Monday, November 23, 2009


Crop room and kitchen before the guests arrived.
I was so spoiled and pampered this past weekend that I fear nothing will ever live up to the experience. The standards were set so high that many of us pondered and wondered if we'll ever experience an event as exceptional. I've been sitting here trying to put into words the delight of the 3-Day Crop. Words that keep coming into my mind are:

Awesome, Incredible Hostesses, Sheila and Elena.
Beautiful, Charming Scrap Retreat House in French Valley.
Wonderful, Giving Women, Elena, Cheryl, Jean, Shanna, Wendy, Terri, Carmena, Liz, Sheila, Bobbie, Eva.
Super Talented Teachers, Donna Salazar, Stephanie Ackerman, Elena Etcheverry, Cheryl.
Adorable Fairy, Tory.
Generous, Plethora of Presents all weekend long.
Scrumptious Food all weekend long.
Roller Coaster Feelings from sheer delight and happiness, to an emotional well of tears, to giddy thrill, back to being a ball bag again. And, then finally, sheer exhaustion from the awe of it all. My emotions ran the gambit over the entire weekend!
Wendy working into the wee hours.
The 3-Day Crop started Friday morning. We walked through the door and didn't have to worry about a thing. Everything was taken care of. Every whim was met. All we needed to do was set up our scrapbooking stuff and get started. If you wanted a drink or some food, Bobbie was there. If you wanted a tool, someone would get it and teach you how to use it. There were stamps and inks, computers and printers, Cricket, Slice, Big Shot, Papers, Flowers, Ribbons, and if it wasn't there, we could simply yell out, "Does anyone have a gold metallic pen?" and everyone would start looking for one to share.

Food was excellent and endless! For breakfast, we had fresh coffee, bacon and eggs made to order, cereal, fruit, pastries and more. For lunch, we had grilled gourmet cheese and ham sandwiches, yummy lima bean soup (I know, I don't like lima beans either, but this soup made by Jean, was extraordinary!), chips and salsa, veggies and more. For hors d oeuvres, we had spicy chicken wings, fresh vegetables, chips, crackers and homemade dips, not to mention wine and cocktails. For dinner, we had 4 different salads, chicken and spaghetti, pot roast and mashed potatoes, broccoli and more. Oh, did I mention midnight snacks...uh huh, we had pizza! And, for desserts, we had cupcakes, ice cream sundaes, all the chocolate candy imaginable, cheese cake and so much more. It was truly decadent!

Shanna and Kat
Crafting was a blast! Prior to the event, we each made a swap gift. We picked names and that was who we gave our gift to. Shanna received my gift, which was a Breast Cancer Awareness, Encaustic Wax Collage. She said she was thrilled to receive it, which of course, made me ecstatic! I received a set of Starbuck's ceramic teacups from Carmena and Tory

. My word was Courage!

Once we arrived, we worked on our own scrapbooks, but we also had projects. Once of those projects was to draw a word from a hat and then with that word, create a Breast Cancer Awareness Canvas. Everyone's word was different and each canvas was unique and beautiful.

Friday night Cheryl taught us how to make paper flowers. One little, cut-out, scalloped flower turned into a beautiful rose. I used Glimmer Mist on mine and it was gorgeous. I'll be making these flowers compulsively for days to come, I'm sure.

Donna Salazar arrived on Saturday night and taught us how to make her signature flowers with vintage dictionary pages, tissue paper and Smooch. The color combinations were fantastic. The flowers were made the same way, but each one was different and unique to the artist. I'm on the search for a round scallop punch.

Stephanie Ackerman also came Saturday armed with a kit for each of us. She taught us her signature doodling. That was so much fun and interesting. My doodling has taken on a whole new personality. In fact, I need to take time out to practice my doodling.

Saturday night, Carol, our wonderful masseuse set up shop in the giant upstairs master bedroom. The lights were low, the music was low and the massage was to die for. Personally, the muscles in my neck felt like huge rocks. A little Bag Balm and Carol's deep healing touch was just what was in order. We each signed up for a little peace of her heaven. It was just in time for a second wind to go back to crafting and scrapping.

Sunday, Elena Etcheverry of Scrapbook Royalty, taught us how to make her signature flower with fabrics and flame. Yes, you heard right...this flower requires a candle flame to help frame it's unique look. I've always loved chiffon and now I have a reason to use it. We were all oohing and awing over the fabrics and buttons and final creations. Wait till Prima sees this flower!
One of the ladies from Susan G. Komen came and talked to us about the recent, disturbing media reports that women don't have to do self-exam or mammograms. She said that has been corrected and that she doesn't think the insurance companies will stop paying for breast exam procedures. I was happy to hear how fast they were able to right this wrong!

Out of the original 12 ladies that stayed all weekend, we had 4 Breast Cancer Survivors! Each lady spoke a little bit and we were not only tearful, but so inspired by their strength and courage. Each one of them said, "self-exam" is what saved their lives. They were adamant about the importance of women doing their own exams even if they get regular mammograms.

Kat and her dolly Hope

Kat and one of many Fairy Flybys

Did I mention PRESENTS and FAIRY FLYBYS. They never stopped coming. Every time we turned around there was a new present. I went home with literally twice as much as I came with. Our first and exciting present was Hope, the most adorable doll handmade by Sheila. We received personalized pillow cases and a fabric bag of bath necessities. We had Tory, our own personal Fairy handing out scrapbooking papers, embellishments, boxes, flowers, kits, clips, totes, Susan G. Komen glass ornaments, the list goes on and on.
We had a T-Shirt contest and Terri won with her flower ta ta's. Our Queen of Philanthropy was Shanna who raised the most money and as it turned out, in the least amount of time. We took group pictures. Eva counted the Cards for Troops the final count was over 1,200 cards.

The cherry on top of this event goes to Bobbie and Eva who tirelessly took care of our every need. They wouldn't allow us to do anything for ourselves. Bobbie kept the food coming, the tea kettle hot and the kitchen in constant order. Eva counted cards, sprayed adhesive, even cutout letters on the Cricket for one of my projects.

Personally, I can't thank Sheila enough for her unbelievable attention to detail and her hard work. She has been working tirelessly on this project for absolutely months. Liz, Sheila's mother said, "Sheila would work for eight hours during the day, come home and take a nap and then begin her second job working on the 3-Day Crop for eight hours at nighttime." This was definitely her baby and she did it justice and more. It was the details that made this event special and her ability to keep the party flowing. She has a true gift for knowing just what a crafting girl wants and needs and she did the amazing work to make it happen.

Elena on the phone troubleshooting a computer problem.

Of course, the Princess of the weekend was Elena. She was our computer and printer geek, our photographer and naturally all questions were answered immediately or she was on the phone getting the answer. None of this would have happened for me personally if it hadn't been for my friend Elena. She absolutely took me under her wing and is the reason I was able to have this experience. Her philanthropic skills are unmatched and I truly admire her. She definitely goes the extra mile to make the right stuff happen! She's a natural teacher and artist and I love being with her.

Last but not least, the twelve 3-Day Croppers and the twelve 1-Day Croppers raised 12,000 for Susan G. Komen, For the Cure, Inland Empire. That exceeds the $7,000 goal by almost double. Three quarters of this money will stay in the Inland Empire area, which is wonderful news.

I have more pics that I will add later.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Johnny Depp - Sexiest Man Alive

People Magazine's choice for a 2nd year. Ok, so, I know this is probably violating some sort of copyright law and if it is, I'm so sorry, but...

Can I just say that this guy...
I don't know what it is, but he's pretty dang hot!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Carol Murphy's Vintage Grunge Holiday Encaustic Class

These are the same picture. Different camera lighting.

This past weekend, again, I was very lucky to get into Carol Murphy's Vintage Grunge Holiday Encaustic class at Stamping Details. This was true Encaustic wax and completely new to me. What fun we had! Unfortunately my camera had no batteries in it so I don't have pictures of the class or of Carol. I did take a picture of my finished product. I really like it. I think I may have had a much heavier hand with color than I was suppose to, but I like it that way. Carol has a slide show on her website of some of her Encaustic creations. They are gorgeous! I loved learning this process. I want to do some ATC's using the wax.

Chris Cozen's Faux Encaustic Class

Chris spreading the Faux Encaustic on the picture.

So many great classes to choose from lately. On Halloween day, I was very lucky to get a seat in Chris Cozen's Faux Encaustic class at Stamping Details. We worked with the fabulous Golden products and as you know, it's a language in itself. Needless to say, when Chris was giving the formulas, I struggled to follow along. I tried to write them down, but didn't do so well, so gave up and just started slathering the paints on my canvas. Fortunately Nina wrote down the formulas and shared. Nina is so much more art savy than I and was a life saver for me in this class.

Nina and her beautiful creations.

We used soft gel medium to adhere collage images to the canvas. After the images were dry, we used a palette knife to add two colors of Golden Fluid Acrylic paint to the canvas. After that dried, we selected a third accent color and painted it on a rubber thing, which was then pressed onto the canvas. The checkerboard looking thing is used under carpet padding. I believe it can be purchased by the yard.

These are two of my creations...still very wet.

Chris gave us a few different formula's, including a base of acrylic ground for pastel or soft gel medium. The formula we decided to use dried the fastest, consisting of less than 1/4 cup Golden Fluid Matt Medium for each 8"x8" canvas, with a drop of Quinacridone/Nickel Azo Gold. Another formula substituted the gold for 3 drops of Interference blue and 2 drops of Iridescent gold to add a sheen to the finished look. You spread the mixture all over the canvas. It can be a finished piece at that point, or you can continue to add more layers of paint, stamping, collage, etc.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jackie's Birthday Party

I bet the blogs are a buzzin' today! It was a very special day! It was Jackie's Birthday!

The girls, Jackie and her sister, Patti, along with June, Jeannie, Maryam, Bonnie, Elena, Bet, Sally and Miss Vicky had a blast at Jackie's Birthday Party Thrift Store Scavenger Hunt! We all met at the Beach Grass Cafe in Poway, and then with our pens and clues in hand, took off to hunt through the local thrift stores. The objective was to find little coin envelopes or pieces of paper or pictures of Jackie that were hidden among the thrift store merchandise. Each was worth a certain amount of points. We had clues to help us, such as Bearly There, Sock Hop, See Dick and Jane, Batter Up, Pink Peddle Pushers, etc. It was very interesting, competitive and fun! However, I must admit, this brain struggled a bit. I struggled with wanting to find the points and wanting to shop. I found it difficult to do both at the same time.

There were five winners, including yours truly! Yey! I won a beautiful, sort of Tuscan looking dipping set. Miss Vicky was the big winner with a box full of vintage jewelry. Sally came in second, June was third, and Elena took fifth place.

We definitely developed quite an appetite from all our hard work. Thankfully, the food was great and we spent some quality time gabbing. It was one of the most entertaining birthday party's I've had the pleasure of enjoying.

Next stop was Stamping Details for a quick visit and the purchase of a couple of "very necessary items". Ha! That's a joke! I need more necessary items like I need... There was a cute dress store next door and Elena found some "necessary items". And, then in another store, Sally and Vicky and I found a desert. What more can you ask for...everyone was happy! Super fun day with nice ladies!

Monday, November 9, 2009


Check out the new post on the Where Women Create blog. They are celebrating their anniversary by having a contest. If you haven't read this magazine, you are in for a treat. I scour it cover to cover. It's truly delicious!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Another Great Saturday with my Sister

Yesterday was all about fun with my sister and making cards. We went to a Stack and Stamp in Oceanside and made ten awesome Christmas cards. While we were in the area, decided to go to the Forum. Went to Casa de Bandini for an outstanding mexican breakfast. They have the best food and patio seating! While we were at the Forum, stopped by the Paper Source and guess what...they were doing Christmas card make and takes. Made two cards and four place tags. Lots of fun! We were so inspired, we went home and made four more Christmas Cards with lots of embossing. The best part was being with my sister. We really have a lot of fun together. We start laughing about something and can't stop. It's crazy fun!

My new favorite paper line is Graphic 45. Sooo cute! Can't wait to get some.