February 28, 2011

Just Charming

The charm swap was probably my favorite activity at this year’s CU.  For the past two years, I’d watched other attendees swapping charms, sporting their finished bracelets and I drooled!

Well, this year I decided to participate all the way.  There were two separate swaps.  Vintage Victorian and Under The Sea.  Oh boy, did my creative juices start flowing. We were to make a total of 10 art charms and 10 filler charms for each swap.

Here’ a little peek at one set of Vintage Victorian charms I created on their cute little cupcake.


Not only did I have fun for weeks leading up to CU creating charms, but I was lucky enough to be selected as a “Charm Fairy.”  Charm Fairies get to see all the charms that are turned in, sort all the charms so that each participant gets nine new charm “sets” and gets to deliver the goodies to the eagerly waiting participants. It felt like Christmas and I felt like Santa or at least one of his elves.

My fellow Charm Fairies and I had a great time at this task.


The packaging was as creative as the charms.  They were so beautiful and looking through them was so much fun, I just sort of sat their for a while admiring them.  I had a really hard time taking the packaging apart so that I could put my bracelets together.  See how pretty they were…


Knowing there would be many more charms than the nine I would receive back, I made quite a few extra for swapping on the side.  I’m so glad I did because, I was able to trade for several more. 

The finished bracelets are just amazing.  The coolest thing about a charm swap is taking home a little piece of art from so many talented women.


I love my new bracelets, don’t you?

Here are the charms I made..

my charms

The most amazing thing about this charm swap? That many of these women had never made charms or jewelry before.  Kind of hard to believe isn’t it?

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February 27, 2011

I’m so glad you came back…..

So today, I’m going to let you see all the great projects we made at CU.  We had fun classes for the better part of Friday and all day Saturday.



Things started off with a fun Card Boutique.  Kind of a make and take thing.  These amazing cards were designed for us by Donna Smith.




Then, we made these great gift card holders, designed by Sheila Bennett.  I had no idea there were so many cute ways to give someone the gift of money.

Thanks go to Nona Davenport for the photos from the Card Boutique!




Friday night, our CU Sorority, Sigma Scrappa took an amazing jewelry class from the oh so “charming” Erin Grotegut where we turned these…DSC_8765 


Into this.  I was lucky enough to be a teacher’s assistant in Erin’s class as well as a “Charm Fairy”, so the little fairy charm you see was a little token of appreciation from Erin.  My necklace also has a pretty pink charm courtesy of Nicole Lewno.

Thanks go to Christy Dunham for the photo of the charms “before” picture.


On Saturday, we got started right after breakfast and headed off to Nona Davenport’s class where we learned how to make pleated ribbon flowers to accent this lovely layout. I love the colors and how great this page looks with the pictures of my little Ava.



DSC_8773Then after a wonderful lunch break we headed into the chapel to learn from Christy Dunham how to make yoyos and incorporate fabric and stitching into our scrapbook pages.


I love how mine turned out!

DSC_8783Then, it was back downstairs to make these super cute bookmark cards courtesy of Jenn Royal.  These will make great birthday cards or thank you cards.  I think my kid’s teacher’s will each be getting one of these at the end of the year.  And…I learned how to “rock and roll.”  Who knew stamping could be so much fun!



Our last class was this gorgeous clipboard taught by the talented Denise Anderson-Turley.  Denise’s version had an abundance of these sweet little flowers.  Mine, not so much. But then, this gal has a gift for paper flowers.  My gift is a little lacking in this category, but I think it turned out beautiful just the same. 



I absolutely loved ALL the projects this year and I’m really glad no one is asking me to pick a favorite!




I can’t wait till next year’s retreat and the chance to learn more new things.

Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you all about the charm swaps!



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February 26, 2011

Creative University Rocks!

Well, let me just say it. If you haven’t attended Creative University you are missing out in a very BIG way! 

This was my third year (I missed the first year,) attending this spectacular creative weekend.  Each year I think the Fabulously Artsy  Tresa Black has outdone herself.  Only to go again the next year and think it again.  Well I can’t even imagine how she’ll do it again next year, because this year’s CU was so well planned and so full of fun details that it boggled the mind.

Upon arrival we were greeted with these adorable hand sewn welcome bags full of goodies.


Tresa has made these for us each year to coordinate with the color scheme of the current year’s logo wear and overall theme.  I now have a very cute collection of these. 

Then, if you were smart enough to order your logo wear, you were presented with your bag of goodies so that you could show your school spirit and outfit yourself from head to toe in CU gear.


Logo wear was the perfect thing to wear to our group photo session.  Don’t we look fabulous?!

You were checked into your lovely cabin.

our cabin

There was a photo booth; perfect for fun and generally silly photo ops.



There was the breathtaking scenery.


The food, and ok, I’ll admit it, the desert.  I mean it’s only one weekend a year so a few little nibbles on the goodies is fair, right?!

ice creamDSC_8611

Thanks Christy for the great photo of the brownie a’la mode.

There was plenty of free time to work on your own crafts, or just relax.


There were fun little surprises, awaiting us at dinner…


like sparkly glitter and bubbles and fun games with pepper shakers, where you could take away the centerpiece (like I did!)

But the best part….


was reuniting with old friends and making new ones.

Ok, now I’m sure you’re wondering about the “University” part of our Creative U aren’t you.  I mean University implies that we’re in school, taking classes and learning something, right?  Well, right you are! But you’ll have to wait for tomorrow to find out about the projects.  And trust me, you want to come back and take a peak, because the projects were AWESOME!

And then, you’ll have to come back the next day to check out the amazing charms from our charm swap!

And the day after that for the fun roomie gifts!

Ahh, the fun just goes on and on doesn’t it?! Now you’re beginning to see how Creative University works.  The fun, just goes on and on an on. 

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February 24, 2011

Kitten Update

Our sweet little kittens are now 2 1/2 days old.  They are so cute and tiny it’s almost impossible not to pick them up.  My kids can not resist!  (But neither can I.)  Lucy is being such a good mommy and spends all day snuggling with them and cleaning them.  She takes the occasional break to eat or go for a walk around the house.  But, she always comes back and crawls into their little (or really not so little) nest.  The huge dog bed we bought for them is coming in really handy.

We’re taking so many pictures, I have to wonder how many we’ll have by the time they are adopted into new homes.

Originally we told the kids, we’d keep just one (this of course brought on tears and sobbing and exclamations of “But Lucy will be so sad if we give away all her babies!”) But we explained that she’d be fine and the kitties would be so much happier in homes where they were special, and that we have no desire to end up on that show “Animal Horders.”  Naturally, the kids began campaigning right away to keep “at least” 2.  I kind of figured we’d hold firm, but also considered the fact that we might cave around week 6 when we started looking for homes and were faced with their inevitable departure.  (Already, I can barely imagine how hard it will be to bid them farewell.)  Well, I’m proud to say we made it all the way to 24 hours after their births before we caved.

But, seriously, who could resist this!??

Certainly not us; that’s for sure!

They are so tiny and soft and they fit right in the palm of my hand.


Their little heads are about the size of one of those super size gumballs.  You know, the ones they have in the machines at stores that sell for a quarter. 

Of course, being a scrapbooker, I’m already thinking that this might be my new 365 project.  Then, at the end of a year, I can put together the cutest little scrapbook of their first year of life.  I’m well on my way.  Only how will I ever choose which ONE picture from each day when I have so MANY cute ones.


Well, I can hear the little babies crying so I’m off to see what they’re up to.

Sweet Dreams!

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February 22, 2011

We Have Kittens!

Oh my goodness!  What a fun and surprising day, today turned out to be.  I’d planned on posting a little recap of my CU Retreat, but who could resist kittens!? We’ve known our Lucy was expecting for several weeks now, but not knowing when she became pregnant left us really guessing as to “when” her little kittens would appear.

We’ve been a little concerned about it because we are planning a fun Spring Break road trip with the kids soon and were really hoping the kittens would be old enough to leave with our house/pet/baby sitter.  Just last night we were discussing this and trying to predict when this would all happen.

Well, this morning at 11:30, our Lucy began acting much differently and I knew instantly that she was in active labor.  Quickly, we set about the business of getting things ready for her.  I immediately called into work and begged for an extra hour to help her along.  I sent my husband, Steve, off to the pet store for supplies.  And I got busy getting Lucy into a box all set up for “queening.”  It didn’t take long and our first little kitty arrived at 12:25.  Of, course, I’m madly texting Steve with lists of what to get, and kitty arrivals.  Within 40 minutes, two more arrived.  We were so excited and happy that they were breathing, mewing and nursing with their momma. Unfortunately, my extra hour went by in a blur and reluctantly I headed into work, when really, I wanted nothing more that to be with my Lucy and make sure everything was going ok. 

Steve was very good at keeping me informed of all the excitement when at about 2:00, she started delivering again.  Back and forth we texted, 4 kittens!, no wait! Make that 5! Here comes the 6th!  It was like that scene in 101 Dalmations, when the cook and Anita kept popping out of the kitchen announcing to Roger each time another puppy was born.  I found myself listening intently for the sound my phone makes when a text comes through, while trying desperately to focus on my work.

But,wow, what a great job our Lucy did.  All 6 are healthy and so very cute.  And our little Lucy is so very tired.  Five of them are dark with at least 3 of them having stripes on their faces, bellies and faces (confirming our suspicions on who the daddy is) and just one is light grey with stripes like it’s momma.  We will have such a hard time choosing which one we’ll keep.

Here’s a little peek at a couple of them. 


The kids are already trying to figure out how to name them all.  Here are Ava’s choices so far: Lila, Pila and Tila, Princess, Tinkerbell and Pillow.  Austin is still pondering.  Hopefully, by the time we find out if they’re boys or girls, they’ll have actually come up with some names that wont get them kicked off the kitty playground

Well, it’s late and I have to be up early so I’m off to bed.  Since tomorrow is my day off, I’ll try to post a few more pics of the kitties and let you see some of the fun projects from CU.

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