Wednesday, March 30, 2011

CKC Notes and a Giveaway!

Happy Thursday, y'all! I have had this post half-written for weeks, and it is time to put it to press. I had such a great time at CKC Louisville this year, I thought I would share a few pics aaannnddd...give away some loot! In years past I took a bunch of classes, going all day, then squeezing in just a little bit of shopping. This year I decided to only take a few, then spend the rest of the time hanging out with my SIL Ann Marie and, well.....shopping. The classes I took this year I really enjoyed. While I don't think I can show you full pictures, I wanted to show you a few little glimpses to hopefully peak your interest. I added links to products if I have them

{SEI-Amazing Cards, Amazingly Simple} While I respectfully disagree with the title 'simple' part, these cards were a lot of fun to make and the colors are BEAUTIFUL! Check it out: The cards all have one uniques feature: something slides, a shaker box, something pulls out. Really creative designs! One small complaint. There were so many people in the class, and the projects were pretty complicated. With only one teacher, it was hard to follow her or ask questions. I would suggest Having one or two teachers aides who can go around and answer questions. They had volunteers, but they were unfamiliar with all the folding techniques. However, they had excellent color instructions, and they helped a ton when I was confused. Another bonus: The class kit was huge and I had enough leftovers to make a whole other set of cards.

{Studio Calico-Terrific Trends} This was one of three classes I took of theirs this year. They were all great! I have confessed my love for SC and their products before, so I kind of stalked their classes...and their retail booth-ha! This class came with enough products to make a few layouts and extras-including a full pack of wood veneer stars! This was a very messy class...Just ask Ann Marie. She left with more than just a little Mr. Huey on her shirt-ha!

{Studio Calico-Misting & More}

Another messyfabulous class! This time we used their Mr. Huey sprays in a dozen different ways. It gave me a lot more confidence in using them. Look at my cute little projects:

It was orginally supposed to be a two page layout, but I decided to combine the pieces and made a one pager. And it turned out really nice.


I also took the Fabrips Album class. Another winner! This was their first year putting classes into CKC, and they were very well put together. They even dealt with the 'ourfirstyearthingsaremissingfromthekits' hangups with humor and fast fixes. Greg, one of the co-owners got a workout from running fom the booth to classes to help find lost items! HA! Just in case anyone from SC happens to read this the only suggestion I had is it would be really nice to have printed instructions. That would be nice to help remind people of the techniques they tried and finish up any projects they didn't in class. However, I think I overheard one of the teachers saying they were planning on that anyway.


And....the teachers. That may have been the best part of taking the SC classes. It was so fun meeting some of the people behind the website that I frequent almost daily. Kelly Purkey taught two, she was funny and really kept the class going with ideas and techniques she had to share. April Foster, the other co-owner was fantastic! She is a Kentucky girl, so we had lots to chat about. And, we did talk. I kind of feel bad for the other people in the class, I may have monopolized the conversation! :) I pestered her for a picture after class.




possibly the most awkwardly posed picture ever? I swear we don't always look that chessy! lol


On to my lil' surprise....


Look at all that swag! I put together a box full of supplies that I bought at the Vendor Faire, or recieved as freebies. There's papers from new releases (Studio Calico and SEI), a stamp set from Bella Blvd. The doily stamp from SC (my favorite, so I bought one to share!), and a copy of a very funny little book called Snippets from my online friend Lain.See those little white things at the bottom of the picture? Those are butterflies from SEI. They are made wiith resist, so you can ink, spray them and their designs pop! They are so pretty in real life!!


So....how do you win? Easy-peasy. Two ways:


#1 become a follower. Yes, this is a shameless plug to get people to read my blog! (insert evil laugh here)

#2 leave a comment below. I love reading everyone's comments. If you have a blog-link me up! I will be sure to return the favor.


I will keep the contest open until Monday, April 11th at midnight. Sorry, I can only ship to people in the U.S.


Good luck!


Thanks for stopping by!


Later,

Michelle

Monday, March 28, 2011

Quite Possibly

The most beautiful hotel I have ever stayed in. Seriously, I couldn't stop taking pictures of their lobby. I am sure people thought I was crazy! I got so many great ideas from their decor, tucked into Evernote for the little spring cleaning binge I have been on. Check it out:



And just a quick shot of a fabulous, generous martini I enjoyed at the bar....





These pictures were taken at the Sheraton in St. Louis. I was there for the Autism Works Conference. It was a great event and......maybe the most comfortable bed ever! I tried to put it in my duffel bag and bring it home, no dice. ; )


Later,

Michelle

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Wedding Story

You might remember a post I did last year about my BFF and her fantastic wedding. It was a wonderful weekend and she has found the most fantastic guy! I was more than happy to put together an album for her highlighting a few memories from the big event (of course, she has a million photos-too many for one scrapbook) She has one album with ALL the photos in it, but this is a little special extra with details that needed extra attention. What she doesn't know is there is yet another album in process with pages about all the fun we had planning her big day-shhhh, don't tell her!
Without further ado, I present Torrie and Jahmal Woolridge:









These are just a few of the pages. I had to deliver the goods before I could photograph them all. I kept things simple and focused on the photos and the journalling. I used pretty much all of the beautiful Claire line from SEI. The colors worked perfectly with her wedding colors. I kind of fell in love with these letter Thickers. My trusty MS butterfly punch and lots of bling made an appearance as well (the first layout features a fantastic embellishment from Prima-they really made that page special).

I liked the simplicity of using one line-I never do that. I wanted lots of white space and simple embellishments, nothing needed to decorate such great photos! This is also a great time saving technique if you want to scrap a large amount of photos. To some it may seem like cheating, but what the heck? I would rather spend my time telling the story and presenting my photos forever than worrying about sifting through all my supplies!

Thanks for stopping by! Soon I will be sharing a few pictures from CKC Louisville! I took a bunch of classes and did a little shopping. Rumor has it there may be a giveaway involved ; )

Later,
Michelle

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My Very Own Apartment Therapy

Hey Y'all!

It has been beeeeuuutiful around here and the spring weather has my creative juices flowing. Every year around this time I go thru my apartment in order to renew, reduce, refresh. Just getting out some of the insane clutter that builds up over the years and give my place a new look. What I really want to do is redecorate, paint, buy new furniture. What my budget wants me to do is give the apartment a good scrub down and make small changes here and there.

I read this book a few years ago, but did not dedicate myself to an 8 week home cure until now. If you have never been to the Apartment Therapy site you must check it out. It has bazillions of great home ideas: from cleaning, decorating, DIY, and lots of visual inspiration! The basic principles of The 8 Week Home Cure are:

1. Clean each room from top to bottom

2. Reorganize spaces that aren't working, tweak areas that are

3. Think about the flow and energy of your space, how you can open up some spaces and use them more efficiently.

4. Make small cleaning efforts every day: buy fresh flowers once and week, clean your floors weekly, and wash and dry all dirty dishes every night.

I am also adding a few new pieces, repainting a few, hanging new pictures. I am really excited! So far, I have cleaned my front door and entrance area, and deep cleaned the living room furniture.

In interest of full disclosure and keeping myself honest, I thought I would let you in on a few dirty little secrets (aka parts of my space that are DEFINITELY not working..hehe) Keep in mind I live in and efficiency apartment: one large living/dining room, kitchen, bedroom, bath, and two large closets. I have a lot of things out in the open that I wish I didn't, and some of these spaces might seem crazy to you. However, I think in general I have created a really good space with the space I have (motivated by excellent building, cheap rent, and crazy good utility costs!)


Toxic Area #1: 'The office'

This space is dedicated to anything officey I use. My lovely HP 3-in-1 printer sits on top of a repurposed kitchen island. Underneath I keep: blank CDs, various printer papers, extra binders waiting to be fill with ??, mailing supplies, and a bag of stuff I use for OWL. Currently it also being used for: crafty overflow, messy piling, and a cord monster. Scary...


Toxic Area #2: The Kitchen's Bottom Half:

My kitchen is a long, narrow room. It recently got a fresh coat of tan paint and it is really bright! That is, from the top up. The bottom cabinets and floor...well......As you can see my wheelchair has taken quite a few nibbles out of the cabinets and those lovely apple stickers were half removed-by me-5 years ago. I can't believe I just admitted that. These girls are getting a fresh cost, an appleectomy, and the floor is going to get a hands and knees scrubdown. I'll admit, I am not the best mopper, so there are little bits shoved in the corners that will be history soon.

Toxic Area #3: 'The Renaissance Closet'

WOW. Mt head kind of hurts just looking at this poor thing. This is a large, L-shaped closet that is required to hold a LOT of my life: holiday stuff is tucked in the back, Coats are hung up, to the right you can see a poor suffocating baby armoire, and in front are all my crafting supplies. The left is workout weights and a roll or two of wrapping paper. Normally this is a well oiled machine. Months of busyschedulemanyprojectsgenerallaziness have REALLY taken its' toll on this closet. P.S. For those of you that remember the Great Summer Mouse Caper-this is where the little bugger would hide- I wonder why ; )

Toxic Area #4: The Powder Room:

I have to admit-I really like this room as is. I love the purple that we painted it when I moved in, and I have three b&w printing that I love. However I made a deal with my landlord that I would repaint it when I moved out, and I am hoping that will be in a year or so. It will hopefully get a fresh coat of paint and I already have three new pictures picked out.

Toxic Area #5: The dresser:

I need some advice here. I have two vintage blond wood colored dressers, and for years I have had this little collection of favorite photos in silver frames. I always like how it looked together, but it has been years...and maybe time for a change? Any thoughts? I change out a few pictures here and there, but never the frames. I am thinking of maybe keeping some silver frames, adding a few white, and maybe one or two pink (to match my bedspread). I am also thinking about a little vinyl treatment for the wall behind. I have a new place in mind for the BIG B.

Toxic Area #6: The Media Center:

Behold the eyesore of my living room-my circa 2005 5 disc CD changer with tape deck?? Yeah. I think the last time owned a tape was......I have no idea. Also, I have recently loaded all my CD's into iTunes (sounds tedious, but really not that bad), so I really use my iPod and my computer for all my music and radio needs. It is time to use this space a lot more efficiently. p.s.Is it just me or do the books in the bottom right hand corner look like they are trying to squeeze the life out of the silver 'x' bookend?
I am suddenly filled with dread thinking about all the work ahead of me. Luckily, I am not alone. Succotash is fully supportive and ready to work! ha
At least he's cute, he is certainly not helpful.
Thanks for stopping by. Leave me any links you have to great websites for DIY and decorating.Also, what do you think I should do with the photos in my bedroom?
Later,
Michelle

Martini Thank You

Happy Monday!

Just a quick card share to jump start the week. I really like the way this card turned out, so I decided to snap a picture on my Ipod Touch before I gave it to a friend who works at my gym. He is starting a new job as a firefighter and I wanted to thank him for all he had done for me. He is notorious as a super healthy eater (unless it's sweets) so I thought the inside of the card would really make him laugh!


The martini glass is a google image I found when searching 'martini glass'. I printed it out (black&white) and colored it in. The 'thank you' stamp is Hero Arts. I just stamped the line over and over to make the background.

Thanks for stopping by!

Later,
Michelle
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