Sunday, February 7, 2016

Tucson in my rearview mirror - a quick look at the terrain of the Southwest

I wanted to share a few photos from our recent trip to Tucson where I participated in the To Bead To Be True Bead show... and of course shopped at some of the many tents of beads, gems and minerals. It was the "Round Top" for bead lovers, jewelry designers, jewelry enthusiasts, students and teachers--it was a great time and I'm ready for next year!!  In my next post, I'll write about CHA and the wonderful classes I took in Tucson but for now - here's a peek at the terrain of Tucson.

the long and winding road...

the mountains just passed the desert
the one photo I took at the Gem and Mineral
Show (at the Kino Sports Complex)

A beautiful blue sky - the perfect day for a drive


A flowering cactus

More Cactus

We called this the "Peace" Cactus


We had a great time!  I convinced him that we needed at least one
"selfie"- so here it is!!
Until next time, no matter what the terrain is around you...tend your little plot of earth with joy and creativity....

Monday, January 25, 2016

Disneyland, Frank Sinatra and CHA - a few highlights from our trip to California Part 1

from the air as we are approaching Anaheim 
California- a wonderful whirlwind of all things magical, musical, historical, and artistical (yes, I made that word up - it should read artistically but that doesn't have the same rhythm).  We headed to the west coast at the beginning of January for a few days which centered around CHA MEGA Conference and Trade show which happened to be in Anaheim just a few minutes from Disneyland, the happiest place on earth (magical, too).   Anaheim also happens to be not that far from Los Angeles where the Grammy Museum hosts the Frank Sinatra exhibit, which also happens to be not too far from The Getty Center, The Getty Villa and the Queen Mary.  Along with a side trip to Hollywood and our days seemed to be  finished before we even got there.  

So with our first 2 days, we went to Disneyland, saw Minnie, Chip and Dale, and a host of wonderful people, brilliant shows and fantastic rides.  Of course Downtown Disney was one of our shopping destinations.  It is always a memory filled time at Disney - with all the beautiful scenes, characters and just the element of surprise and delight as we all are children again.   After Disney, it was off to the Grammys - well the museum to see Old Blue eyes - in all of his splendor.  The exhibit was fantastic.  They even had one of his live concerts playing a theater type setting.  We watched it for at least 15 minutes but could have stayed all day -  We ate at Wolfgang Puck's Restaurant near the museum and then it was back to Anaheim for an evening Workshop at CHA -Stay tuned for Part 2 of all the details of CHA.


Happiest place on earth!

3 wishes -"xnay" on wishing for more than 3 

Mickey and Friends

Chip and Dale - her favorite

Minnie Shoes- peferct
waiting for the exhibit to open

a wall of some of his album covers

"Look at his hat!"

While I was at the trade show on Saturday and Sunday, Scott and the girls headed to Hollywood in search of the {sidewalk}stars of Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn.  Success!! They found them....

Her favorite

Her favorite

a few more stars...

another star

and another....
Onto Malibu for a quick look at the Pacific and dinner at the hotel.

On Sunday, again while I was at CHA,  the agenda for the day- The Getty Center and the Getty Villa- amazing works of art were on display.  Many were from the Getty private collection.  As both of my daughters are enthralled with History and Art History this was an epic day in the way of discovery and beauty.  We brought home a few reprints to frame for each of their rooms!

On Monday, we headed to board the Queen Mary for a historical tour of this amazing ship.  As we learned more of the ship's role in non- military and military voyages, we appreciate all that the company, the crew, celebrities, dignitaries  and passengers did during their time of service.  Now it is an incredible hotel with several restaurants as well as a historical event center with ongoing tours and conferences.

shops, restaurants and such a shiny beautiful floor

These few days exploring familiar places and new discoveries were a memorable way to end our holidays.  In Part 2, read all about CHA's Mega trade show- with hundreds of exhibitors and perhaps 1,000s of participants, this was a creative heaven for me!!

Until next time, create every day a little art, a little happiness and whole lot of love!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

California bound for CHA and a little DisneyMagic

Years ago, after my children had gone to school, every  morning, I watched  Carol Duval on HGTV. She would share crafts, creative ideas, guest artists and most of all she shared Inspiration and a real sense of the crafter/artist experience. She would travel to CHA once a year which always sounded so incredibly wonderfully to  me.  I always wanted to go but lived through her videos, interviews, and all the pictures of products and those famous artists and crafters. 

Fast forward to today, I'm so honored to be a member of the 2016 ICE Resin Design Team, a designer, mixed media artist (another great title to say I love it all) and teacher. AND this year, a CHA member!! I'll be experiencing first hand what I saw through the lens of TV, from Carol Duval. 

I'll try to take pictures, perhaps videos, to share withyou all  the amazing new products that will be heading our way soon!! 

I will also be demoing at the ICE Resin booth on Sunday and Monday and helping Susan Lenart Kazmer and Jen Cushman in their workshops (featuring the fantastic new ICE Resin products. 

We arrived a few days early to take on a little Disney Magic and a little of the California vibe. 

Until next time, 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The new year, a new word and new teaching opportunities!


I know we have a few more days to embrace enjoy our family and reflect on the good, the bad, the eat a little more than we should, to create our new year's resolutions, to then once again embrace a new year, a new hope, a new (and yet unseen), future...I absolutely love Abraham Lincoln's thoughts on the future...

The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at time.

So when our minds drift into the "what if's" and the unknown, I am reminded that indeed the future is something we can not control..we can only anticipate it one day at time.  Making the most of each opportunity, embracing each moment, the good, the bad, the in between times.  Through faith, we can take each day with a hopeful, eager anticipation.  No, not all moments will be sunshine, there will be a little or a lot of rain.  We will need our family and our friends to get us through those moments.  And Lincoln's perspective combined with what the writer of Psalms reminds us that 

This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

When there seems nothing to rejoice in,  think that this is a moment, not the future, not the final destination.  Each day, there are new embraceable moments of learning, teaching, gratitude, love and  kindness (just to mention a few)...that can be shared with you or that you can share with others.  It's all about taking the future one day at time.  Being present for today and all of it's moments.    So, with 2016 just days away, what are we to do with the future...Embrace it one day at time.  

My new word for the year is......Embrace- to hold (someone) closely; to entwine closely around: to clasp;  to encircle; to accept or support willingly and enthusiastically.  

This word- Embrace/Embraceable- sums up my love for the Lord, my family and friends; my life long love of learning, creating and teaching; my artistic endeavors; My Willow Hearts' girls and their moms and more aspects of daily living ---- to entwine love, kindness and creativity; to share in the blessings and to sit with those who can teach me to embrace all of life's moments and to encircle those that need that helping, encouraging hand of friendship and support. 

Until next time, I hope that you'll take a few moments and embrace the tomorrows - one day at a time....

Teaching Opportunities at a glance 

Classes being held at My Art Studio- for details email

January 16 - Saturday in the Studio- Creating Wire-wrapped beaded jewelry

wire wrapped and beaded bracelet

wire wrapped and patina necklace and bracelet

wire wrapped beaded dangles with charms
and sari ribbon

January 26 - Tag Art Tuesday
Februray 13 Saturday in the Studio -  for the love of He{art}
February 23 - Tag Art Tuesday
March 19 - Saturday in the Studio - Playing with Patinas
March 22 -Tag Art Tuesday 

Classes being held at Sparks Studio

February 27- Join me for an afternoon of creating with ICE Resin®

Some of my favorite Bezels- inspiration pieces for our class

March 15-  Metal Magic with ICED Enamels

LOVE ICED Enamels--inspiration pieces for our class

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!!

This brings to mind a most wonderful time of the year...all of our shopping is done, the hustle and bustle have quieted now...So from my home to yours...Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Until next time, May this season of Love carry you through and permeate in all that you do!!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Gift Card wrapping with Ribbon, Paper and Sizzix

A beautiful way to give a Gift Gard
For me, I usually like to give gifts that reflect the intended recipient and present the gift in a festive and beautiful way where the wrapping is almost as great as the gift.   When the Holiday season is here, Gift cards can be the safest, quickest and best choice for some on your list but not very fun to wrap.  So with a little paper, ribbon and a great Sizzix die, you can present the gift card in a handmade pocket that also becomes part of the gift.  You are able to put a little "you" in the present.
Here's what you'll need....


Paper -double sided card stock works great
Ribbon - I used seam binding here but any soft ribbon would work
Ink - color of your choice
Sizzix die - BIGZ notecard by Brenda Walton 
Eyelet, Eyelet setter
Stamped sentiment
Vintage sticker, optional
Glue gun, glue sticks
tape runner or glue stick
Embellishments such as charms, flowers,..

Sizzix die -by Brenda Walton

If you need to make several, die cut 2 layers at a time


1.  Using the sizzix die, die cut the paper for the notecard, the pocket and the tag.  Ink edges if desired.

2.  Using a glue stick, adhere the sides by folding on the scored lines.

3.  Cut a long piece of ribbon, Wrap around the front and tie once.  Thread on charm and then tie one more time to create a knot.

4.  Tie the ribbon 2 times to create four bow loops.

5.  Using a glue gun, adhere the holly underneath the ribbon and secure the ribbon also.  Now add flowers to the center of the bow.
A close up of the embellishments

6.  Now for the little tag, using an eyelet setter, set a jumbo or large eyelet.

7.  On a vintage sticker, stamp small sentiment

8.  Thread smaller piece of ribbon through eyelet and then loop through the git card.
the little tag with vintage sticker with stamped greeting

I place mine in a self-adhesive cellphone bag.  This die also has a notecard that fits inside.  You may need to trim the  card to fit with the gift card.

Until next time, may you find joy in giving and wrapping, too....Merry Christmas!

All ready to give to that special someone
on your list
 **I am not compensated by Sizzix for this blog post. I just love to share inspiration, techniques and to create everyday!!