i don't hate flying for 12 hours...i slept, and i watched a couple movies...did a LOT of brainstorming and journaling... and was SOOO happy to be home! eric and the kids came and met me at the airport, and we were all so happy to see each other. and of course, the first thing that the kids asked me, "did you bring me something!?"... lucky there had been a trip to target or 2! lol. the big hit was the reses PB cup hearts. so yummy! it's cold here, and i don't even care! just feels so great to be home. slept in my bed, on my pillow...ah, felt so great. i will tell you that i don't think anyone really LIKES jet lag, but the BONUS for me... is that when you fly this direction, you automatically wake up super early, and you ALMOST feel like a morning person! which as you know... is just not my 'norm'... but i was wide awake at 5am, and i got up and have had some time to myself... made a new blog header... added my very first BLINKIES! (cute-more info to come)... and well, just enjoying my little jump-start on my day. i need to do wash, and unpack. i have no time to waste!
everything was great here while i was gone. eric and the kids did amazing! due to no small contributions from our wonderful friends here in BJ. I just want to publicly thank Mackays, Osbornes, Christensens, Fords, Craigs... and everyone else for constsantly checking in, bringing cookies and surely praying too! we are so blessed with awesome friends here in Beijing- thank you all so very, very much.
so i have another link to a little video i did while at CHA... this is just another way to use the Mega Masks, and double them up with other masks that you already have in your stash! my friends that attended 'create '08' already know this fun trick.. and i will be sharing more too!
January 29, 2009 | Permalink
January 28, 2009 | Permalink
What a day! man, I am exhausted after the first day at the show… chillin in the hotel room. Thought that I’d share some shots from the booth!
It was a really fun day today! It’s fun to see everyone… retailers, manufactures… scrapbookers.. just all the people that I see at the show! I got to eat lunch with a bunch of fabulous friends, and I got to demonstrate my new product! And that was really fun… it’s FUN to demonstrate!
So I have a new product that I am launching called ‘invisibles’… and while people have probably seen it in the catalog that was pre-show-released, it is hard to get an idea of what it is without seeing it in action!
So I will explain!
The idea for invisibles is that you can make it any color you wish-by adding ink or-any color type-medium… glaze, paint, ink, sprays, glitter mist, whatever!
Basically, it’s white paper and chipboard that has been printed with a shiny, clear ink that creates a ‘resist’ on the surface… so when you apply any color to it, the image that has been printed on the paper, ‘magically’ appears.
The invisibles come in:
4 different designs of 12x12 paper
2 sets of chipboard pieces: ‘ornate frames’ and ‘shapes’ like birds, crowns, hearts etc.
2 sets of chipboard sheets that are perfect for book covers and die cutting
2 sets of letter stickers
you can kinda see the images on the papers in this photo. if you look really close at the paper at the top-you can see the circle frame on the paper... now if you look at the layout just to the left of it, you can see that same circle image, but with the green/blue color-i used the distress ink to get that look.
So, here you see my new 'handwriting' stamps, and my 'invisibles' letter stickers (ENJOY)... the crown is one of the die cuts from the paper collection.
here, you can see that i have used my 'bracket frame' mega mask to mask off the middle of the border invisbles... and i used this for the background of the page that i created.. i already showed this page but this will give an idea of how the background looks.
:this little 'playmates' layout has the letter stickers, and one of the borders with a ''built-in-embellishment'.
So here are some of my new papers… I really love the color combos… the papers have what I call ‘built-in-embellishments”. Some of the papers have flaps that have die cut punch outs that you can place on your pages, and in your mini-books and cards… others have die cuts around some of the little butterflies and wings and stuff like that. cute!
for new alphabets, i did this swatch book of self-adhesive letters that are all different fonts, sizes and color variations. they are made of a very thin chipboard...there a SO many letters (391 to be exact). here they are in action, a little more up close! you will love them:
the 'baby girl' and the 'cherish' are using this swatch book. you can see some of Tim's new stickers here as well.
here is another product that is tricky to show w/out you being here, and seeing it demoed! but these are my NEW mega masks! they are 12", and in 4 different styles: circles, heart, star and bracket frame.
if you look close here, you can see how i used each in the sample layout. i will be showing you more 'how to' with these... but it's really good stuff!
I had the back of the booth painted w/ chalk board paint-and I just posted some pages and then doodled around the pages… just quick…but I think it looks fun! And I would love to have chalkboard walls at my house!
January 25, 2009 | Permalink
I will never again take FREE INTERNET for granted! NEVER! After paying about .75$ per minute on board ‘freedom’… (no one wants to be free from internet!)… I am loving having free internet at the airport. I am on my way to SLC via Atlanta, and just got on eric’s facebook to see what they have been up to.. check out these great photos. There is lake downtown- called Houhai…..and it’s been so cold that it’s frozen and they do these chair and bike skates! They had a blast… I am so thankful for Eric, and everyone jumping in to help him out in Beijing! Thanks everyone… I miss you.
and for my own personal entertainment, i picked up this fun book:
Isaac Mizrahi 'how to have style'... (view image in the mirror! oops)
ok, here's to a smooth flight.
January 17, 2009 | Permalink
made it.. through the chaos.. through the lines, the baggage, the corridors... and guess what... we had to have our bags all packed and put outside our door by 11pm... which i did no prob... but totally forgot to keep my SHOES OUT of the bag!!
smile... typical me!
anyway... just catching up and went to see what my sweet friend Rhonna has been up to... um hello, you have been busy my friend! you MUST check out her coolest blog ever!
gorgeous! have you figured out how to customize YOUR blog? and i about wanted to CRY when i saw the freaking cutest silhouette images that she made and BLING-ED out with none-other-than MY very own BLING!! birdies, jewel brads and chandalier crystals!!! I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!! rhonna... i want to be like you when i grow up! i stole this.. you have to go see it up close, and read about her creativity challenge! i think i might need to play!
SLC here i come... dang, it's cold there!!!
safe travels to all you cruisers!!
January 17, 2009 | Permalink
It’s seriously hard to believe that this is the last night of the cruise! I am laying here in my cabin, loving the rocking of the ship, and watching a movie on my laptop as I type. And quite frankly, totally missing Eric. I hate traveling without him. It’s only been a week that I have been away… and I miss him so much! This is the last cruise without him! Other than not having my favorite person to travel with… the trip has been amazing! And it’s been fun to be with my mom and dad. They are up for anything! And we have had a great time. When we arrived in Jamaica, I didn’t get off the ship, but they did, and they had a FABULOUS time! I am bummed I missed out, but I think that what I needed more than anything else was to just lay low- do nothing, relax. I can’t even explain how much better I feel just one week later! (smile!) and I got a TAN! Now, last time I was on a cruise, I was pregnant with Capri and I didn’t like the food at all…yuck. This time, the food has been awesome! Love the 24 hour free room service! There is nothing better than breakfast in bed!
I got to be seated at the dinner table with all the other educators and their traveling companions.. it’s been so enjoyable to hang out with Margie, Donna, Karen and Teresa. Maybe you have had classes from some, or all of these ladies, but after spending a week with them, I can honestly say that I am in awe, and admiration of every one of them.. not just creatively, but on a personal level. It has really been a highlight of this trip.
Tonight was really something special…
It was a ‘day at sea’ so most everyone finished their classes today. At 5pm, before dinner, we had a cocktail party to say goodbye, announce contest winners and do giveaways. Now, in the few days between getting home from Australia and leaving again, I managed to get to the fabric market, and pick out some pewter metallic satin fabric, and arranged to have a dress made for the ‘formal’ night. Well- that was last night, but I was teaching right before and right after, so I didn’t get to wear my dress… so I wore it tonight! It’s really shiney!
So, I don’t go to a lot of ‘cocktail’ parties… that is more of a ‘soap opera/tV only’ kind of thing.. but this was a real one… with pretty drinks and fancy little bites of food…and we were all together, and said our good-byes, and we had tons of amazing prizes that Jim gave away…stuff from Zutter, Cropper Hopper, AMM, Karen gave away a spot in her photography class… Donna gave away 2 spots to her sold out ‘inspired’ event, and I was happy to represent Creative Escape and giveaway a spot to the 4th ever Creative Escape! Participants in the charm swap donated an extra charm bracelet to be auctioned off to raise money for the orphans in Ochos Rios, Jamaica, and Jim even surprised one lucky winner with a trip to Alaska! It was just awesome!
I have to send a huge congrats to Jessica Gutherie (you CE alum from last year remember Jessica!) she is on board as a participant, and she WON the ‘postcard contest’.. you had to take a postcard that was provided and you could create ANYTHING with it.. Everyone could enter, and the prize was a spot on next year’s ULTIMATE SCRAPBOOK CRUISE! Everyone voted, including staff, and teachers… and first, can I tell you that the entries were amazing! I have NEVER seen such fantastic entries to any contest… it was super inspiring! People made centerpieces, mobiles, booklets, scrapbook pages, 3D gummybear hammocks!!! i think that they will be posted on the Scrapmap site soon! JESSICA made this cutest, funny window box with a dice kind of thing that kinda worked like a magic 8 ball… it was awesome. It was really hard to pick only one, but I have to say that she got my vote!
All of it. this has been an ABSOLUTE delight. A great group of scrapbookers, great weather… and just an all around fabulous, rejuvenating time had by all! And so many surprises… and you know that I love surprises!! And I am talking like: champagne delivered to our room (and it was extra lucky for the people that the “mormons” gave theirs to! LOL) , we came back to chocolate covered strawberries in our rooms, Jim arranged for a photo of the teachers and staff- and got them all printed and we signed them for everyone’s scrapbooks… and topped it off with that fantastic cocktail party!
I must make one confession… in the past, I have thought that it was just crazy to want to come on a cruise to scrapbook! I mean, I thought that you’d want to come on a cruise to cruise! But I think that I have become truly converted to the beauty of a scrapbook cruise! You get it all! Being away… all the wonderful desserts!...SUN… amazing ports and photo opps…PLUS just the right amount of classes… easy come, easy go! Not to mention… breakfast in bed!
SO-if you are cold right now, or thinking that you could use a little ‘YOU’ time… a little sun, fun, water, friends, good food… ETC… how does next JANUARY sound to YOU!? what to you think about joining me on 2010’s Ultimate Scrapbook Cruise!? We are talking more “Ultimate!”… think about it! and I will link you to more info! You are all invited!! (wink) and you too ERIC… YOU have to promise to come too!
January 16, 2009 | Permalink
Had a really fantastic day yesterday!
Started out with an EARLY photography class with Karen Russell. I really just love her, and I have never really spent time with her in real life before, and I am quite amazed at how true-to-life she comes across in her on-line class as she does in real life. I loved taking a real class from her, and it was just review on what I have been learning, but what was so cool is that as she was talking, and show her samples, I am realizing how much I really have learned, and how far I have come since beginning the class. and I am sad to say that after my jolt of a Christmas season, and the continuing saga of my travel schedule, I am so behind. But I am loving it all, and am happy to report that I did learn a few new things today. And it was totally funny, because EVERYONE was doing little things here and there that Karen had spoken about today. They were just 10 tips to better photos, and it’s amazing how just a few little things really improve your photography and the way you look at taking photos. I admire her a lot…and I like her even more.
We docked in Key West, a beautiful little beach town; the most southern town in the US. everything was so cute. I wasn’t on shore long, I had to get back and finish up my presentation for my class…after dinner (man, the dinners have been really good! I even ate fish…) dinner is really my favorite time. at my table I am seated with my parents… Teresa Collins and her husband, Donna Downey and her husband…Karen Russell and her sister, Margie Romney-Aslett and her friend Lorie Tucker…and ME! it’s been so great to talk and get to know these people that I love and admire so much, a little better. It’s been really fun and interesting. I am thankful to be associated with such amazing artists, scrapbookers and people on this ship. Right after dinner, I taught my first class. the set up was great, only 27 people in each class-and we’ll be doing 4 rotations each… can I tell you what a joy it is to only have 27 people in a class!? AS USUAL, I overplanned, and my class went over by about 40 minutes! And for a bunch of cruisers that had been in a photography class at 6am, and bopping around Key West add day, it was a little late. Next go around should be a little smoother. I really love the project that I am teaching. SMILE! That makes it really fun! Tonight I am teaching a technique class… I will be using some of my favorites: Tim’s distress inks and applicator tool, and Bazzil’s Swiss Dot… mixed with some of my NEW CHA RELEASE! Exciting. I may have to share… anyway… as I sit and type here in my bed, watching “the bad guy show” as Capri calls it… (Ironman) I have to say… ‘missing you, wish you were here!”… and seriously, this is the LIFE!
was playing with this... trying to make the best of the beach photos in AU:
January 13, 2009 | Permalink
I am still riddled with guilt because I didn’t do something that I have done every year-every year that I can remember. Now, I think that there were a couple years that they didn’t all get sent out….but every year I have made a christmas card. Every year had a family photo… but not this year. I had a vision of getting a great family photo on the beach. In my mind, it was a perfect photo, the kind you blow up and hang up in your house… but I made the cardinal mistake. A mistake that I made for the second time. The mistake: waiting until the LAST DAY of your vacation to take your family photo. Last year, summer-2007, my family was having a family ‘reunion’…at Newport Beach. We were staying at a beach house, all my siblings and parents … it was the first time we were all on vacation together, it was like a huge deal, especially since we were moving to china. Well, we wanted to get a big family photo, and we were so excited, - on the beach- and we were all going to be tan etc. tragedy struck, eric and Cameron were surfing, and the board that eric was on slammed into Cameron’s face and blitzed his front 2 teeth- it was major, and cam and rane had to jump in the car and drive home quick to get to the orthodontist etc. gone were the possibilities of the family photo! History repeated itself this year… I had arrange to have Chanel take our family photo and about 3 hours before we would be having our photo taken… her cute daughter, Emra fell on the rocks at the beach and cut her head open and had to be rushed to get stitches. So, the vibe was kinda shot. We did take some photos, but it was a little dark, and trying to get the babies to look, and everyone be cute.. UGH.. it just was a bomb. But I have to come up with something. I guess it will be a valentines day card or something. I don’t know. I am so bummed at myself! Anyway… I did try to redeem myself and give a few of my friends a New Years present. These turned out SO cute, I have to say, I love them!
For Create ’08, I had these fabulous silver bags made up, and I brought like 10 of them home and I stamped one of my favorite quotes with the black archival ink from Ranger.
The Quote I found in the new ‘Happily Grateful” book from Compendium, and it’s totally one of my new year’s resolution:
“Happiness itself is a kind of Gratitude –Joseph W. Krutch”
(I picked a quote to go with each one of my resolutions!; now you know 2 of them!)
I am really serious about my resolutions this year … really excited and motivated. Anyway.. if you are lucky enough to have one of these cute bags from Create ’08, and you want to stamp a cute quote on your bag, just keep in mind, that when you stamp, don’t press too hard; just sorta ‘kiss’ the surface of the bag. You need to make sure that you use a fresh ink pad, so that you have good ink coverage.. If you weren’t lucky enough to get a cute silver bag, you could buy one from Chanel by emailing her, and she’ll mail you one! ($15.00 australian dollars).
SO- I am blogging from the Courtyard Marriott in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Tomorrow I am embarking on the Ultimate Scrapbook Cruise! I flew A LOT of hours to get here… including 2 overnight flights! I left my sweet family home in the cold confines of Beijing…and even though it’s so beautiful here, and I am excited to be with all my friends on the cruise, and I have a really fabulous project to teach them! AND my parents are coming and I get to hang out with them…sigh… I am already missing my kids and Eric! It’s only been like 36 hours. Capri has figured out what it means when the suitcases come out. she was so sad. She was gathering up her stuff, and trying to pack it in my bags. She was telling me ‘I go’. Heartbroken, I climbed on the plane to come here. I did have to laugh this morning when I called to check in at 5am Florida time, and Capri answered the phone and talked my ear off. ½ in English and ½ in Chinese… funny. I miss you guys, ALREADY!
January 10, 2009 | Permalink