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Updated: 2018-03-07T07:17:19.430-08:00


What I'm working on



Alright, so it's an older photo, but it's still one of my favorites. Today I used my photo editing skills (thank you Jessica Sprague and Erin Cobb) to clean up this little fellow. Then I created
my own little watermark (so official looking!) It still takes me a while to go through all the steps for printing and preparing for internet, but it is getting faster!

I think on this photo I was very lucky. Most of my photos from 2009 aren't worth editing. I'll try to post some more recent photos soon!

A quick Silver Bella Tour


I know, I know, this post is long coming. I had to work some long shifts immediately upon coming home, then Thanksgiving, then the dull drudgery of Christmas shopping (OK, the shopping was enjoyable ;). First off, you gotta love these adorable top hats made by Cari Kraft : Most Bellas start their trip by getting a shopping fix at Second Chance Antiques: I scored a hat for vendor night, an embroidered blue silk with purple velvet:Always old friends to meet and new friends to make (here with Amy Powers, Heather Buhaj, and Kathi Pilar)We don't go away hungry, the chef made these special for our last dinner together:Swaps are a favorite part of the whole Bella event, isn't this bee crown the best?Did I mention shopping?And finally, bringing home our precious pieces to display for our families:Thanks for peeking into my trip![...]

Itty Bitty Sneak Peek


Leaving for Omaha on Wednesday, and my final swap is finished! These pretty Bella waterlilies are packaged and ready to go. (image) Now I just have to get the rest of me ready!



Blogging has been difficult for me on so many levels lately. Generally speaking, work has been taking up too much of my time. Not enough time with my family, let alone creative free time.(image)
Mostly I've just felt guilty. I just don't have the energy or desire to put into creating things for my etsy shoppe. And I know I associate writing here with my creations, therefore I fear I have nothing to share.
But I am not unfulfilled. I have finally dusted off my Photoshop Elements 7 and am attempting to learn digital scrapbooking. So far this is going very slowly. I think I am going to be sidetracked soon into using PSE to edit photos. I have been very enamored with photography lately (desiring so immensly a new Canon-either a used 40D or, in my dreams, a 5DM2) and absolutely drooling over the gorgeous photo actions I've discovered in my new blog travels.
So, alas, my ribbon dying days may be in the past (who knows, though- I've got buckets loads of dye). Perhaps I will come back and share some photos. I still have Silver Bella lined up for November, and just finished my 15 book pages for the Vintage Beach Bella Fat Book. Now that's something I need a photo of!
Just an interesting side note: I love my birthday. It was incredibly cool this year to have it on 10/10 of 2010! And I received some great photography gear to boot!

Blossom Sugar Wafers


Life has been slowly coming back to some semblance of normal. Our computer has suffered a few glitches in the rebuild, then a few days with our U-verse lines down. My work schedule is becoming routine, and I finally feel like my creative soul can peek out once again.(image) While I know I have a few projects planned out (still hoping to do a matching line for Dear Lizzy) I'm mostly starting with whatever moves me, just to get back into the swing of creating. I have a few new Button Blossoms in the shoppe tonight.

Technical Difficulties


What do you get when you add a do-it-yourself-non-techie husband with an infected hard drive? A computer that has been physically removed from my home so that it can be tested at his workplace (where the true techies are) since the beginning of April.

Ugh- I've had no access to documents, downloads, major software, photos and applications for over 5 weeks. I even purchased a new iTouch to replace the iTunes that crashed last November and can't do a thing with it! At least DH has finally admitted defeat (if I hear "just let me try one more thing" one more time I will scream!) and is listening to the so-called techies advice to just reinstall the hard drive.

So, hopefully I will be back in business soon!

Ribbon Rosettes for Spring


Has it really been a month? I must admit that Library of Memories is keeping me busy, but I am still super thrilled with the progress we are making toward better kept memories and stories.
It's been hinted that I needed a few more items up in my shoppe, and the rosettes are still top requested. I hope to have some of these beauties up in the next few days!(image)

Except maybe that last one- it's may be a keeper! I'll see how much more of that ribbon I have left to make more.

What Goes Around


Thank you again to all who posted their favorite scrapbooking lines last month on my blog candy post! At around the same time that I did that, Allison Davis of CK fame had blog contest of her own. Her contest involved four days where she shared a new layout each day based on just one sketch. Each layout was so different from the others based on techniques, embellishments and substutions made. She did a very thorough job teaching what she had done to each of the layouts that made them unique. She invited readers' comments each day and gave away a few of her sketch books from a drawing of those comments. I got to be a lucky winner! I had just purchased a few volumes, and was thrilled to have another.

I love Allison's sketches (and those of her mother Debbie Sanders, also featured in the sketch books) because they use a neutral background, help with pattern papers, and placement of embellishments. Yet they are totally adaptable. Here are a few pages I did with one of the sketches. (Yes, I plan to journal, this is a theme album I will journal all at one time to keep the flow continuous)



Thank you Allison! You can find links to her store (Scrapbook Generation) and sketch volumes through her blog .



While preparing for a class at Debbie Hodge's Get It Scrapped, she asked us to take an online exam to determine which side of our brain was more dominant, left or right (or being more logical vs creative). I'm just glad to think that it believes I have one :) !

Here are my results:

Thank you for taking the Creativity Test. The results show your brain dominance as being:
Left Brain 59%
Right Brain 41%

You are more left-brained than right-brained. Your left brain controls the right side of your body. In addition to being known as left-brained, you are also known as a critical thinker who uses logic and sense to collect information. You are able to retain this information through the use of numbers, words, and symbols. You usually only see parts of the "whole" picture, but this is what guides you step-by-step in a logical manner to your conclusion. Concise words, numerical and written formulas and technological systems are often forms of expression for you. Some occupations usually held by a left-brained person include a lab scientist, banker, judge, lawyer, mathematician, librarian, and skating judge.

Blog Candy Winner


Thanks to everyone who left comments on my blog! Using a random number generator, #4 was chosen:

Cori said...
Gorgeous, Jen! I love the new Sugar Rush and Origins lines from BG. The new Kioshi is going to be one of the first I would like too.
January 22, 2010 5:39 PM

Send me your address Cori to redpaperjen at and I'll get those ribbons and flowers out to you!

A New Year


Things seem different this year. Even as it starts I know some things have changed. One of the big things for me is that the Year of Color blog is over. I was able to focus much of my art from inspiration led by the blog. I was also able to participate in several outstanding swaps through it. I hope to be able to find more swaps to be a part of, but it seems I'm always finding them AFTER the deadlines. I also still need to finish one project from Silver Bella last November, and I was inspired and motivated even from sign ups late spring. Hopefully this will return when I see the class list for this year, I truly hope to be able to participate again!

But with the lack of mixed media focus, my attention has once again shifted to the scrapbook paper arena. Basic Grey has always been a favorite line of mine, and I've been able to dabble in color chemistry on two new collections based on "Nook and Pantry" and "Origins". Of course I started with ribbons! I also loved expirmenting with dyeing paper flowers, dictionary papers, and crepe. Both lines are now in my etsy.

Summer Apricot:
(image) Moss:

(image) Leave me a post telling me about your favorite pieces, or what lines you'd like to see next and I'll draw a name next week Friday (Jnauary 29th) for a free set of Summer Apricot ribbons and Paper Botanicals!

Catching my Breath


Ah, the end of Christmas break. So much has been cleaned, wrapped, unwrapped, eaten. We even spent a fun day at our Frederik Meijer Gardens, a local family botanical center with a fabulous Christmas display.(image) My Dearest Husband and son love the miniature train displays.
(image) And the girls and I love the Chrismas trees from around the World display. A very lovely afternoon spent.

I've been doing several highly involved journaling challenges that have been consuming much of my writing time, but several of those will be wrapped up shortly. I've also laid out the dyes and ribbons/flowers to start a new year in the etsy shoppe. Hopefully soon I will be releasing dyed embellishments for Basic Grey's Nook & Pantry and Origins.

Christmas at Sleepy Hollow


Sleepy Hollow Botanical Gardens have done it again! Their magical gardeners have performed their wonders in creating these new hybrids of the peppermint variety, perfect for the holiday season. These particular specimens come from their most hardy bushes, the Ribbon Candies.(image)

(image) These magnificent selections will be forthcoming in the etsy shoppe! Once again we thank Eileen and Star of Star's Fault for their lovely tutorial found here.

Lineage of Love with Pam Garrison


Lineage of Love was actually my first class at Silver Bella. I'll admit I swum against the tide of everyone else's use of cabinet cards and other antique photos by using contemporary photos of my family from last Christmas. Although I love the beauty of old photos and fashions, I knew I would appreciate more an assemblage that contained my family. That and if I messed things up it wouldn't cost too much to replace these photos.(image) I wasn't able to complete this project in class, so I was able to add some Christmas tidbits that I picked up recently, and pretty tinsels and more ribbons.
I currently have the finished piece resting on one of our living room bookcases.
Here is our fabulous teacher, Pam Garrison, with a student who wired a very large banner.

(image) There were a number of very unique banners, some showing a baby aging through adulthood, some with themed photos (costume, Christmas). You easily see individual style coming out in the projects. Thanks Pam!

Pecan Pies are done!


and the Fuzzy Navel Jello Salad (with peach schnapps, of course), vegetable tray, coconut squash (a souffle), and cornbread. We're off to my parents house tomorrow after church, with extra chairs and one golden retriever. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Silver Bella Shadowbox Class and Bracelet Class


My last class at Silver Bella was the Bundle Up Birdie Class with mohair artist Jennifer Murphy. We used pompoms, real twigs and acorn caps for Birdie. I took special care with the music paper when I adhered it to remind myself to make sure I built my box right side up. The music, of course, is now upside down. (image) Jennifer Murphy's example had two banners, but I had seen someone use the phrase Baby It's Cold Outside. I adore that song (especially in the movies Elf and Esther William's Neptunes Daughter) so I had to snag it for my box. I finished most of this project in class, but took it home to add the pink mica before I hotglued Birdie in.

The other class I took Saturday was Kaari Meng's (French General) bracelet class. She has the most relaxing voice and was very patient explaing the how-tos for us novice jewelry makers. I've had no experience making jewelry, but have loved browsing her site for the visuals. I was able to complete this class entirely (whereupon I rewarded myself with a pretty polka dot jewelry kit from French General). There was a second portion of the bracelet that could be made, but I liked the way it was at this point. Sadly I lost the horseshoe charm that was glued to the large pearl rectangle, but everything else is still there. My favorite is the red glass raspberry on the far right.

(image) I love the colors in this kit, the cranberry reds, pinks, and pearls blend beautifully. I've been able to wear this quite a few times already!

Hodge Podge Journal with Rebecca Sower


My first class Saturday morning was the Hodge Podge Journal with the sweet and down to earth Rebecca Sower. She led us through papering our covers, building the collage and hardware, with interesting details such as the cheesecloth sandwich.(image) We used her vintage 2 hole punch for the covers and the papers inside. Rebecca gave us much of the papers inside, including the nice weight watercolor papers. We were able to add any of our favorite papers to her provisions. I love the vintage bingo card from my roomie Sue
(image) Odd bits are what makes the hodge podge quite unique.

I try to remind the girls I teach that there aren't any mistakes in art, just opportunities for being creative. I had punched the wrong end of my back cover. Now I have a cute bit of lace on that end!


I was able to finish most of this in class (I only had to add the ribbons to the rings when I got home). I plan on using this piece for an art journal. Thanks Rebecca!

Silver Bella Vintage Circus Fat Book Swap


One of the most fabulous things about being a Bella is the mega swaps that were started last summer. Some of the swaps were mailed in ahead of time and some were brought directly to the convention. The Vintage Circus Fat Book is definitely one of the most amazing swaps I've had the opportunity to be a part of. Hosted by Wanda of The Rat's Pajamas, fifteen participants each created fifteen 5x5 inch pages. We mailed these in ahead of Silver Bella, so Wanda could put them together for us.(image) The front of my page is on the right (the backs of the pages were decorated as well).
(image) All pages can be seen on Silver Bella's flickr!

What Jo Creates


At Silver Bella's Saturday afternoon's luncheon we had the most amazing opportunity to hear Jo Packham of Where Women Create speak. I have loved WWC from the book and have it and all the magazines, discovering many favorite artists from within them. Jo gave us many insiteful tips on submitting to the magazine, and also a heartfelt speech about the insecurities of well known people such as herself. (If you have the chance to meet this amazing woman, be sure to take the opportunity to introduce yourself!)

On our plates before the luncheon was served we found these simply wrapped boxes. All of us (at about 200 ladies)! Miss Sweet Jo herself had created each and every one of us a beaded bookmark, the key is engraved with WWCreate, with an inspiring message inside the box.(image) MAY YOU ALWAYS FIND NEW DREAMS TO CALL YOUR OWN, NEW ROADS TO TRAVEL, NEW DOORS TO UNLOCK.... All that I do is created From a Woman's Soul, Through a Woman's Eyes, By a Woman's Hands.
Jo Packham

I found it amazing that she had taken the time to create so many of these from her heart to women that for the most part, she did not know. I am touched by her generosity. Thank you so much Jo! (And my bookmark has already made it through the pages of one book, now residing briefly in a second, soon to enter the latest issue of Where Women Create!)

Silver Bella Vendor Fair


Warning, eye candy overload. Friday night at Silver Bella involved wearing our dashing aprons, getting our hands stamped by Teresa's son and husband, and large amounts of drooling. I couldn't even get past the first vendor, Vintage by Crystal, without purchasing. I have a few of her tiny creations. This time I brought home a small girl on the back of Lucky, Santa's newest reindeer- a rescued vintage ornament. Here is a small part of Crystal's booth.I wish I could remember who this kind lady was, she had some very pretty old paper and cotton santas! (Thank you to Wanda, who reminded me this booth belongs to Jocelyn of the Painted Fern!)Annalise of Sugar*Sugar's houses were all sold instantly- aren't they gorgeous!A crown from Whim & Fancy. She will hopefully have her reindeer kits up soon in her etsy shoppe.Bit's and pieces from the likes of Raised In Cotton, Curiousofa, and more...This pretty shop Willow Nest, needs to be begged up to open up an online source! I found many pretty baubles, especially a new favorite (mercury beads).A snap from Jenni Bowlin's boothJennifer Murphy (with the youngun) and her Mother, also a bear maker.Here Kari Ramstrom (ArtsyMama) is seeking treasures from Heather of Speckled Egg (I found a few treasures myself)Needless to say I have hoarded a massive amount of sparkly bits and millinery, sprinkled with vintage paper and a little pink birdy from this lovely lady.I hope to post more on my classes soon, but I am trying to finish a few of the more detailed projects to share with you also! [...]

Bella Social Events


Being a Bella is more than just crafty goodness and shopping, we loved meeting each other in various venues. Here I am with my roomies Kris and Sue Our first gathering was and Italian Buffet on Thursday evening. We tried spotting our favorite paper arts bloggersSwap night was a very hyped (hyper?) social outlet. Glitter and Sugar giving everyone the giggles, and lots of eye candy in the form of supply and art exchanges.I knew there were a number of people I wanted to meet (bloggers that I've posted comments with, shop owners, and great teachers). I found many of them on vendor night, including the sweet Jenni Bowlin (and thanks to her hubbie Jared for shooting the photo!)Vendor night was where we all wore our Bella theme aprons, too. I almost missed getting a photo of mine, a perky sheer hostess apron found at Second Chance Antiques (next blog post). Black with metallic gold dots and velvet sash!Another large luncheon, with centerpieces by Cari Kraft, and carrot cake and red velvet cake for dessert!Even more photos to come![...]

Before the Bellas - Shopping In Omaha


I hope to show you many of the things I saw and did while in Omaha- every single moment was amazing! I came in extremely late at night on Wednesday, so the fun started Thursday morning. My two roomates, Kris and Susan went into the Old Market district. I love the old buildings and architecture, and the fun outdoor decor of the shoppes as they beckoned us inside. Second Chance Antiques was a destination for many of the Bellas. I fell in love with this piece, but left it behind (knowing that packing for home would be difficult enough) I knew someone would love it as much as I and it would find a new home soon.I did spoil myself with many new crystal chandelier drops- but forgot to grab a cobalt one (in the dish on top)! Already I see another trip to Omaha in my future.One of the permanent residents of Second Chance.Look at all these lovely vintage music sheets!Our first celebrity sighting. I'll take a picture with anyone holding a Reese'More sights...Some of the shopping was underground!This little hidden alley is indoors, and we are standing below street level.[...]

Fab Shab Blossom in Artful Blogging


Only one more day until I hop aboard the train that'll whisk me away to the fabulous Silver Bella retreat. Aside from the fact my iPod will not cooperate with being charged and synced I seem to be fairly ready. I made a last minute run to the big M's last night to gather a few more supplies. I always love to check out their magazine selection, Stampington's lines being my favorites. I picked up the latest Artful Blogging because I knew Kari Ramstrom had written an article on her a Year of Color blog.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear...(image) My photo, done for the fabulously shabby blossoms/nests tutorial on the blog, on the bottom of the title page!

My jaw hit the floor when I saw that, but the other shoppers at M's didn't seem to know that the whole world had stopped for a minute. Aren't they silly?

Bits and Bobs


Finally, a few more pretties. This time inspired by the Christmas favorite "Raindrops on Roses". I've started with two colorways for my collection "Brown Paper Packages". They aren't tied up with strings, though! The first colorway is Whiskers on Kittens.(image)
I also wanted to invoke the feeling of the fleeting autumn in "With the Moon on Their Wings"(image)
I also did "Whiskers" in specialty ribbons- velvets and curls! and an embellishment set. I couldn't resist the red shoes in the backdrop. But, alas, the Princess Royale still needs to wear these through the holidays, so I'm not sharing those!

Velvet Ribbon


Hmmff! I've been waiting for about 2 weeks since I placed a wholesale order for more velvet ribbon that I've needed for some upcoming etsy or other projects. Finally called them today to ask about said order and it's backordered til next week! Thanks for letting me know, Mr. Company.

I'm hoping to add more painted velvets and some more made-to-match lines soon, just waiting on the supplies!