Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Charming Surprise

Wow, two surprise packages in one week?! I was so excited to get the charms from the two swaps I've been participating in, and thought I'd share with you my newest little treasure trove of goodies!

First of all, here are the ones from the Think Pink swap, hosted by Amber Dawn, where proceeds from two bracelets she made with our extra charms went to the Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation. The charm I sent in was a mini plastic domino that I colored with several shades of pink alcohol and gold metallic inks, gold leafing pen on the edges, then I added a rhinestone accent and covered it all with a coat of thick glaze. It's much more shimmery and jewel-like in person.

This is what it looked like when I first opened the package. I love how pretty all the unique presentations look—you can tell they were truly gifts from the heart…

And here are all the individual charms shown with credit for the wonderful artists who made them. It was such a pleasure and honor to work on this special project with everyone.

Here are the charms I received from the Black & White swap. It was hosted by Laurel Steven and she did such a great job too. Check out the fun packaging—it felt just like Christmas all over again!

A big shout out to everyone who participated in both swaps and thank you so much! You're all so incredibly creative and I can't wait to make something wonderful with these great charms!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Work in Progress…

When we moved to WA from KS last year, we ended up buying a home that was in a wonderful neighborhood, but needed a lot of cosmetic work (did you note the bright purple hexagon sink, ready for the dump run? It came with a matching "designer" toilet too!). We've been doing most of the remodel ourselves—thanks in no small part to my addiction to HGTV and the DIY channels. So it's been a long work in progress ever since we got the keys. At first we worked on all the rooms at once, but this made for a pretty crazy mess—not to mention, nothing ever seemed to get 100% finished. But we did manage to get all the *lovely* tropical themed and/or metallic wallpaper stripped and most of the walls painted (yay!). Now, our strategy is to concentrate on one room at a time until it's totally done, so the one we've been tackling these past few months is the kitchen, as well as finishing up painting all the stained wood trim and doors white. We're about 75% done and since I don't want to show it to you until it's finished for the big "Oooooh!" effect, here are just a few pics to tease you...

We had big plans for a major work push this weekend, but Kraig and I both got a touch of the flu bug and were pretty much out of it the whole time. Katie got it first earlier in the week, but was only sick one night and popped right out of bed the next morning, ready and eager to go to school, even though we told her she could stay home. I know, you're thinkin' she must have still been delirious from a fever, huh? LOL But we're all finally on the mend and the weather is gorgeous outside, so we'll probably be getting back to work today or tomorrow. So stay tuned for the next episode of our own little version of "This Old House"…!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Feeling Charming?

I originally joined a Yahoo group called The Charmsters when I attended the Art & Soul workshops last year in Portland, OR. It was formed so we could exchange our unique handmade charms at the event, but it was so fun and successful that it's continued on, with various swaps being offered throughout the year. I don't do a lot of these, but every once in a while, I'll sign up for one that has a theme that I really love. I finished one set of charms last month for a breast cancer fund-raising event, and recently sent in some with a black and white theme.

I had a neat vintage ticket rubberstamp design that fit perfectly over a bamboo tile (cut from a placemat!) that I had spray painted white. On the back, I used two different stamps to complete the ticket theme, which I envisioned as something like for a glamorous old movie-star event. I have no idea what the foreign text says on the collage stamp, but it had the right look and I just hope it's nothing really weird?! I finished the whole thing off with clear varnish, black wire, and some elegant silver and crystal beads, and then wrapped them each up in pretty little white organza bags. I can't wait to see what I get back in return!

Don't Change That Channel!

Some of you already know this, but this past June, the Bosch company invited our family to participate in a Dremel 300 tool infomercial! At first, they contacted me since they had me on file as a designer, but after interviewing me over the phone and hearing all about how we like to use this great tool, the director asked me if the rest of the family would be interested in helping out too? Ashley was too shy, but Kraig and Katie were game, so we all flew out in July 11-13 to Orange County, CA to film it with several other people.

It was really fun to work with the production crew, the Bosch company, and everyone else. Of course, I totally forgot to bring my camera to the shoot and didn't get any pics of our brush with fame. Just what kind of scrapbooker am I?!? We stayed over the weekend—managing to squeeze in a day at Disneyland—then came back home. Now the infomercial is airing, and although we haven't had a chance to see it yet, you can check out sneak previews of us here.

And here's what we were told in a recent message:
This email is just to let you know that the infomercial will begin airing on test runs starting Friday, September 5th and will continue through the 21st. After these first few weeks, it will begin airing on a wider distribution amongst the following channels and possibly others: Home & Garden TV, National Geographic Channel, Do It Yourself Network, CNBC, The Discovery Channel, TRU (previously Court TV), TV Food Network.

EEK! Judging from what I've already seen, looks like I'm going to be nationally embarrassed at how dorky I look. *sigh* So if you see it before I do, please be kind and don't laugh too hard, k? But I am really proud of how well Kraig and Katie did—those drama classes really paid off!

We were asked to bring some projects with us to show how we used the Dremel tool. Katie and I made the bracelet together—she went around the house and collected game pieces and shells from a holiday trip, and I provided some leftover charms I had made for various other projects. She drilled the holes and I cut the dominoes in half, embellished with silver Rub-n-Buff, and wired everything onto an inexpensive silver charm bracelet (I even made the green/blue round glass bead on my torch!). I also made a necklace out of Swarovski crystals and Precious Metal Clay (aka PMC) which is a special clay that fires into fine silver.

Well, that's it for today, folks! More blog news coming soon, I promise! *Ü*

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's about time!

I can't believe the day has FINALLY come when I actually got my act together to create my own blog! LOL I've been wanting to do this for years now, but never got around to it because I thought it would be too hard (and I have to admit, I was a wee bit intimidated—what if no one ever wanted to read it?!). But after getting so much enjoyment from reading all my favorite designer blogs on an almost daily-obsessive basis, I decided today was the day to take the plunge. Besides, I think I can at least count on a few family members and friends to take a peek here once in a while, if only to keep track of how my girls are growing up? ;-D

Scary thing is, I've never been great at the whole daily journal thing, so I can't promise if I'll be able to keep this constantly updated (hey, I need time to read all my other fav bloggers too, right?!) And I can *hear* six kitchen cabinets, a door, and a can of paint plaintively calling my name downstairs. But since a blog is such a great way to share photos, thoughts, news, etc., I think I have a pretty good chance of making a good go with it. Just drop me a comment now and again if you feel like it—if only to assure me that more than just the crickets are listening, okay?
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