Friday, December 28, 2007

New Hero Arts Card Class

The new classes at Cranberry Hill are now being posted. This will be my first class of the year from the Hero Arts Clear Design set "Cupcakes". All the images used in my class are from one set, which I think is a first for me! As soon as I get confirmation on the dates in January I will post it.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Day

On Christmas day my whole family (which includes cousins and friends) have what we like to call the annual "Itatani Food Fest". With over 60 people stopping by to start eating at noon and then again at 5:00, it takes a lot of planning and many cooks in various kitchens. My sister Judy, known as "the General" heads up the operations with to do lists and hour by hour check off lists. My husband Doug makes the turkey at our house with his special salt brining process - makes it moist and tasty. He also makes squash rolls (bread) something his Mom was famous for. I wasn't able to get a picture of all the food on the table because once everything was uncovered people started eating.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Finally finished the wall

Every since we finish our remodel (over 8 years now) I've had a big blank wall. It was left blank to one day put a very flat screen t.v. on the wall. I have been waiting for the technology to get to the point that the screens are paper thin. We haven't had a t.v. in our house for about 15 years. I threw it out when our kids were little since nothing was worth watching. I've been searching for over size items to fill the wall ever since. I finally found some clocks at a price I was willing to pay. So you ask where will the flat screen go now that I filled the wall? I plan to get the cabinet that will lower and raise the screen when needed. No need to keep it out all the time and they are thin enough now to fit behind a cabinet.

Latest Auction Finds - Blacksmith tools

I went to an auction this past weekend and came home with a truck load of vintage blacksmith forging tools. You may ask why would a city girl buy over 100 pieces of old foundry tools? I thought I was buying an interesting retirement gift for a friend who will be retiring from the fire department this month. After getting home, I found out that I got welding and forging mixed up. Mike is going to learn to welded not forging. Hey is all has to do with hot metal right? Anyone interested in unusual camp fire marshmallow holders, super sized hot dog sticks, bean poles? :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Santa Collector

This is the year for handmade gifts. One of my best buddies, Anne Berry made this Santa table runner for me. I'm a big Santa collector and Anne knew I would just love this pattern. I plan to hang it on the wall since my husband has been known to spill things. I love visiting Anne's house because where ever you sit, there is a craft project in progress or interesting book to read.


My sister-in-law, Marilyn Turkett (Needle in the Pines) made this beautiful quilt for us! It was such a surprise when we opened the package this weekend. Not only is she a great quilter but she has one awesome sewing studio. The studio is so large that there is a corner space for her husband to hang out with her that includes a recliner and T.V. Can you tell I have studio space envy? One day I will have a studio with a big red leather sofa and large windows.

New Stamps from Hero Arts

Hero Arts has shipped out their new stamps and Cranberry Hill has the first wave of stamps in stock. Now that they have been released, I will be designing some new class for January 2008. The first class will be a Happy Birthday class with cupcake theme (CL158 Clear Design - Cupcakes) and a thank you class with an animal theme (CL153 Clear Design - Happy Day Animals. I also have a super surprise Asian card class on the burner. Hopefully the samples will be done by the end of February. It will be an advance class because the level of detail required.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Knitting Theme

It's been a busy month of haunting auction houses. I found a lot of fun stuff that is now in my booths at Cranberry Hill and Cottage Crafts. During the boring hours between lots, I knit. Since I only know how to knit (working on how to purl) I can only make scarves. I'm a big fan of stamps with knitting and animal themes. Again in my effort to use up the scraps on my work table, I made these quick cards.
The chicken is a Penny Black stamp and the cat is from Stampendous

Kitty Cat

Another quick cat card using scraps on the work table. Cat stamp is from Printworks and Naughty or Nice? from Cat's Pajamas. Speaking of cats, I finally had to move another computer chair into my studio. Purrcy (my cat) was not happy when I took it out last month. He protested the removal by sitting on my paper cutter whenever I was working. Now everyone is happy. Purrcy has his leather chair to nap in and I don't have paw print surprises on my papers.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Another Zindorf

This is one reason you should join Split Coast Stampers! Michelle Zindorf (one of my favorite designers) made this card for the members only site. I love how she makes interesting backgrounds and the use of the snow flake punch.

Mrs Claus

Another great doll by Carol Kennedy. I just love the detail she puts into her work. Carol is also working on setting up a blog site, so I will be able to link you directly. She makes special dolls for every holiday and you won't want to miss seeing those. She has booth at Cranberry Hill in Sunnyvale is you want to see them in person.

Coming Home

After being on deployment for over a year, my son is finally on his way home. I believe they are in route now and should be here some time on Thursday!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Frosty 1 2 3

These cards are from the Stampin Up "Frosty" set. It's an old stamp set that is still available. The first card is an easy and quick card to make. Chalking and a few embellishments. The second one has a brushed ink background, then heat embossed with silver. Frosty is cut out and pop dotted. The third card's background is done with a VersaMark resist and double matted. The silver cord is tied with snowflakes from Hero Arts.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bamboo Tiles

I picked up some bamboo tiles over the weekend and started playing with them. I had to break out my stash of Staz-On inks. It's very interesting what the ink does on the bamboo tiles and the different shades of color you can get, if you don't mind getting stained finger tips! Having a great time experimenting! I'm going to try alcohol inks this afternoon.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Picture Worth a Thousand Words

Thank you to everyone who donated handmade cards for our troops overseas. I think this picture tells it all. The next round of cards (for Valentine's Day) are due on January 15, 2008
Need to add this is not a picture of my son. I believe his name is Mike and he took the picture for the Blue Star Moms and his wife.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Bamboo Tiles

I love to get surprises in the mail! Cindy Wixson (wife to one of my husband's childhood buddies) made this great ceramic fish for me. Cindy and Steve came out last month of a visit and had a marathon tour around Northern California. I knew Cindy was a great cook but I didn't know she was also a very talented painter. Now I find out she also does ceramic work!
I'm hoping that Cindy will come out next year and paint a custom mural on Miss Pinky for me. A major debate is going on at my house as to what the mural should include. The fish in on a bed of my latest alter art find - bamboo tiles. I will post photos of what I'm doing with them as soon as the paint dries.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Santa Crow

Went in to Cranberry Hill today to stock my booth with the latest auction goodies. Carol Kennedy was bringing in her Christmas dolls. When she put this doll out, I just had to have it. How many people do you know have a Santa Crow?
I added the little rhinestone pin - we all know crows like things that sparkle.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Abalone Diving

Every Thanksgiving we go to my Aunt's house. It's a big clan gathering so everyone brings something to share. We decided to go up to Salt Point State Park before the abalone season closes (at the end of this month) to bring some fresh "abs" for dinner. We drove up on Monday and went diving on Tuesday and Wednesday. It was picture perfect weather and the diving conditions were great! The picture above was taken standing on the cliff the guys had to hike down. Not a bad view at all.
We have been camping at the park for over 30 years and remember the days when the park only had a outhouse. It is sure different camping with a travel trailer instead of a tent. Last night one of the other groups camping there set-up a full size movie screen outside and played a movie for all the kids. Yes, they finished the movie before 9:00 p.m.

Miss Pinky

After searching for over a year, I finally found a small vintage travel trailer. A 14' 1968 Aloha travel trailer. In my part of the world, they are very hard to find. I was really lucky to spot this one on Craig's list and to have it be only a few minutes away from my house. The previous owner was a women who painted it light pink. I liked the color (much to my husband's embarrassment) and decided to call her "Miss Pinky". The interior is fake brown fur with pink and brown spot curtains. We went up to Salt Point this week to go abalone diving and took Miss Pinky with us.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Crafty idea

This was to darn crafty for me not to post it. Michelle Zindorf (Split Coast Stampers design team member) made this for the members only site. I like the rustic look and can see how it can be a great way to customize a gift for someone.

Christmas Trees

This is one of my favorite creative muse - Michelle Zindorf. She is now on the Spilt Coast Stampers design team. If you not a member, you should sign up now other wise you will miss seeing great cards like this one! I can't give the directions since it's for members only, but I can tell you it's take time and talent to get this card to look this good.
Sure wish Michelle would get a blog site set up so I can link you directly to all her great cards!

Sunday, November 18, 2007


This was another auction week for me. Didn't get to attend the auction so I had to do silent and phone bids. I was surprised when I went to pick up my other lot that I also got this one. It had several other pieces in it, but I really wanted this cat. It has a chewed ear (it's not a chip) and bandaged tail - too cute! I also got a late 18th century bird cage that was the coolest thing. I decide to take it into the store and use it as a display piece. I had big plans to bring it home when no one bought it after six months. I no sooner got it into my booth when someone wanted to buy it! I'm sorry I didn't at least get a picture of!

Monday, November 12, 2007

One Stamp Three Designs

One of my favorite departments in the Take Ten magazine is the "Different Point of View" section. It's always fun to see what other people would do with the same stamp. I had some down time tonight, so I made these cards. Didn't do anything really "out there" with them since I didn't want to make a big mess that I would have to clean up in the morning. I also had used only the scraps and left overs I have on my work table - I did have a lot to pick from :)
Stamp is from the Hero Arts Clear set.

Quick Card

This was another card I did for my card class at the Yu Ai Ki (Japanese Senior Center) last week.
It's a really easy card and only takes a few minutes to make. The background is done with the Cuttlebug machine and embossing folder. The scallop circles are done with punches and the stamp is a Stampin Up set.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Auction Goodies

This has been a busy week. We finally had some good luck at the auction houses. I picked up a lot that had these cute bee honey pots that I couldn't resist bidding on! For the last few months we have been haunting auction houses and have not found anything interesting. :( Last week we hit the mother lode! Several lots came home with us and had to be processed (sorted, cleaned and tagged) to get them into our booths at Cranberry Hill and Cottage Crafts. Purrcy loves it when the hallway and living room has boxes stacked everywhere. If he's not in a box or attacking the tissue paper, he's sitting on top of the highest pile waiting for someone to walk by and rub his ears.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Another Christmas Card

I'm thinking of doing a class with a knitting theme. Found these little sweaters at Cranberry Hill and thought it would be funny to make a card. I was going to use the stamp "Knit Happens" by A Muse but went with a more general holiday theme. I added the snowflake sequin (by Hero Arts) and silver thread from my stash of fiber.

Christmas Card

This is one of the cards the ladies will be making at the Yu Ai Ki Senior Center. I teach a free card class once a month for the members. We make a total of four cards in an hour, so the design has to be on the simple side.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Turkey Boy

One of my creative mentors, Carol Kennedy made this great doll a few years ago. I bought it for a friend who was allergic to turkey. His family would serve turkey at Thanksgiving and he got a peanut butter sandwich. I've been begging Carol to make another one for me and here he is!

Carol makes great alter dolls (not the scary over the top type) with a humorous touch. She is also an antique dealer so she's able to add some interesting touches from her found treasures.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Halloween is one of my favorite holidays!
I made this card last year using alcohol inks for the background and Twinkling H2O for the cat background. The ghost is a Quickutz die with a layer of Diamond Glaze. The cat is embossed with ultra fine embossing power.

Pumkin Contest

My daughter Evan with her pumpkin she carved for a contest at work.

Monday, October 29, 2007

New Card

As I was boxing up hundreds of donated cards for the troops, I decided to make one for those coming home.
I didn't want to make it look too much like a Christmas card, so I kept the colors neutral.
The inspiration came from a card I saw on the A Muse Rubber Stamp website.
The saying is computer generated (Hogwartz font) and Quickutz wreath dies.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


People have been asking for a picture of my fur baby Purrcy. He's my little shadow when I'm working at home. I've been getting a lot of requests for more cat theme classes. The dog people are barking at me to do one for them. I find that dog lovers are harder to please when it comes to what images I use in class. Cat people don't care as long as it has whiskers. :)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Beaded Bee Card

This is the Beaded Bee card people will make in my "Bee Happy" class in November.
I will be making the little bee for everyone to save time. It's really easy to put together but without good light could make people a little cranky.

Bee Happy Class

This is the group shot of the seven cards for my "Bee Happy" class next month at Cranberry Hill.

November 3 & 13, both classes 12:00 - 2:00.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Asian Theme Class

This is the group shot of the cards we will be making in my November class at Cranberry Hill. We will only be doing eight cards since some of them take a little more time to put together.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Asian Theme - New Class

I just finished designing 8 new cards for my "Asian" theme class. This is one of the most requested class customers ask for. See my class listing for the date and times. I got the idea for this card from the latest Take Ten magazine. Someone did a card with rain boots and I thought it would be funny to make a pair of Getas (Japanese type sandals) to match my theme. The rest of the cards for the class are more traditional looking. As soon as I confirm the dates, I will post a group shot of all the cards.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Senior Center Cards

Once a month I volunteer down at the Yu Ai Kai Senior Center in San Jose teaching free card making classes.

It's always a challenge to come up with designs that are creative but not to hard to make. We make four cards in an hour - which is pretty fast. I do a lot of prep for the class to make sure my morning class doesn't miss lunch. :)

Great group of ladies, always on time and excited about making cards.

Monday, October 8, 2007

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie

If you know the story about the little mouse that asks for a cookie, then you know what happens when you start one project that leads into something else until everything starts to snowball. After being the high bidder on my new printer's cabinet (picture on the left) I had to find a place for it in my house. I decided it should go into my little studio but as you can see in the center photo, I already have a large printer's cabinet. So in order to get it in to my studio, I did a massive clean-up. As I was in the middle of doing all that, I moved the top part of a hutch I had out in the garage (something I was going to use as a store display) into the room for extra storage. I still had the bottom part of the hutch, so I dragged that into the living room and decided that room needed to be rearranged too! My husband thought it would be a good time to take my Dad out to lunch and get out of the mess. Today I went out to get a few more storage drawers when I walked passed some area rugs. They didn't have my drawers but I did find a nice rug for the kitchen and under the dining room table. So in the process of getting my new printer's cabinet, my studio has been cleaned up (happy dance), the living room has been rearranged and dining area updated. I still have a few more boxes to sort but I'm thinking my master bedroom is looking a bit neglected. :)
As you can tell not a lot card making has been going on in my world but I hope to get back to it by the end of the week.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Weekend Update

It was a very busy day at Cranberry Hill were I did make-n- takes all day to celebrate National Card Making Day. Customers got to make a different card every hour the store was open.

Thank you to everyone who brought in blank cards for our troops. The donation box will be at the store for another week, so you still have time to drop off you cards. Please visit the Blue Star Moms website if you would like to donate anything else for our troops overseas.

While setting up for the make-n-takes, I made a phone bid (and WON) on this great printer's cabinet at a local auction house. It's a skinny version of the larger one I already have. They don't come up for auction very often and this one is in great shape! I just couldn't pass it up. It may hold my future stamps or all the small ephemera I collect in my auction house hauntings. Can't wait to get it home and fill it up!

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Big Boys

Yes this is a real picture of how close I was to one of the big boy lions in South Africa. Three young male lions were kicked out of their pride to start their own family. Still a little too young to go it alone our guide said that two were probably brothers and the third one was a born into the pride. They were following a herd of water buffalo waiting for dinner.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Busy Weekend

It was one busy weekend for me! On Saturday I went to a rubber stamp show planning on only buying a hot dog and tagging along with my card making buddies. The first stop in my "not going to buy anything" trip was at "Penny Michelle's" booth that had these too cute sterling silver and handmade bead jewelry. O.K. it's not really rubber stamps, so I wasn't breaking my "no buying" oath. I thought they were just too fun not to bring home and I just couldn't pass up the cat one, that looks just my little Lucy. Well, that started the whole creative process going and I ended up buying a ton of stamps and background paper for my up coming Asian and bee theme classes.

On Sunday I went to help out at my cousin's HUGE garage sale where several families participate. I'm always amazed at how much stuff we can all collect! My cousins love to shop for clothes (that was one family gene I did not inherit) so there were tons of clothes left over. They know I donate my work clothes to the "Career Closet" a local nonprofit organization that provides interview-quality professional clothing at no charge to economically disadvantaged women. My truck is filled to the top with great clothes heading off to "Career Closet" in the morning.

Friday, September 28, 2007

One of the birds (Bee Eater) in Africa

This picture was taken by my traveling buddy Gayle when we went to South Africa this summer. I took an older digital camera on the the trip, so it was too slow to get any really good pictures of things that moved fast. Gayle's sweetheart of a husband got her this great camera (that didn't weigh a ton) just for this trip. He said it would be a once in a life time photo opt, so she should have the best. He was so right!
When these birds fly by, it's like seeing a little rainbow. The colors are amazing and some of my favorite to work with. When people ask me what inspires my work - this is a good example. Think Twinkling H2O watercolors.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Savvy Cat Stamp

Here is a close up photo of the Cat and Moon make and take card. The problem I had with the image was the fence was too short and nothing I did looked right. After sleeping on it (the idea not the the stamp) I had to make the fence longer. Not sure if you can see the fence is strips of black card stock that are pop dotted up. It took a little practice to cut the pop dots small enough so they wouldn't show. Those little suckers can really fly!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My CJ Layout

I'm part of the great "drama free" circle journal group that has been together now for almost 3 years. We have so much fun together that we keep thinking up new things to scrapbook.
For this round we are to make the same two page layout for everyone in the group. Everyone gets a turn at picking the theme and details for the layout. The theme for this round was to use only what we had in our current stash, fall colors and 5 tags. I had a real hard time coming up with how to include the tags not being a tag person unless it has the word "sale" on it. The blank white sections are for the other ladies to add their own pictures. It's going postal today.

How do I store all my rubber stamps?

Several years ago, I walked into a auction house in Pacific Grove, CA and saw this great printer's cabinet. At first I thought it could hold all my scrapbooking embellishments but it soon became home to all my rubber stamps. Yes, all 50 drawers have stamps or embellishments in them. The center drawers hold rolls of ribbon and other taller items. I'm still on the look out for another printer's cabinet for the day when this one runs out of room.