Wednesday, October 31, 2018


One of the joys of living in our beautiful valley is the change of seasons, bringing inspiration and connecting creatives.

Every autumn we celebrate with a trip to Eddie Gordon's pumpkin farm, where we load up on pumpkins, apple cider and perhaps best of all, eye candy to inspire fresh art.

Eddie is a gifted artist himself and it shows up in his displays as well as his paintings.

Happy autumn!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Let's Make Tea Advent Calendars

I love Christmas, but only when it's home made. 
My family doesn't spend much on gifts but when it comes to something made with love- well, that's a sure way to my heart. Here's a peek at an easy, budget friendly gift you can make for friends and family this holiday season. 

This year I'm all about making tea themed advent calendars for my friends (and myself, too!) using my new Cuppa Coffee, Cuppa Tea and Sweet Christmas collections of crafting dies from Spellbinders Paper Arts.

I love quick projects and this one is so easy you can make something similar in minutes. 
No need for specific directions; just make it your own. Using paper cups makes it so simple.

I went to a restaurant supply and bought a package of the same type cups and lids you get at a coffee stand. Then I used a piece of lightweight paper to make a pattern, copying the shape of the cup. 
Use that pattern to cut paper you like, then glue it to the cup.

Cut tags and decorations, add to your cup, embellish with ribbon, inks and paper in any way that pleases you. You'll want to number your cups from 1-24 or 25, depending on how you like to celebrate Christmas. 

Tuck a tea bag into each cup and label the variety on the hang tag or back of the cup. It's fun to use different types of tea, and I like to add a scripture or thought for the day and give myself a few minutes of quiet to anticipate the holiday quietly as I sip.

You might have noticed I used completely different themes for my decorations. You can almost always do this without hesitation and come up with a unified look because simply using the same strong color scheme carries it off.

This blog post is part of a creative blog hop by Spellbinders Paper Arts. 
You can see all the posts if you like by clicking here here.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Hiking the Pacific Northwest

"Real life," said Hans Christian Anderson, "is the best fairy tale."

He was right, wasn't he?

Yesterday I hiked Artist Point at Mount Baker, right near home. We are on that lovely cusp between summer and autumn, when nature is at its vibrant best.

Blueberries were everywhere and I ate them by the handful as we climbed the very steep shale to the top of Table Mountain, then descended toward the Chain Lakes.

Wishing you fresh air and brisk breezes as autumn arrives.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Planning ahead... Christmas Cookie Exchange

This is a special blog hop post for Spellbinders Paper Arts... after this feature you can hop over to another blog for more paper crafting fun if you’d like.

As soon as the weather changes I start thinking of autumn and winter fun.
But it's only fun if you plan ahead so there's no last minute time crunch.

Luckily my new Sweet Christmas crafting dies are just out from Spellbinders Paper Arts!  For me, the heart of the celebrations revolve around shared food, especially cookies. My grandma used to say cookies are made of butter and love. I agree and celebrate with plenty of both!

First up: invitations for the annual Christmas Cookie Exchange.
I love to keep it simple so I used the Love & Cookies die for the main image, adding a strip of decorative paper and a swash of striped washi tape.

True confession: I adore the recipe card set. I'm using it for everything this year.

It will be tucked into the vellum envelope to make the envelope just that much fancier.

If you come for the Christmas Cookie Exchange you'll get a little booklet like this with the recipes for everyone's cookie contributions and a box for taking home your cookies. I did the recipe booklet mock up two ways... which one should I use to bind the recipes together? Or both?

As always, each friend will go home with a lovely box of delicious festive cookies! I'm using the gingerbread boy die to make decorated boxes so everyone will go home with a special container.

And I promise not to be smug about the fact that I made it all without stress or rush in September so I can enjoy myself during the Christmas season! Hurrah for doing it ahead... 

You can order your dies here if you'd like these Sweet Christmas crafting dies. And more!

Monday, September 10, 2018

It was the summer of inspiration

Summer was glorious here, weeks and weeks of living outdoors, hiking, gardening, creating cut paper and painting and lettering until the wee golden hours faded into starry nights. 

The sound track was laughter and the trickle of melting ice, the gentle breeze in trees and the crunch of bike tires on gravel.


It was a long, sunny summer, now drawn to a quiet, happy close.
What will the next season bring?