Wednesday, November 18, 2009


As I sort through the 435 pictures I took on the cruise to start blogging about it, I thought I would post an update for November classes. We have several classes to choose from, so I'll list them with all pertinent info for those of you watching for the schedule.

This Saturday is open craft day here at the Conquest Paper Studio. I have kits for the Advent Calendar, another grunge wall hanging project, a grunge birthday book (Days to Celebrate) and a couple SpellBinder projects. There are also some monogrammed gift card tins too. It starts at 10a and runs until the last person leaves. We'll have access to my many tools and horde of products, those of you who know me well, know my stash is legendary. As usual, you'll receive discounts on products you order during the open craft days--deals so good, you can't afford to miss them! I will probably do another Open Craft day Thanksgiving weekend, so if you are interested in any of the classes, let me know, you can email or call [350-4569]. I've still got a few Tim tricks up my sleeves for several of these projects. These are all great gift projets. There are still Hobby Lobby classes, but I need to have at least 4 or 5 signed up to have the classes at the stores. Classes here at the Paper Studio go on no matter the number of people present. I'll post some more details tomorrow. Bring a friend and have some fun with us! Bring your basic class kit (wet and dry adhesive, sissors, sand paper, trimmer, ruler, pencil, black and white gel pens, dimensional foam (pop dots), brown or black ink to age with, and any Tim Holtz products you might have (like Distress Inks, ink blending tool, pads,

Keep the faith! What a wonderful time of year to be reminded about what that means!

Friday, November 13, 2009


OK, I'm kind of lame. Look down at the ground and kick the rocks lame. A pictureless posting shamer. That's me!

HOWEVER, I'm gonna work on it. Who goes on a Mexican Riviera Cruise WITH TIM HOLTZ and doesn't write or post anything? Well, that's about to be over. I was kind of waiting to let all the other Timites get there stuff up before I put up mine. It's a concerted effort to wait, but we're trying to stretch out the joy as long as we can! We're a merciless lot! Suffice it to say, THAT CRUISE WAS ALL THAT AND A BAG OF CHIPS! I met some new, wonderful friends, got my picture taken with Whoopie Goldberg and it doesn't stop there! Even high seas and a tropical depression didn't stop us! The projects were bumbalicious and Tim, Mario, Wendy, Rick and the whole gang at ScrapMap made this trip a cherished memory! Table 302 was the best IMO but Club 300 had it going on too! So many details and I'll try to get to everything. I even shot some video! Ooo-la-la what a trip! Tomorrow I will start at the beginning, and try to get it all in. However, I do have a few other things on my plate at the moment. Like visiting inlaws, class prep, CHA show prep among other tings...

Cliff's parents are in this week from Canada for a ten day stay. We love to have them here because who couldn't sit and listen to a British accent and not feel well traveled? All of my husbands family has it's roots in the UK, but also have folks scattered about. We're having some beautiful weather, at least for the next several days, a goood Indian Summer. So on that note, I'm going to vacate my post (ha ha) and get all kinds of busy. Classes are coming up and I've been keeping Tim Holtz products stocked and there's so much to get done.

Before I stop for the night, I definitely have to get a shout out to my husband. I am SO BLESSED that Cliff is a part of my life. When I got home from the cruise, he had flowers, a box of Milkduds and clean house to meet me. He even rearranged the furniture in the bedroom, something I've been wanting to do for a long time, and he even wrapped some fall leave garlands around the four posters on the bed. WOW. What a guy! Honey, I love you with all my heart!With that,

Keep the faith!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I've been busy, busy, busy trying to get everything I need to do done before embarking on my Artful Cruise to Mexico with Tim Holtz and Wendy Vecchi! (Yes, I feel compelled to use the proper name for the cruise from ScrapMap) Oh my golly, am I EXCITED! Maybe a little TOO excited if you ask Cliff. Anywho, I've been busy ordering supplies and putting together kits for the classes which start the week I return from Mexico. Seriously, I think Tim and Wendy bought every spec of Idea-ology out there, not to mention Ranger products! Boy, are we gonna have some fun with all things inky! Tim has our Yahoo Group for the trip whipped almost to a frenzy with excitement as he and Wendy both tease us about what they have in store for us and our workshops. And shopping? Oh my YES! All the latest from Idea-ology, Ranger, Stamper's Anonymous, 7 Gypsies, Graphic 45 and Maya Road! Do you think I am going to come back with some Timmy and Wendy classes for you? You betcha! In fact, some are already scheduled... but you'll have to wait for the details!

Speaking of workshops, you can now pick up the class schedule for October (since we're IN October) for the two local Hobby Lobby stores. I'm offering a Spellbinder Pendant class and the Countdown to Christmas 16 x 20 calendar this month. Here are some brief descriptions of two of the classes. A version of the Calendar is on display now at the South Side store, fliers will be available soon.

(You all can't see this, but my big lilac point Himalayan just crawled up on my lap between me and my laptop (no grace needed here), laid down and curled up into a ball, stuck his face into the crook of my arm and is purring away as he takes a nap. How cute is that? Aside from the fact that I can't breath as he's mostly on my chest, and I can't move except to type and he lays his ears back—the Ears of Irritation—when I do that. Pewter wants complete compliance with his cutefulness. Oh, and I have a face full of long white cat hair to boot.) OK, back to class descriptions...

Spellbinder Ornament—make a beautiful snowflake ornament with pearl and ribbon accents using the new Spellbinder Pendant dies on your Cuttlebug! All the supplies are included but bring your standard scrapbooking kit (see description to the left). If you've ever wondered what Spellbinder Dies can do and how you might use them in your Cuttlebug, this is the class for you! You'll also see a demo of the Scor-Pal scoring tool. A must have for any card maker!
Cost is $8
Oct. 22 from 1-3p at the North Side store
Oct. 23 from 1p –3p at the South Side store
Nov. 23 from 6p–7:30p at the CK Home Studio
Nov. 24 from 6p –7:30p North Side store

Countdown to Christmas Calendar—A 16 x 20 Christmas calendar with removable boxes for goodies for the kids (or yourself)! A fun way to count down the days to Christmas. Uses DCWV Christmas Glitter pad, Cosmo Cricket Christmas paper or bring papers of your choice. This is a GORGEOUS project worth every penny and more, don't miss it! This project involves a little homework for the North Side store, but nothing too strenuous. EVERYTHING is supplied! Can be done in colors to match your decor, uses Christmas picks or Kaiser wood embellishments. Bring your standard scrapbook kit.
Cost is $30
Oct. 26 or Nov. 9 from 6p – 10p at the CK Home Studio
Oct. 27 or Nov. 10 from 5:30p – 7:30p North Side store
Oct. 29 or Nov. 12 from 1p – 3p North Side store
Oct. 30 or Nov. 13 from 1p – 5p South Side store

So, what about those Timmy classes? Let's just say in November and December we're going to do a little Decor Grunge! We'll be using all the new Tim Holtz products as well as his current products. We're going to sponge, smear, blend, stamp, staple, paint, glaze, sand, glitz, mist, heat, canvas, crackle, distress, ink and grunge our way to better art! A technique extravaganza that is going to knock your socks off! In case you haven't noticed, Hobby Lobby carries not only the Distress, Adirondack and Alcohol inks, but they now carry the Paint Dabbers, Sander, Stickles, Grungeboard, Tiny Attacher (better buy one now, you just might need it...), and other Ranger and Idea-ology products. With a coupon, what could be better? Or cheaper...

Just a reminder, don't forget to bring your scrapbook kit to class as we don't supply tools or adhesives unless specifically noted. These classes are always available for scheduling for private groups or events, and they may be offered at other times outside of Hobby Lobby store hours.

Keep the faith! ~Vicki

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Tam and I worked on the class list today. So many good ideas and so little time to make them. But for those of you wondering what we have up our sleeves, I list out the names of a few of the classes just to whet your appetite. We'll be doing some perennial favorites as well as some new, cool stuff. Read on!

Additionally, we're going to be doing some product demos at Hobby Lobby North Side. If you've ever wondered what some of the best tools are, come to a Demo Day where we will be showing the Cricut Expressions, Cuttlebug, Electric Big Shot, iTop, Crop-a-dile, embossing folders and how they work in the various machines, SpellBinder Dies, Tim Holtz products, and any other tools we think are smokin' (not literally!). We'll be having some make-n-takes at these events, so mark the dates down when we announce them. If you want your hubby to buy it for you, we'll even help him shop! With the Cricut demo, we'll show you how to use the pens, the JukeBox, Design Studio Software, Vinyl, the new stamp and embossing products (to create stamps or your own embossing folders) along with the cartridges, and we'll talk about the Gypsy for the Cricut.

Since you all know I am going on the Artful Voyage in Mexico with Tim Holtz and Wendy Vecchi, it's a safe bet that we are going to be having classes on how to use both the Tim Holtz products, but also stamps by Wendy Vecchi and products from Ranger (think Rock Candy Stickles and Crackle paint, alcohol inks, paint resist, blending, using Grunge paper and Grunge board, stamps, Glossy Accents and lots of techniques).

All of our classes make EXCELLENT Christmas gifts, so don't miss out. Classes include:
Countdown to Christmas Calendar (16 x 20 Advent calendar using canvas board, trims and other secret ingredients—this class sells out every time we do it, so sign up early!)
Days to Celebrate (birthday book using the Zutter binder) or Prayer Journal
Bill Minder with Calendar (this makes an excellent Christmas gift, don't miss it!)
Grunge and other wall hangings (lot of Timmy and Wendy here, in Christmas and home decorating options, we're teaching some new techniques that will knock your socks off!)
Christmas Card Tin (need a place to store your cards? This is it!)
Note Card Tin (Your own personalized stationary and a beautiful place to store it, or do it for a friend!)
Spellbinder Ornaments (Uses the NEW Pendant dies with the Cuttlebug and Big Shot)
Planner (a beautiful renewable planner that you might just keep for yourself)
Recipe Book (they gotta go somewhere, eh?)
12 Tags of Christmas (Straight from the Tim man himself, a multi-part technique class)
Ideology Jewelry (More Timmy in a way you can't imagine)
Joy of Christmas Wall Art (Capitalize on the letter craze and choose your own colors!)
Christmas Card stamping and embossing class (need something to fill that decorative tin, right?)
and the Fantasy Box makes a return!

Another highlight this season are some one hour classes to make small gifts, technique classes that you can apply to many projects, and prizes given away in EVERY class!

Our class sizes are kept smaller so you can finish your project in the class, no taking it home and wondering, what do I do now?

Lastly, soon we are adding an Adobe Photoshop Elements for Scrapbookers class. Come learn all about digital scrapbooking and also how to fix your pictures to make them look their best for your album.

To inquire about all the classes and demo's listed above, you can email me at Remember, we do private parties as well, so if you want to plan a class just for you and your friends, or as an event for a group in your office or church, drop me a line and we'll set you up!

Keep the faith!

Friday, September 18, 2009


Take a hint from the title, I'm goin' on a cruise! Yeppers, in October I am going on the Artful Cruise in Mexico with Tim Holtz and guest teacher Wendy Vecchi! This cruise is sponsored by ScrapMap and I am BEYOND excited, I had a blast in Tim's class at CHA in July so I thought a whole week of Tim would be even better. I've been hinting at the hubby for the last three or four months about the cruise. He did a really good job of ignoring me. Finally, he was nice enough to give me the green light to go, after I pestered him to death. How else does a woman get what she wants? Does that count as a green light? It's just icing on the cake that Wendy is going to be teaching too. I am an absolutely HUGE fan of her grunge flowers. EVEN CLIFF admired her grunge roses while we were touring the Ideology booth at the show. Cliff wasn't going to let me go by myself, however, so I convinced my friend Tammy to go with me. Luckily, I only had to ask once, right Tammy? Yes, I can hear your head shaking from here. A whole week without cat hair, what will I do with that extra hour every day that I'll gain from not having to roll my clothes with a lint roller? Sleep or stamp? Now that I've spilled the cat kibble, on to other news...

I AM working on my list of classes for the holiday season. You all know how much I LOVE Christmas—Christmas papers, Christmas stamps, Christmas cookies, Christmas parties and Christmas cards. Oh and Christmas Kitties! So I am making my list, probably making it twice, gonna find out who's... oh, did I mention Christmas music? LOVE Christmas music. I think I have more Christmas CDs than regular music CDs, or maybe I should say more Christmas DOWNLOADS with the advent of iTunes (see how I worked in the word "advent"? uh-huh, it almost slipped by you). Glad you all were paying attention. :-) OK, yeah, I was saying something about a list... hmm... uh... yeah, a list of classes! That's it! (It's really hard getting old, hear what I'm telling ya?) So classes are in the works. I'll have the October schedule here shortly, with a big hole in the middle because I am...going on a CRUISE! Oh yeah, I told you that already. :-)

We'll be having classes in several locations again this year. First off, as usual, classes at the north side Hobby Lobby on Tuesday nights and Thursday days, and at the south side Hobby Lobby on Friday days; classes here at the Conquest Keepsakes Paper Studio, Craft Night at Northbridge Baptist Church and some additional classes scattered around Springfield (details as they develop). As an aside, my husband informed me that there was a CK—S and a CK—N, Conquest Keepsakes South (my craft room downstairs, which is at the south end of the house) and Conquest Keepsakes North (the breakfast area upstairs, which is on the north side of the house), so now I am telling all of you that all the classes at CK will be held in the M location, the room midway between my craft room downstairs and my breakfast area upstairs, which is the living area downstairs. Are we all clear now? Hmm, maybe I'll draw a map. Coming soon to a location near you...

Keep the faith!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Day One on the Trade Show Floor at CHA Summer 2009

Today was a wild and crazy day! This show isn't nearly as large as the Anaheim show, but it is still an interesting place to be today! I'm working in the Nikki Sivils, Scrapbooker booth with Nikki, Dan, Chastity Hassel and Susan Dupre. It was a very busy day for us, lots of traffic in our booth, we were quite busy the whole day right up to the close of the show floor. Chastity and Susan were making paper cupcakes for the make-n-take and they were busy from beginning to end! We had video cameras in our booth several times today (the ones run by professionals, not us wanna-be's with hand-held cameras!) and we had all kinds of compliments from everyone! Nikki has worked hard for this show and it "showed" in how well-organized she was and how professionally she handled herself with everyone. A more gracious person you could never meet! We took more orders than I could count, and we had a lot of fun passing out the Willie-B lapel pins and catalogs. All of the samples done by the girls were phenomenal and we had many, many wonderful compliments on their work. Their art was wonderful and the displays looked so good! My husband also came down with us and today he was making the rounds scouting out all the booths. He even did a Make-N-Take over at the Spellbinders booth! Now THAT is a miracle! I can't even get him to cut paper for me at home, and there he was with a table of girls making a paper box. Ladies, as my friend Katie says, "He's a keeper!"

I'll try to get some pictures posted up from today, and from my class with Tim Holtz yesterday! You betcha, THAT was the best class I have EVER taken! I had an extra ticket, so Susan went with me and we had a blast! I have pictures from the class, and he signed my book to boot. How great is that? More later, need to stop to eat (tired of paying $5 for a cinnamon roll...). Tomorrow, I'm sending Cliff out with a camera. Be prepared for beheaded projects...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I know this sounds a little odd coming from someone who is SUPPOSED to be scrapping, but believe it or not, I don't have too much time to scrap lately. But I did get to go to a crop, Scrapbook Generation's Scrap-A-Palooza over the weekend, and it was a BLAST! Nikki and I went together as we saw an opportunity to get some samples done for the upcoming CHA show in Orlando. [roll eyes] Ahem, well, Nikki managed to get most of her haunted house made from her Halloween papers, Boo-tiful (was that not the cutest thing you ever laid eyes on? Oh yeah, you've not seen it, but trust me...), while I worked on a Christmas Advent calender made from her Christmas papers (you are going to LOVE, LoVe, lOvE those papers!). I got all wiggly with the Glimmer Mists on my canvas, so we'll see if that was a product of clear thinking, or of chocolate overload from the awesome chocolate fountains they had going at the crop. If there was any more justification going on regarding my chocolate intake, I would have had to right and left aligned the tables! All the food was flat stick! (that is your new Australian slang word of the week, someone in Australia told Nikki her papers were "flat stick" and we're hoping that was a complement...) Those ladies at Scrapbook Generation know how to do a crop! Well, aside from the part where a spider chased me in the parking lot trying to hitch a ride on my foot. There was some small amount of screaming that happened. Technically, it was after the crop was over, so I'll let the spider slide. :-| I saw a lot of old friends and made some new ones, and that is why I like a good crop. Of course I do have to say it was a privilege to see Nikki all excited about people buying her papers. Scrapbook Generation is carrying both her My Sweet Cherry Pie and Victoria's Street papers and embellies, along with their usual broad range of everything scrapbooking.

This week has been a real whirlwind of orders from all over the world. We were billing, packing and shipping all day today, which is a minor miracle because we're still inputing financials into the system and realized we couldn't officially generate invoices until we officially received the products into the system! Details, details. But, as they say, we got'er done.

Because Willie-B is our mascot, we have this "Bee" thing going, so now we have the Graphic Bee, and today I was told I was the Wiki Bee. Everyone keeps asking me what I do for Nikki and I never know how to answer that, as it encompasses so many things. Like graphic and prepress work (nothing like 20 years of experience in the printing and graphic arts industries to come in handy for a company that designs paper for a product), technical support for our Macs, PC's and network, marketing and advertising, implementing our business processes, event management, packaging, sourcing, and general moral support as needed. (lol) So today, when Nikki was trying to explain what I do for NSS to Lexy, she referred to me as the Wiki Bee, which really kind of fits. I know a lot of occasionally useful information, as over the last 20+ years (put away your calculator, that's not nice...) I've worked in print, publishing, graphic arts, web, instructional design, training, tech support and business management areas primarily in the graphic arts industries and software/hardware training industries. I currently own and run a consulting and training business, and in the past I've started up several new businesses and then sold them. I'm almost dangerous in accounting, but I try to stay out of that and let the DH handle it since that is his profession. Heaven forbid if he would try to design a brochure, that would be like me trying to reconcile a balance sheet! :-) Actually, the hubby is adept at using Photoshop and Illustrator and I feel like a proud momma about that! At least the DH has the books covered for Nikki.

So another day is done and we're looking forward to what kind of challenges tomorrow will bring us. Keep the faith! God knows what we need before we even know that we need it! ~Vicki

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Nikki Anounced Her Design Team!

Nikki announced her Design Team today for Nikki Sivils, Scrapbooker LLC and what a wonderful group of designers she has chosen! We are so excited to have this team and it was really hard for her to narrow down her choices, all the submissions were excellent and making a choice almost seemed like a crime!

All the pieces for the Summer CHA show are coming together nicely, we have product and it is beautiful. There's nothing like seeing a plan come together! So many details go into it and seeing the finished product is mind-blowing! I feel lucky, honored, humbled and excited to be able to have a part in helping her get her new business off the ground. Talk about living vicariously!

Switching gears for a moment, I want to move on to stamping. I've been designing a set of stamps for Clear Dollar Stamps called the Flowers of the Month in the Timeless Treasures series. We've been introducing them two at a time each month and every set has a picture of the flower, a nice paragraph about the flower and what it means, as well as stamps for the name, scientific name, birthstone and month to go with it. While doing research for these stamps, I have learned more interesting facts about the flowers than what you see in the set, so I will start sharing with you some of the extra-interesting tidbits and stories about these flowers that we can't put into the sets. You will be amazed at some of the legends and myths surrounding these flowers, as well as learning some more practical applications that these flowers have to our daily lives. I guar-an-tee you will learn something new that you can bore your friends with at the next PTO meeting! We will have them all out and available before Christmas in time for you to create calendars, planners and birthday books and gifts using these series of stamps.

You can also start watching for some sneak peeks of Nikki's second paper line Victoria's Street! I wish I could say it was named after me, but Nikki's niece Victoria actually gets the honor for this line. She is just as sweet as the Victoria's Street papers!

That's all for today! Keep the faith! ~Vicki~

Saturday, May 23, 2009


This has nothing to do with scrapbooking or crafting, but I have to talk about it anyway! As a Trekkie from years gone by, I have to say how much I LOVED the new Star Trek movie! The special effects and even the acting by a relative group of unknowns was superb! I think they managed to do an excellent job of catching the flair and feel of the original show with all the show- stopping, jaw-dropping action and effects available in modern movie-making. The characters of Kirk, Spock, Bones, Sulu and Scotty were pretty good, my only disconnect was with Checkov, and to some extent, Uhura. But hey, Uhura and Spock? Hmmm, fodder for thought! By far the best movie I've seen since the Lord of the Rings and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (my PERSONAL favorites for their overtly Christian themes). IMHO. :-) Back to your Memorial Day weekend... and don't forget to pray for our troops as they lay down thier lives for ours in defending freedom, and for all the ones who have already died defending our right to live free!

Keep the faith!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I have been SO busy helping my friend Nikki with her new scrapbook paper line that I've not had time to blink! I am working with her on a consulting basis and we've been having a blast! She has six different paper lines, with four double-sided papers and one die cut paper. Nikki and Dan leave tomorrow to go to the press check for the papers. What's really cool about her small papers is that they are reductions of her full size papers AND they come with three or four pages of each design, how cool! Cardmakers will be thrilled with that!

She also has several other products coming out at the show and a couple of surprise products new to the scrapbook industry. We are SOO excited about this as we are exhibiting at the CHA Trade Show in Orlando in July for both the trade show and the consumers show. We'll be doing make-n-takes for both shows, so be sure to look us up, we're in booth #552 during the trade show (across from Prima and next to May Arts--uh oh) and then we'll move to booth #1925 for the retail consumer show. We won't be selling product to end users, but we should have several retailers exhibiting in the Consumer show carrying our papers and supplies.

Nikki will be doing an official Call for Designers posted shortly, so be looking for that on her blog. We'll pick the best of the best and they will be on display at the CHA show! We also plan on doing the Winter show too. We'll be doing some sneak peaks of the papers and projects as we go along, so make sure to check back often. The web site should be up in about a month (or less we hope!) and you'll hear more about everything that is happening!

In the mean time, I am still planning my fall classes at Hobby Lobby. We'll be doing some altered art tags courtesy of Tim Holtz inspiration and the Countdown to Christmas calendar, along with a Birthday Book and a Planner. You'll want to look at our local Hobby Lobby stores for more information.

Additionally, I'll be adding some technique classes, some of which will be how to color and shade with Tombow and Copic markers, new classes on Tim Holtz' fabulous line of distress products and finally some classes on how to use my favorite tools like the Cuttlebug with the Spellbinder Nestabilities and the Cricut Expressions. I'm also considering adding some classes on Adobe Photoshop Elements and digital scrapbooking, so keep an eye out for all of these and more. OK, you can put your eye in and still look for these great classes!

Keep the faith and I'll chat with you later! V!ck!

Monday, March 23, 2009


I don't know how many of you were able to attend, but Cox Health and the Scrapbooking Momeez put together a wonderful charity crop for the Children's Miracle Network this past weekend. I was one of the vendors to attend along with my good friend Lori McCroskey from Clear Dollar Stamps, the Momeez Debbie and Angie (of course!), Sheri Beersman with the ScrapNook in Bolivar (and shortly to have a store here on the north side of Springfield) as well as folks from Close to My Heart and Stampin' Up! As usual, we had a wonderful crowd of about 85 croppers and never a dull moment! I was able to convince my accountant hubby to hang out with me for most of the event as I had to be away from my booth to teach a class. This was quite the sacrifice for him, as he is a HUGE March Madness participant and to miss the games while watching a bunch of women cut and paste was a great gift. Who could ask for a better hubby than that? :-) I am truly blessed!

We did a couple of make-n-takes and I taught the Days to Celebrate birthday book class. We were completely booked at the event, so for those of you who wanted to take the class, I will be offering it in April at both the north and south side Hobby Lobby stores on several dates, and I will confirm the times in a later post. I will list my scheduled dates and times for both stores, but they are always subject to change and by enrollment. To take a class, you will need to contact me directly, the stores do not take reservations. You can reach me at 417.350.4569 or at 417.833.8760. If the schedule doesn't offer a convenient date, give me a call, as I still offer classes at my house. You can also see projects for sale at Neighborhood Pizza Cafe, along with the current schedule of classes. That should be back up by this weekend. :-)

Saturday's crop was such a wonderful time to catch up with old friends and support a wonderful cause at the same time. If you didn't purchase a shirt, you can still contact the Scrapbooking Momeez!

Here is my standard Hobby Lobby schedule, keeping in mind that it is always subject to change. You can pick up a calendar of Hobby Lobby classes next to the store sale fliers. Classes are subject to enrollment, I usually need at least four people enrolled to confirm a class, so bring your friends! These do make wonderful Mother's Day gifts as well as Christmas gifts if you want to get a head start on the holidays!

Northside Hobby Lobby
Every Tuesday Night from 5:30p to 7:30p
Every Thursday Afternoon from 1:00p to 3:00p
Saturday, April 25th time TBD

Southside Hobby Lobby
Every Friday Afternoon from 1:00 to 3:00p
Saturday, April 18th time TBD

I'll be teaching the Days to Celebrate Birthday Book both Saturdays (one at north side and one at south side) and Tuesday Nights at Northside. Class fee at Hobby Lobby is $15. Other class subjects and times are TDB.

For the Days to Celebrate class you will need to bring a ruler and pencil, paper adhesive to apply paper to chipboard and to seal envelopes (glue stick works well to adhere paper to chipboard and any kind of adhesive you can apply in a thin line works well for the envelope), a trimmer and a scoring tool would be handy to bring, along with a eyelet setting tool. We will be using the Zutter Bind-it-All and I'll be demoing a Scor-Pal scoring board. If you like to age your projects, then bring your favorite aging ink! Examples of the projects should be available by this weekend at both stores.

We'll be looking forward to having a crafty time!

Have a catscrappy day!

Friday, March 20, 2009


You all know I am a certified Macavist, I live, sleep, drink, dream, collect and bleed Macs. Back in the day we used to say I bleed six colors (in reference to the six color Apple logo at that time). I have owned almost one of every generation of Macs sold. The only notable Macs that I've not purchased for myself are the iMacs, mostly because I have always required a production Mac. By that I mean an upgradable or expandable machine. I've owned Apple's printers (all 3 versions, can you name them?), their camera, scanner, the Newton, monitors, modems, the first true laptop, Shuffle, iPod 5th Gen and now my most favorite, my iPhone! With my MacBook Pro 17" breathing down it's neck. I AbSoLuteLy ADORE my 3G iPhone. If I can't get to my laptop to get my email, it's OK, because I get it on my 3G. That alone is worth the price of admission! Coordinating my calender, contacts, music, and photos is just too slick!! Surfing and posting to my blog with it, priceless. My favorite app that I've downloaded? Lightsaber, complete with background music! Yes, I am easily entertained.

To be honest, I have to say this is one of my most productive tools. At CHA this little puppy helped me find places to eat, keep up with emails without lugging my laptop around, gave me directions to the nearest grocery store, took pictures of cool layouts and displays, helped me find my group when we got separated from each other, and I could go on endlessly about it. This is why a Mac will always trump a PC, ease of use, totally useful in every way, productive, and FUN!! it is never a chore to work on any of my Apple products. Yes, dare I say it, I am an Apple snob! Chuck your viral PC in the trash and buy a Mac. Macs can even run Windows, if you just can't give up your addiction to the BOD and hate to give up your one-on-one personal time with your antivirus routine. I do have a PC laptop but I have no reason to run it. I have my Cricut DesignStudio software running on my PC partition on my Mac. :-)

Go get a Mac and an iPhone and use all that extra free time you'll gain doing some serious Scrapbooking!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I must have some latent urge to watch old movies and listen to old hymns, as those seem to be the things that pop into my head when I get up in the morning and go to post on my blog! Actually, every morning when I wake up, my brain already has a song embedded in it. I am not sure how that works, so I am going to say it is Divine Intervention. I think God gives me a song to hum every morning that somehow fits my day when I think about it at the end of the day. Normally these songs are hymns that I learned growing up or it could be one of the praise songs we sing at church or a new song from the radio (once it was row, row, row your boat...NOT analyzing that one), but sometimes, the song I get is a real thinker. Those songs are usually good old hymns, many of which the words were taken right out of The Word of God (aka, The Bible). Like today. The song of the day? "His Eye is on the Sparrow." Now this is an old traditional favorite of mine, as sung by Selah. I was brushing my teeth, the bathroom windows were open and the birds outside were just chittering away, and the sound of it just captured me in that moment and BAM! the words just popped into my head. That song touches me in so many ways, to think that God is specifically watching me today, that His eye is on me, ME! He CARES for plain little old me brushing my teeth and wondering if my husband's interview for a job will go well today (hes' been unemployed for four months so far). The words aren't long, but the message is straight from The Word just for times like these when life feels uncertain. Here are the words:

"Why do I feel discouraged? Why do the shadows come? And why does my heart feel lonely and long for heaven untold? When Jesus is my portion, a constant friend is He, His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me. So I sing because I'm happy, and I sing because I'm free! Yeah, His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me."

I am special and unique and God loves me for exactly who I am, right this very minute, even if I am like the man behind the curtain running to and fro trying to put up an illusion of grandeur and magnificence and have others think I am more than what I am. At the end of the day, I am still God's child, deeply loved and cherished, no matter what I actually get done on my list! Now, that makes me happy and puts a song in my heart. I just try not to sing out loud, the cat's haven't started a fan web site for my singing capabilities yet—they're too busy covering their ears! teehee

I'm getting ready to fire up the Cricut and put in some major project prep time. I'm a big believer in the right tool for the right job, especially when it comes to prepping for a class. One of the best things about going to CHA is seeing all the new tools! I just LOVE tools! There weren't as many this time (OK, I'll qualify that by saying "not many that I would USE"), but I did order one really nifty tool/appliance that I am absolutely DYING to use, but I've not had the time to fire it up! Can you believe that?! This nifty new product comes from the other side of the pond, and I am sure that once I start using it, it may break me financially! Possibly mentally too... But I'm not going to tell you what it is until I've actually USED it. Hopefully that will be before April...

You'll just have to get the deets later! :-)

Monday, March 16, 2009


Tomorrow I'll be "working for the weekend" as an old Loverboy song goes. I have a LOT to DO before Saturday gets here as we prepare for the CMN crop, the Scrapbooking for Miracles crop held Saturday, March 21, 2009, from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm at the Wesley United Methodist Church at 922 W. Republic Road, in Springfield, MO. This crop is presented by Cox Health Nursing, Cox Health North Outpatient Therapy Services and the Scrapbooking Momeez and benefits the Children's Miracle Network. This is one of the best crops in Springfield, you'll find old friends here and make new ones too. They are offering classes and various types of make-n-takes at the vendor tables, mine included! ;-) You can find out more about the crop on the Scrapbooking Momeez web site here.

As in previous years, my booth for Conquest Keepsakes will be set up next to Clear Dollar Stamps. I design stamps for Lori and we like to tag team the attendees with some of the best make-n-takes in southwest Missouri. I have heard of some people coming up from Joplin to attend the crop. I'm sure they are ready to get their hands a little inky, don't you? You know who you are! Lori will be showcasing her knew stamp sets for the month of March, and if you're REALLY lucky, you might even get a sneak peak at some April stamps! Be sure to check out her web site and her blog. Her blog has some of the best tutorials and tips that I've seen anywhere. [grin] OK, so I wrote of couple of them along with a few other guest designers...

That brings me to the class that I am offering at the Children's Miracle Crop this Saturday. This class utilizes one of my most FAVORITE tools, the Zutter Bind-It-All, along with two other tools that I really like, my Cuttlebug and Cricut Expressions. You all know I am Arr--rrr--RR tooltime about tools, especially those that plug in or make scrunching noises. You may laugh, but I have a serious problem with tool addiction! Ask my hubby, he's the first to tell you not to get between me and my tools. I OWN THEM ALL! Cricut, 7Gypsies Binderie (I'll have that at the crop), Crop-A-Diles ad nauseum, Cuttlebug, Sizzix, Sizzlets, mat cutters, knives, Melt Pot, heat guns, punches, corner rounders, cordless Dremmel tool (woo-hoo-oo), 15 rulers (don't ask), Nestabilities dies from Spellbinder, I could go on. My hubby will tell you that if it plugs in or uses batteries, it's ALL ME! I'm a sick puppy. And I digress.

Back to the class. We will be using the BIA (Bind-It-All) to make a very cute wire-bound book. You will have two choices of the type of book to make, the Birthday Book or the Prayer Journal. This cute little darlin' of a book can be made using library envelopes or you can cut your own, or even use your Cricut with the Boxes, Bags, Tags and More cartridge. It cuts a very nice envelope and tag, should you choose to go that route. All papers will be cut for you, this will be an assembly party! We want to make this a fun class without having you drag a trolley of supplies to the class and camping all day at my table.

However, you do need to bring a few supplies and tools to the class, Here is what you need to bring for this class: 1) your favorite adhesive (I would recommend Zip Dry, my new FAVORITE adhesive), 2) scissors, 3) a brown chalk ink pad for aging (but optional), 4) a fingernail file (one of those big black ones you can buy at the Dollar Store, Walmart, Walgreens, etc.), 5) pop-dots or other dimensional adhesive, 6) Crop-A-Dile or other eyelet setting tool, 7) a folding bone will come in handy, and 7) any stamps and inks that you think you might like to use. If you don't have the supplies you need, I know that most of these things can be purchased at one of the onsite stores.

I've posted some sample pictures at the bottom of this post and a full copy of the tutorial will be made available to class attendees. The sampels posted are not the colors we are using for this class, but the look and feel will be similar. This project has several paper options to choose from, 1) Kaiser Craft paper from the Elegance line, 2) Kaiser Craft Paper from the Old World line, and 3) Basic Grey paper from their Porclain or Marakesh line. When you walk away from this class, you will have a beautifully bound book with gorgeous ribbons, beads and embellishments, along with some extra embellishments for another project. Come over to my booth and take a look at the kits and pick yours before they're gone! Space is very limited! Cost for this class is $15 and worth every penny and then some...I see Christmas gifts to friends in your futures!

All of these papers and embellishments, along with supplies for the BIA will be available for purchase at Scrapbooking Momeez, Clear Dollar Stamps, Scrap Nook and Conquest Keepsakes. I'll have a complete selection of wires, covers, and closures, some that you cannot find anywhere else, or you can place an order from me or CDS for what you don't see. My tip of the week BEFORE you come? Go use your 40% coupon and purchase a BIA at Hobby Lobby and bring it with you to the crop!

I'll be posting everyday up until the crop with more information on our make-n-takes, door prizes and a show stealer of a product, you won't want to miss this! Also some new and fascinating news on the scrapbooking front! Stay tuned...

Now, enjoy a few pictures...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Nothing like last minute shopping for a trip! Personally, I am THRILLED to be going to a warm destination where my fingers don't turn blue. I'm already tired of winter in the Midwest. Between twice-weekly physical therapy appointments and last minute shopping, I'm getting more exposure to cold weather than I care to have. I'm a cactus, I should be living in Arizona. I like warm, dry weather! Our contingent of CHA goers are busily emailing back and forth trying to determine what tools and supplies we're bringing and coordinating our last minute travel schedules. Saturday can't get here soon enough for me!

In the mean time, I am going to work a bit more on my organization project in ye old craft room, and gather my notes on all the booths I want to be sure and scope out while we're there! Then I'm going to read up on my new Canon compact camera (it's harder to use than my DSLR!) and make a few test shots of all the sleeping cats scattered about the house. Maybe even take a few more of the craft room. I moved some of my tables and now my DH is referring to my craft room as "the dance hall." OK, so it was a little crowded before. :-) Now that I have taken over the media room for more work space, I can afford to take down a table or two. heh heh heh Oooo, it doesn't get any better than this!

Monday, January 19, 2009


This post isn't so much about my crafting addiction as it is about my HGTV/DIY addiction, but they are both related, as you'll see in a minute.

Hi, my name is Vicki (Hi Vicki!) and I 'm addicted to HGTV. [Clapping in the background, murmurs, some head nodding and shaking, and a few slurps of coffee]

I have to confess, this addiction started over ten years ago when I moved to California for a job. I was living in San Francisco bay area by myself, working in a high tech, workaholic company. I was lonely, pining for my fiance back in MO, and as befits a lonely, single, Mac technodweeb with a bent towards art, I got caught up in something so innocent, so NORMAL, so secretly devastating, I can hardly bear to speak of it. The shame of it all. Yes, I subscribed to satellite so I could watch HGTV and DIY. [shocked murmurs, a few snobs, I mean sobs here and there] What had I DONE?!! Wasn't cable enough?

As each day turned into the next, coming home from work day after day with my head spinning full of Unix code, multiple platforms, and command line text, I finally broke. I couldn't take it any more. I HAD to watch more and more HGTV. I couldn't keep myself from it any more. Trading Spaces, Divine Design (who doesn't love Candace Olsen?), Designed to Sell (Lisa LaPorta, you ROCK), Oh Clivey, where are you? I was SMITTEN! I too, wanted to be out there redecorating America. It was my dirty little secret, my addiction to HGTV. I watched it morning, noon and night (nothing like working from the home office). Pick #2 you idiot, it has all the features you've been whining for! And what I confess to you now is downright shameful, despicable, and practically criminal.

When my fiance moved out to CA so we could get married, I (of course) had to drag him in to my secret, sordid addiction (my Mother told me it was good to share). I was hoping that since he was a bean counter, his common sense and money-twitching goatee could feel the danger and pull me up. Sadly, as it often happens, I ended up bringing him down in the mortar and mud with me. We never recovered. It wasn't long after we were married when we searched for and purchased our first house in California. Our HGTV addiction escalated. We sat for hours staring at "Designer's Challenge", "Landscaper's Challenge" and "House Hunters". We spent our spare time at Home Schelpo and Schmoes arguing over satin nickle verses brushed chrome. Were they same or different? We couldn't tell and those lingering questions hung in our minds as we were lost deeper and deeper into the abyss that is HGTV.

Unfortunately, my Lupus health issues got in the way if my 80 hour work week and it was decided that we needed to move back home closer to my family and a less stressful lifestyle. We needed to sell our house and sell it in a hurry. I was ecstatic! NOW was the time to pull out the stops and fish out my three-ring binders (yes, binders is plural) of tips gleaned from my fanatical worship of HGTV. When it came time to sell our house in Morgan Hill, it was quite evident that my HGTV addiction was going to pay off. There was hope, maybe I could actually USE what I had seen. There were s0oo many ideas, my head was spinning.

I staged our house just like Lisa and Clive advised, I mean we REALLY put on the dog, er, cat! I had the table set with china, candles burning, cookies baking, fresh flowers and I even cleared away the clutter and made a color brochure for those coming to the open house. We talked to our realtor on Wednesday to list it, had a realtor-only showing on Friday and scheduled an Open House for that Sunday. It never made it. A couple saw our sign and insisted on seeing the house on Saturday, so we scurried off to Lowes in San Jose. Who couldn't waste a day or two in there, eh? We were there about 30 minutes and my cell phone rang. The number on caller ID was OUR home phone number. Eh? It turned out to be the agent and he had an offer at our asking price written up and they wanted to know if we would sell it RIGHT NOW, while they were standing in OUR kitchen. Huh? Now? This minute? After I picked the bean counter up off the floor, we went straight home and signed the papers. It was on the market for a whole 4 days although it technically never made the MLS listing. We sold it for 40% more than we paid for it, and we only owned it for a year and a half. If THAT doesn't show you that satellite pays for itself, what does? A living testament to Do-it-Yourself living. So how does all of this relate to crafting...?

Enter Carol Duvall.

We arrived in Missouri and the house hunt was on, and so was the satellite. Again. You just can't break some habits no matter how hard you try. I just couldn't kick the addiction. While the DH hunted for a new job, we sat huddled in front of the TV. The only channels we watched were ESPN, HGTV, and DIY. My cats sat on the floor and learned how to vote for their favorite house and make Zen gardens in their litter boxes. I hang my head in shame at the thought of it.

As you know, if you have an addictive personality, it is not uncommon for addictified (my word, and I am NOT related to George Bush) people to find other useless things to become addicted to. And thus Carol Duvall entered my satellite orb. She crafted, I drooled, she talked and I was mesmerized. Horror of horrors, I felt COMPELLED to go purchase EVERY item she used. My stash was growing exponentially. What to do with all this new stuff? I already had enough computers and peripherals than most small businesses do. So much stuff and no room to put it in our rental duplex. I was getting desperate. I needed a fix-it fix, or more to the point, I needed to decorate something or I would self-destruct! House hunting became priority one. Who needs a job? Then, along came THE house. Not just any house, THE HOUSE. A house in frame, like polyclay in my hands. A house with a very large room that could be, would be [vacuum sucking noise here as I draw in my breath]...a CRAFT ROOM! My very own haven, my space to do with as I wished! Where's that Osterhouse carpenter guy when you need him? We bought it. That summer we put the "sweat" in sweat equity.

Flash forward to today. I got the itch again last fall to paint something. Specifically my craft room. It had languished in chaos crying out for organization and color! I went on a satellite binge (OK all that means is that I watched the repeats too). I watched it all, made my notes, collected my color swatches and procured my tools. I was driven. I NEEDED to have color, to mix those patterns, to pop in some bling, to light it up. I gave myself like a two-bit drunk to the task of creating order out of chaos. Here are a few peaks at the process, it's not quite done, but after reading this whole story, you deserve a picture or two. When it is finished, I'll post up the final shots. After it is all up, you can sentence me for my crimes. But whatever you do, don't separate me from HGTV! I can't take 16 hours of ESPN and the DH already took away my DIY!!

The first pic is of my closet in my craft room. It holds my wiring hub for all my CAT5 and QUAD6 cable and alarm system, all home-run as it should be, and all pulled and installed by myself and my DH. Our electrician thought I was nuts (he still pulls 2 pair in daisy chain--cringe!). Then he asked me to do a couple other houses in the same manner for him. I told him HE was nuts. :-) My canvas cubbies came from Hobby Lobby (they fold up when I don't need them). The gray racks were cast-offs from Staples. FREE!! This is a first cut at the reorg, more organizing to happen later.

The second pic is one of my light table that I rehabbed. I built the bottom half of the unit it get it to count height to make it more practical and it awaits final painting. The slat board behind it holds my inks and other supplies. I've already changed this arrangement some, so the final pics of this area will look different. I've put several of my projects up on the red shelves throughout the room. Mostly to keep them away from my cats. They really like my work. :-)

And that ends tonight's story of addiction and creativity. G'day!