classes with me before. It's so fun to stamp with these gals. We laugh at least as much as we stamp! I love seeing the little ways everyone makes their card their own, and chatting about life, family, and creative ideas. It is such a joyful way to spend the time, and makes all that class prep well worth it. If you want to see this season's DeNami Design classes, click here.

Here are just a few snapshots of some of the sweet and lovely ladies I got to hang out with this weekend. To my stampers: sorry if you don't see yourself here; some of the pictures were super blurry! You remain in my heart, though :-)

We had a lovely dinner out (we kind of spoiled ourselves this weekend). It was really hard to decide what to order.
 I had a hard time deciding on what to eat, but thoroughly enjoyed this AMAZING salad at The Keg. (By the way, I dedicate this food picture to Carolyn and Krista Nakamura, who post more pictures of food they eat than anyone else I know.)

We shared prime rib, and Andre loves his with horseradish (I prefer without).

This is the Horseradish Face. Cleared his sinuses right out.

I think he found his calling. Every time I tried to take a self-portrait, I chopped off our heads. Maybe it's his long arms.

 No room for dessert. Back to the hotel and to bed. Had to be ready for a full day of teaching tomorrow. The next day was pretty busy and went something like this: Set up. Teach. Clean up. Set up. Teach. Clean up. Pack up. Teaching card-making classes with creative and enthusiastic stampers is very energizing, so the day went very fast and I was sad when it was time to go home (seemed like i just got there!).

Before my classes began in the morning, though, I was able to go for a little walk to get me and my amazing hubby some coffee (cocoa for me!).

We were blessed with a beautiful weekend. There is a walking path and a pond nearby.

It's become a tradition of mine when I visit Granville Island to get coffee at a nearby coffee shop called Pedro's Organic Coffee House. I usually order hot chocolate with whipped cream. The whipped cream is so thick and creamy and sweet, it's almost like ice cream. YUM.

 I can almost taste it...

Closed! Darn. Fortunately, I had a Plan B.

 It's almost like I'm back home again! (For those who don't know, I'm from Seattle AKA Starbucks-land.)

Before I knew it, the car was packed up (ok, probably because my muscle man packed everything for me) and we were headed south. Before I wrap this up (it's already a little longer than I expected, sorry!), I had to share a yummy treat one of my thoughtful students shared. Maybe you've seen them before, but I hadn't.

 Candy-coated chocolate-covered sunflower seeds. How cute are they!? Almost too fun to eat. Almost.

Thanks to all who came and helped "stamp out breast cancer!" A big shout-out goes to my amazing husband who was a huge help and who was such a sport with all the stamping and giggly girls and picture-taking. I am so glad I married him. Now, back to real life!

It was nice to come home to hugs.

Have a great week, everyone!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Our Little Herb Garden

Once upon a time before I was married and still living at home, I had a little potted herb garden on the back deck. It was the first time I managed to keep any plants alive. (You've heard of a green thumb? I have a black thumb.) But sadly, my little herbs became a free salad bar for a local raccoon family.

Fast forward a few years (OK, more than a few). The girls and I went shopping at our local Fred Meyer and parked near the garden section. We detoured through the flowers so Maddie could ooh and aah and stick her fingers in the water fountains. We passed a little display of potted herbs and on a whim we picked out a few to take home. I love to cook; how fun would it be to incorporate my own fresh herbs in some yummy dishes?

Maddie was so excited to have our own garden and on the way home she chattered excitedly about how the plants will grow. Currently at our house we only have grass and shrubs and a grape vine that aspires to take over the world, one carport at a time. Once home we put the little one down for a nap and took ourselves and our plants and all the planting paraphernalia to the back deck. Maddie had a blast planting and watering our six little herbs and checks on them every day.

I'm blogging this to keep me accountable. As stated, I am a plant killer. I am hopeful this will help me remember to water those darn things once in a while (of course, Maddie is a big help, too). Only time will tell if our herbs thrive or if I will once again commit botanical homicide.

Anything involving dirt can't be all bad.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

DeNami Color Challenge #2

Hey everyone! Here is a card that uses some of my favorite colors, some of my favorite stamps, and I made it for the new Color Challenge over at DeNami Design! I love the Tropical Drinks stamp set -- while I don't drink alcohol, I love smoothies and "foofy" drinks. If only I could have one while relaxing in the sun on a beach....
I'm thinking about having a little get together with some of the girls I graduated with ten years ago (WAIT? I graduated TEN YEARS AGO?? How is that possible? Where did the time go!?), and this just might be the design I use to invite everyone.

Cardstock: Lime, Iridescent Aquamarine, Black, White, Magenta
Ink pads: Fresh Green Versacolor, Onyx Black Versafine, Sea Breeze Versamagic
Markers: Lime, Green, Orchid, Magenta, Sky Blue, Turquoise

Happy spring everyone!