Thursday, December 30, 2010


The holidays are always so hectic, but even more so this year because one of my best friends has Stage 4 Gastric Cancer. I've written about this before, but I feel compelled to share a little more. My friend Katie Renz, mother to boy twins Nate & Will who are five and Hunter who is eleven (boy time flies!), and the wife of Kevin, was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Gastric Cancer. It's a very aggressive cancer too. Currently she is in the hospital (she's been there since Christmas Eve). Today she is getting started on chemo as the cancer is not operable at this time. You can read the details on her blog at, where she is journalling about her wild ride with this disease. She started Chemo today (3 types) and most of the side effects are similar to what she is feeling now (lots of nausea and pain, plus needed to be transfused Christmas Eve with blood too). She is in a lot of pain, and it is very difficult to eat (read that as 3 cans of Ensure). She is a fighter and has many loved ones and friends praying for her constantly and lifting her up to God, along with the boys and Kevin. This is one of those times where I wish I could bear it myself, she has so much of her life before her. :-D

I met Katie two years ago when Lori with Clear Dollar Stamps invited all of us on her design team to go to the Winter 2009 CHA trade show In Anahiem (Lori's stamp design team and card/projects team). These are some of my favorite memories, along with the 2010 CHA-W & CHA-S Shows. Angela Beavers came along with us during the 2010 Winter show (I met Angela on the 2009 Artful Cruise to Mexico with Tim Holtz), and we all hit it off and had an awesome time! Ang, Corrine (another cruiser) went to the Chicago show this year and we had a great time there too. You all are my buds!I thought I would share a couple of photos from the shows. We had an amazing time, and we are looking for even more amazing times in the future! Our God is a God of Miracles, we are hoping and praying and believing that the chemo will nuke it all! She's in decent spirits considering how fast all of this is happening. A million times I have wished we lived closer!

So here are a few pics of all of us at various shows.

Nancy Grant & Katie Renz chilling on the SCS couch during the consumer show.

Katie waving to her fans after registering for the CHA-W 2010 show.

Angela and I at the CHA-S 2010 show.

Starting on left, Laurie Wilson, Nancy Grant, Kim Teasdale, Katie Renz, Lori McCroskey and Vicki Conquest (me) eating dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Tasty!

All of us bugging Steve Posner and taking over his booth! Great guy!

Katie and Nancy at the Cricut booth checking out new dies during consumer show.

I hope you all enjoyed my walk down memory lane! These ladies are five of the most talented people I know,and I am PROUD to call them my friends! Get on over to Lori McCroskey's web site, Clear Dollar Stamps and check out the new stamps and products they are sneak peaking this week, and the new dies that match their stamps. AWESOME!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and truly appreaciate your friends and family. And most of all, don't forget the reason for the season, a baby wrapped in a manger, given to us by the Father to redeem us by His shed blood, risen and interceding for us! What love! God IS the Miracle Man, and we are praying for one now!

Friday, December 3, 2010


It's finally here! Graphic 45's new spring line, Once Upon a Springtime is in the store! I LOVE it! Something about Fairies, Butterflies and Flowers makes me happy! The papers are gorgeous, and the backside patterns are beautiful. I have pads in 12x12 and 8x8 as well as 7 of the loose sheets. Now is the time to reserve yours! Supplies are limited! For those attending the 12 Tags of Christmas play dates, you will get extra special pricing on this new line of papers. I don't generally carry lots of loose sheets, but this time I went all out. (heheheh) I also purchased many of the retiring lines of G45 loose sheet papers, so there is a very nice selection of G45 here at the Conquest Keepsakes Paper Studio. In case you didn't know, G45 is retiring Baby 2 Bride, Playtimes Past, Times Nouveau, and Botanica Bella. Some of it is already sold out, so get here early to get the best picks. We also have both sizes of the G45 pads for Perfect Gentlemen, Boardwalk, and Le Romantique, Staple Stickers, Chipboard Buttons and Trim in stock, as well as loose sheets of Renaissance, Domestic Goddess, Fashionista, Communique, Transatlantic, and Christmas Past, & Baby 2 Bride. If you want any of these items, call or email me ASAP, it will be going fast!

We also have Tim's paper pads, along with EVERYTHING Tim Holtz and Ranger. And I do mean EVERYTHING! Don't see what you want? Just ask, we do special orders with discounts. Through Dec. 24th we are offering the Vagabond machine at $199, plus some grungepaper, grungeboard and a TH Bigz die for being patient enough to wait until our next shipment. We sold 5 Vagabond's on Saturday, so get yours today! Patience is a virtue, not a character fault!

Along with G45 papers, we also received some DCWV Mariposa Glitter pads (both sizes and you are going to SWOON when you see it!), 7Gypsies Conservatory papers with accessories, Basic Grey Curio (paper packs in two sizes, matching chipboard, journal notes), Prima Fairy Floral in paper and Journal Notes, Core'dinations Jenni Bolin and Graphic 45, cold-press watercolor paper, Kaisercrafts Carnival, HomeMade and English Rose lines, the Kaisercraft wood cupcake stands, Printer's tray, bookends, drawers, diaries, wood Flourish Words, birds, keys, frames,and snowflakes, Webster's Pages Vintage Netting, Pan Pastels, jewelry findings and beads, ALL Ten Seconds Studio molds, metals and tools, UTEE, melt pot, wax, molding materials, and Maya Road chipboard. Much more than I can list! I receive new stuff every week, come by and check it out!

Don't forget to sign up for CK 12 Tags of Christmas events!

Vicki C

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Last Saturday's sale was AWESOME! Even though it's a lot of work to get everything tagged and arranged, it is always SO worth the effort! I enjoy nothing better than enabling my friends to get crafty with me, and particularly, giving them a good reason to be excited about crafting. And what could be more exciting than showing off Tim Holtz's Vagabond machine for die cutting and embossing?! NOTHING! :-)

Well, maybe inviting my friends over to do Tim's 12 Tags of Christmas, THAT is exciting in and of itself. If you don't know what the 12 Tags of Christmas are all about, click this link to go to Tim's blog and read all about it and find yourself caught up in the urge to be creative with what you have on hand! (I can see that every sentence I write tonight is going to end up being punctuated with exclamation points.) How else do you get across how fun it is taking something as simple as a #8 manila shipping tag and turning it into your own piece of artful Christmas cheer? The past couple of nights, I've been up when Tim has posted his tag for the day, even though I am supposed to be conducting myself within the realms of good sleep hygiene. Sheesh, that just sounds somehow unclean to say. Why is it called "sleep hygiene?" Why not "sleep habit" or something else less, um, dirty-sounding? The only time I go to bed before midnight or 1am is when I am sick. That's when they should worry. :-) Anyway, seeing the tags go live is exciting for us night owls, and you can follow Mario's BTS Tweets on Twitter for a peak at what is going on "Behind The Scenes" as Tim make's his tags. The best part is learning a ton of techniques new and old using Tim's products, Ranger products, as well as some unusual applications of items you may have just sitting around your craft room.

So, if you are not busy Wednesday, December 8th; Saturday, December 11th, and Monday December 13th, come over to the CK Paper Studio and make your own interpretation of Tim's tags. We're loaded with all kinds of Tim and Ranger goodies, and so much more. LIKE... my Vagabond! Yep, we'll be using the Vagabond to do all our cutting and embossing. We'll be using Tim's Tag Die to cut tags, not to mention using just about every other die and embossing folder handy (and believe me, they are ALL handy!). We'll be spraying, misting, sprinkling, stamping, inking, heating, distressing, cutting, trimming, painting, water-coloring, masking, swiping, edging, drying, laughing, chatting and eating on every one of those dates! Wednesday and Monday start times are 6p, Saturday is 10a. There is no cost for this event, just bring yourself and your trimming stash. The store will be open, so you can buy what you don't have and think you MUST have. Knowing most of you, we pretty much have it all!

On Saturday, December 18 (my hubby had to point out that I was calendar-challenged when I posted to FB about this, Saturday is the 18th, not the 17th as I FB'd), we'll be gathering one last time before Christmas to finish our tags (or make more) or chose from any one of several small projects you can do as great gifts for your friends. Gift Card holders, Alcohol Ink Splattered Ornaments, Candy boxes and the like are on the menu. Give us a call and let us know you are coming to any one of these events, and have a good time fellowshipping with friends and family! Check out the 12 Tags of Christmas and see what you can be inspired to do!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I tried to get this posted earlier in the week, but boy does life get in the way sometimes! Anyhoo, if you've been following me on FaceBook, I had a contest to name my big Saturday after Black Friday sale. Up for grabs were over $100 of products from the Conquest Keepsakes Paper Studio store. I received some pretty good suggestions, I wish I could have used them all! But Lois Glossip was the winner with "Vicki's Vanishing Values Sensational Saturday Sale!" I love alliterations, so my hat's off to Lois for coming up with such a cool name! There were some other great ones too, so I felt that everyone who participated in the naming contest (including my far flung friends from Ohio and Texas) should receive a little somethin' somethin' from CKPS! Sometimes you never know what you'll get when you chime in on a contest on FB! So thank you to Candy, Shirley, Lynda, Diane, Kerry, Trae, Angela and Lois for participating! Trae, I need your mailing address, so email or Private Message me on FB with the particulars so I can get you hooked up too! As my friend Candy says, "My Wonder Wall Runneth Over!"

Sooo, what IS Vicki's Vanishing Values Sensational Saturday Sale all about? It's about GREAT DEALS on all your favorite vintage, distressed, metal, bling and paper arts products! Everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING in the store is sensationally priced to move it off my wall and into your hands at unheard of prices! The accountant does not like inventory at the end of the year (!!) and I've got to make room for all the juicy new products that will be rolled out in January at the Craft & Hobby Association trade show. Everything will be at least 30% off and up to 60% off on some items. You REALLY don't want to miss this, as it includes some of the latest Tim Holtz, Maya Road, 7 Gypsies, Graphic 45, Ten Seconds Studio, Tattered Angels, Kaisercraft, and Ranger products, just to name a few! You'll want to get here early for the best selection! NOTHING is exempt from these sale prices except for preview products, BUT if you like what you see of the preview items, you can preorder and receive a 30% discount on Saturday only! (Sorry, this discount does not apply to Tim Holtz's Vagabond.) Does it get any better than this? I will also be demoing the Tim Holtz Sizzix Vagabond die cutter. If you want to see what this gorgeous, mighty cutter/embosser can do, come over and take a test drive! We are the first in Springfield to have the Vagabond, so come check it out!

But wait, there's more! Everyone who shops here on Saturday between 8a and 12 noon, will receive a free gift for taking the time to come over and deplete me of stock! These nifty little spiffs are not old papers/products, they are 2010 release products, including some of the latest items from Maya Road, Tim Holtz, Ranger, 7 Gypsies, and many more! There is NO purchase minimum for these free items. If you spend a penny, you get one (and for my British friends, I am not talking about a free restroom visit). :-) So save a few dollars for Saturday and be sure to get here before Noon so you can add a little extra cheer to your crafty holiday shopping!

Here are just a few of the values you will find here on Saturday (these are on in-stock items only and do not apply to special orders, preview items, or electronic die cutters):

All paper pads and loose sheet papers, 50% off
All chipboard products, 40% off
All soldering products, 50% off
All mists and sprays, 40% off
All dies and embossing folders, 40% off
All embellishments and ribbons, 40% off
All ink products and adhesives, 40% off
All metal working supplies and tools, 50% off
All other tools, 30% off
All jewelry accessories, findings, wire, and chains, 40% off
All wood products, 30% off
All storage products, 50% off
All binding products, 40% off
Plus several bins of onesies and twosies (it could be ANYTHING), 60% off!

My hoarding habit will be your gain on Saturday! All products will be color-coded so you can see at a glance what the discount is. If Brown/FedEx is running on time, we might even have a preview of the new Graphic 45 paper line, Once Upon a Springtime. (No promises, but I do know it has shipped!)

But wait (again, I'm not done), there is even more! If you place a special order (an order for a product I do not currently have in stock that is not a preview item), you'll get a special Saturday-Only discount! It's so sensational, I can't even type it! A great opportunity to shop for the very latest products and save on everything, not just one couponed item! Can we say, Merry Christmas?!

The sale starts Saturday at 8am and goes to 8pm. The "Spend a Penny" free items run from 8a til Noon. So come over and check out the sale, see the classroom space, get a preview of classes to come and enjoy some holiday snacks and cheer! See you Saturday!


Saturday, October 16, 2010


Just a quick post to let you all know that we've received the rest of our Advantus Tim Holtz Idea-ology, which includes all four Configurations, Seasonal and Lost & Found Salvage Stickers, Seasonal Paper Stash and Lavish Trimmings. All pre-orders have been filled and I have a limited quantity of each of these products available...RIGHT NOW! Don't miss out on getting your hands on the highly sought-after Configurations! I also have a limited supply of Tim's Foundations Box Feet, Tissue Tape (all six styles), and other Idea-ology trimmings!

This week we have also received additional Maya Road introduced in July, including: Kraft Mini Tickets Strips, Dollies, and Calendars; Windows, Ornate Tags and Decorative Scrolls Chipboard sets; Tags, Crowns, Antique Keys, and Mixed Scallop Triangle Banner Mini Chipboard sets; Sand, Blueberry and Licorice Maya Mists; Wood Bingo Calendar Numbers; Pennant and Flower Edge Chipboard Albums, Canvas Pennant Album, House Accordian Album, Dollie Transparencies, Resin Blossoms, Vintage Crochet Trim in several styles, Pleated Ribbon in Cream (so you can color it with mists!), along with re-orders of some of your favorites, including the Snowflake Coaster album (which would make a great holiday banner!), Maya Mists, Alphas, etc.

Not to be neglected, we now have all colors of the Tens Seconds Studio metals. In fact, we have EVERYTHING TEN SECONDS STUDIO! I just completed my Certification with TSS products (what a blast that was and will be a separate post of its' own) and, WOW, if you haven't used these products yet, you are truly missing out on one of the most creative mediums available! We carry all the molds, metals, adhesive, tools, etc. of this product line, and many additional products that complement the metals. If you haven't tried Tattered Angels Glitter Glam and Glazes or Ranger Alcohol inks with these metals, you are missing out on MAGIC! I kid you NOT, TOTALLY MAGIC! We carry the Tattered Angels Glimmer Glams and Glazes and Ranger Alcohol Inks (and other products) that we love most to use with the metals. To use a British/Australian term (in honor of my British inlaws who will be here with us next week), I was GOBSMACKED with all the things you can do with these metals and molds! I would exhaust my list of superlatives if I start telling you just exactly how cool this product line is! BTW, hope you have a die cutter of some kind to use with these molds, because you're gonna want one... We recommend the Sizzix Bigshot, but you can use a Provo Craft Cuttlebug too. We don't discriminate...


So, along those lines, we have Ten Seconds Studio Technique classes scheduled for October 23 and November 6th here at the Conquest Keepsakes Paper Studio classroom just to show you what all you can do with this product to complement your scrapbooks, projects, altered art and jewelry. These classes will teach you the basics as well as more advanced applications working with Ten Seconds Studio products, plus using complementary products like Tattered Angels and Ranger to produce effects that will knock your knickers off! :-) I'll be posting additonal details and class costs after I clean my house today for the imminent arrival of the inlaws. The British are coming! The British are coming! OK, my historical humor for the day...


Now, a suggestion for the significant other in your life that is wondering, "What the heck do I get my (significant person here) for Christmas? I don't understand anything about that crafting stuff!" Get them a Conquest Keepsakes Paper Studio Gift Certificate good for products and classes. Email Vicki for details on how to purchase this one-of-a-kind, collectible [smirk] gift certificate for the crafty person in your life. They can even use it on special orders! Contact info is on the left side of the blog.

Hope you all have a beautiful weekend like mine, full of sunshine, cleaning, dusting, mowing, vacuuming, trimming, dishwashing, cat bathing... Oh, well, maybe not cat bathing. I don't want to be hospitalized before the British arrive... It's bad enough to have to "tamale" Maki for her eye drops.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


What a beautiful day in the Ozarks! Fall is my favorite time of year, and although we are not officially there, you can tell the weather is changing. I was pretty sure yesterday I was going to have to take Maki (my Seal Point Himi) to the vet in a Kayak. Nothing worse than rain so hard you can't see 100 feet in front of you, rush hour traffic (yes, we sorta have that here) and you're driving with a yowling cat that is UNHAPPY to be in a carrier, in the car, with a painful swollen eye! She was trying to dig her way out of the carrier, and that was somewhat distracting while driving. Almost as distracting as watching a really dark sky with a large wall cloud coming toward you, just before the sky opens up and dumps on you. I was happy it was just rain and not a twister or golf-ball sized hail. Just the same, she saw Dr. Bacon (through her one good eye), was much better with him dropping stuff in her eye than with me, and she yowled again all the way home, but the pain med he gave her, plus her bad eye being numb, seemed to disinterest her from trying to dig out of the carrier coming home. It did remind me of the "Pig that goes Wee, Wee, Wee all the way home" commercial. At least the sun was shining again by then. That's what they say about Missouri weather, if you don't like it, wait five minutes.

I've had a few inquiries as to what Tim Holtz Alterations Dies and Texture-fade folders I have in stock, so I am going to make a list at the end of this entry. I also just found out this afternoon that my TH stamps are FINALLY shipping, so those of you with pre-orders should be happy inkers next week. Idea-ology is also on it's way, and Ranger product should be shipping next week too. We're fully stocked with Maya Road, Ten Seconds Studio and expecting some more Kaisercraft product to ship! Lots of projects planned for the holidays, we'll get some samples up soon (probably coated in Maki hair, I think she sheds on demand).

Here's a sneak peek of the Kaisercraft Beyond the Page Advent Calendar done with Graphic 45 Christmas Past paper, Tim Holtz Hitch Fasteners as drawer knobs, and a few Kaisercraft Latte Pearls. The shadowbox portion will be dimensional with lots of other embellishments, and I still have some inking to do, among other things. This was taken with my iPhone, what a great tool for a quick informal pic!

Here's the list of Tim's Alterations that I currently have in stock. If I catch a moment this evening, I'll take a pic of the Tim "Wall of Wonder" as my friends call it, and a pic of the classroom/crafting area. Don't forget that we have Candy Colwell's "The Witching Hour" book class coming up on October 2. If you haven't signed up, hop over to her blog for information on how to sign up.

Caged Bird
Hardware Findings
Gadget Gears
Elegant Flourish
Heart Wings
Fanciful Flight
Ornate On-the-Edge
File Tabs On-the-Edge
Scallops On-the-Edge
Bracket On-the-Edge
Plaque & Postage On-the-Edge
Dot Matrix/Gridlock Texture Fade
Burlap/Swirls Texture Fade
Sizzix Cutting Pads for On-The-Edge dies
Movers & Shakers Key Hole Punches
Movers & Shakers Hole Punches

Friday, September 10, 2010


We had so much fun the first time, we're going to do it again! OK, so we're going to do it every month up through Christmas. Our next wild and crazy Craft-N-Crop is September 18th at the Conquest Keepsakes Paper Studio, from 10a to 6p. Please note, that is a time change from the first one. I'm not much of a morning person (unless you want to say I'm a REALLY EARLY morning person since I don't seem to get to bed much before 3a), so this time is probably more realistic if you want my brain engaged in productive activity. :-) Please call to reserve your spot at the tables, we can easily seat 12 attendees and if we have less, it means more room for you to spread out. Not that any of us would do that..., eh Katrina? :-) Kidding aside, we are all for the spread if there is room. Cutters and other tools are on other work surfaces, so you can have more supplies on your table. Plus there will always be a store special for those who want to pop by as well as those of us, er, crafting or whatever it is we do! Cliff will be standing by with the big cart, so you can load up your gear in one trip around to the lower level. Cost for the crop is a measly $5 and that covers your drinks, some snacks and free use of all the tools you can find, and there are a lot tools, I LIKE TOOLS! If it plugs in or runs on batteries, makes loud noises or can burn you, I probably have it, so ask if you are not sure.

One new items you will be able to see is the full range of Hanah Silk! I have seven boards of all the samples of the silk ribbons they offer, and we can special order any color you want, by the yard or by the spool. These are some of the most beautiful hand-dyed ribbons you will ever see, in either silk or satin.

Future Craft-N-Crop dates are October 23, November 6 and December 4th, although our December day may change due to potential scheduling conflicts. That's always such a busy time of year, but we want to get in one more day of Christmas crafting before the big day hits!

Neighborhood Pizza is just up the street from us if you want to grab a quick bite to eat, they have it all! Small personal pizzas, regular pizzas, sandwiches, casseroles, nachos, salads, wraps, I couldn't begin to name it all, and it is the best food in Springfield! You can even find them on Facebook! If you get the urge for your own bag of treats, there's a Dollar Store right next to it. Milk Dud central. Yeah baby!

Again, I will try to pull a demo out of my Tim Holtz Hoodie and see what we come up with. We're still waiting on Tim's Fall line of stamps and products, which should be shipping soon. They tell us "September" but that can mean it leaves their dock on September 30th at 11:59pm, so I'll keep breathing for now. :-) We will have the new Spellbinder dies in to demo along with some new Kaisercraft creeping in the back door.

Call to reserve or get directions, we are easy to find, just north of I-44 on North Glenstone and a bit east on Valley Watermill Road (or about a mile west of Hwy 65 off the County Road 102 exit which is also Valley Watermill Road, past the Springfield Country Club, The Greens and the Valley Watermill Reservoir). The street address is 3726 N. Mill Ridge Avenue if you have GPS (one of the top ten technologies according to Modern Marvels on the History Channel—consider yourself educated!).


The next class dates are scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 21, Thursday Sept 23 and Friday, September 24. The class for that week is the Monogrammed Notebook. You will need to bring a Chipboard letter with the monogram of your choice, and all the items listed in the sidebar for the Basic Crafting Kit. The Paper Studio Large Chipboard Letters are excellent for this project, although other chipboard letters will work as well, depending on size. Please bring a large glue stick for this project. This book will be using fall themed papers and ribbon and include instructions so you can make additional books on your own. The cost for this class is $15.

Please be sure to read the sidebar regarding Hobby Lobby Classes, and the Basic Craftng Kit. It gives you all the information you need to sign up for the class and what items to bring. Class sign-ups need to be made according to the schedule listed under Hobby Lobby Classes. These deadlines are necessary in order for me to have enough time to prepare kits for the classes. Sorry, no exceptions. If you don't have the supplies that you need, please come in at least 30 minutes before the class and I will help you find what you need at the store so you can purchase those items before class starts. :-) Our classes start promptly, so don't be late!

Friday, August 27, 2010


Don't forget to Scrap & Craft with Conquest Keepsakes tomorrow from 9a to 5p! If you need directions, email me and I'll get them out to you. It's going to be a beautiful day!

If you come by the crop, take a look at Candy Colwell's The Witching Hour book and a couple of her amazing Heritage blocks on display! Sign up for the Witching Hour book class (only a few seats left), and see what we are offering this fall. Lots of great Christmas Gift ideas that you can personalize with your own unique crafting style! Here are a few pics of Candy's ingenious The Witching Hour book:

In this class you will learn some unique ways of putting together a 3-dimensional book that is very interactive and can be displayed during the holidays. Every time you look through it, you see something new! Candy is a master craftsman of interactive crafting experiences. We'll be using many products you might not have had the opportunity to use, so come and learn something new with Candy! The class will be October 2 here at the Conquest Keepsakes Paper Studio.

If you like to craft/crop, we have space for 12 (quite comfortably), so bring something to work on and come play with us tomorrow! Door prizes, make-n-takes, demos and more! Of course we have chocolate (what self-respecting crafter wouldn't?) and lemonade, tea and more. We have the garden cart waiting to bring your scrappy/crafty items around in one easy trip!

We'll continue to carry a unique array of vintage items and can special order what we don't have in stock. While you crop/craft tomorrow, watch our slide show of favorite CHA Winter and Summer pics, you will see some of the great projects we saw at the show and share a few laughs too.

Check out our Vintage, Metal and Soldering Class/Kit Clubs that we will be debuting this fall or sign up and join us on our monthly Scrap & Craft nights. We look forward to seeing you in our comfortable, relaxing surroundings and becoming a part of the Conquest Keepsake family!

Friday, August 13, 2010


This is has been a summer of a lot of changes, crafting, hanging with my crafty friends, Mom having cancer surgery, me battling my own health issues, but most of all, totally revamping my training and retail area here at the Conquest Keepsakes Paper Studio HQ (aka, the other 1500 sq. ft. in our walkout not occupied by mowers and bathrooms). Most of my friends/family/business associates know I have had a travel store for the last three years, Conquest Keepsakes (so original, I know) and I sell primarily vintage/multimedia art and paper products and teach paper crafting classes. I also have been teaching basic papercrafting at both Hobby Lobby stores here in Springfield. But some changes were in order...

Sometimes you just have to make a choice to do one thing well instead of a lot of things OK. Thus my decision to focus on vintage mutlimedia projects, mini-albums, and vintage jewelry making, and expanding the training area. To that end we have added Ten Seconds Studio products so we can create metal works of art that fit with our vintage projects and jewelry. We are also working on adding a couple of more product lines to deepen what we have to offer in this niche. If you like SteamPunk, this could be for you! Such a hot product area right now, I saw quite a bit of it at CHA this summer.

Speaking about things made from metal, I'll be going down to Texas in October to take the TSS certification course, which I am sure will be a hoot as Cheryl and Megan are very entertaining and quite versatile in what they do. I KNOW I will come back enlightened! At least about metal...

As I've said, this summer I've decided to get REALLY serious about making some changes in my training/retail space here at HQ. I have the technology and the background, so why not use it? So for the past couple of months I have worked on totally clearing the finished walkout basement area (bye bye mancave, or at least relocated), rearranged the tables, spanked out the Sharp projector, set up the video camera and lit up the screen with artsy projects (instead of SciFi and Photoshop). Delightful! So now I can teach 12 to 14 victims, er, clients, at a time, utilizing the video cam to show everyone the techniques we are using and demo products. Now we've gone from 6 to 12, effectively doubling our training/crafting/cropping space. With this setup, I can even monitor my wireless IP Surveillance camera. :-) A girl's gotta know when FedEx and UPS hits the door! I could even do some Death by PowerPoint if I were so inclined (and believe me, I'm NOT).

It really does feel good to go back to my roots in technology, instructional design, graphic arts and marketing and using more of that to promote my crafting/artsy business. I taught graphic arts software for 20 years, so it has been nice to put all those art classes in college to work and teach something that doesn't involve the computer. Using your hands to create art and tell a story is so gratifying to me! I still love my Mac and graphic apps, but I am really excited about expanding more in this vintage direction by enlarging the training area, branching out into metal art and offering products that are out of the mainstream and harder to find! My love has always been teaching hands-on, and with all the wonderful products on the market now, there is plenty of room for everyone to be involved. It is my goal to teach techniques and products that are not currently offered by the big box stores, or even the local scrapbook stores. Like I said earlier, everyone can't do everything, so I have directed my efforts to fill in the gap between crafting and art, using found objects and items out of the mainstream. The full store is set up when I am not traveling, so it's a one stop learn and shop! You don't know what it is? We will show you! Then you can become addicted as I am. :-)

Along those lines, Conquest Keepsakes is holding an open house Crop & Craft August the 28th from 9a till the cows come home (your guess is as good as mine!), but we're shooting for 5-6p. We will be doing demos, make-n-takes, door prizes and other fun things to introduce the newly expanded and high-tech advanced classroom area, along with our expanded store offerings. We will have a new schedule up shortly now that summer is coming to an end; for local classes, road classes, club crops, and events (including Hobby Lobby classes too) for Fall and Winter. If you like Tim Holtz, Ranger, Ten Seconds Studio, Maya Road, Graphic 45, 7 Gypsies, Suze Weinberg, and everything else distressed and vintage, this is for you! We have a class schedule that will keep you hopping, so check back often! We've expanded into jewelry making and soldering, so we are sure to have something to interest most of you beyond scrapbooking!

We'll be posting pics of the new space within the next few days. There are still a few things that require assembly. I just LOVE directions that consist of pictures of what's in the box, and... nothing else. NOT!

We have some other "new" things coming, so don't be surprised when... or I could show you some sneak peaks of.. well, I'll tell you about it later!

Keep the faith! ~Vicki

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Well, it's not Monday, but it is rainy! As the rain sheets down outside here in parts of southern Missouri (snow in other areas), I am here in front of my warm fireplace and MacBookPro, sitting on the knitted throw that my Mom made me for Christmas and reflecting upon another cozy afternoon spent with my artsy friends in Ozark. Although it was cold and wet outside, inside we all sat around the tables and visited and shared our latest artful projects. Shirley was working on a beautiful crazy quilt mini-ablum, Pat on a snow layout and Joyce let me peak at the mini book she just finished for her nephew, who bears a striking resemblance to my nephew! In another corner Misty is showing Lois how to use her Design Studio with her JukeBox on her Cricut. We all sang happy birthday to my husband, who graciously spent his day helping me move product in and out, setting up tables and ringing up the goodies the girls wanted to use on their projects. Rebecca and I shared a smile as we're both the same age; she just had her birthday and mine is coming up in a few weeks. Let's just say we're older than we wish we were! It's always amazing how our lives intertwine with consistent themes of family and friends, fellowship and laughter, and sometimes a tear or two as we think of relationships that have changed or moved on due to circumstances beyond our control or the natural cycle of life.

I am truly thankful for the family and dear friends that I have. They are a constant blessing to me. They inspire me to do better tomorrow than I did today, they spark my creative curiosity as we all exchange our thoughts about the day's events and how we want to capture those feelings and emotions, as well as the details in what we're working on during the day.

As the rain turns to drizzle and ice (and heavens, probably some snow!) I'm going to sit here and plan a few new classes and projects. There is something about the change in weather during this time of year, even when we seem to be going backwards and not "springing" forward, that always makes me yearn for something new and different. New product arrives daily and it almost seems like sensory overload trying to narrow all the ideas down to a few well-planned projects that will excite others to work with them as much as it excites me to plan them! As I grow older this month I am still excited about getting to play with my new toys! Stay tuned, you may be finding yourself drawn into the excitement of a new project too!

Keep the faith!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I haven't posted in a while, been busy with other stuff, and not so fun other stuff at that. This is a hard post for me to write. I've put it off forever but now I finally have to say something.

You know how the old adage goes that says, "No good deed goes unpunished"? Or the one that says. "Never lend money to a friend"? Well, I've received a good dose of that this year. I wouldn't normally talk about this type of thing on a blog, but I guess my bucket is full to overflowing. It's time for righteous indignation! I feel a need to say something, because I think this situation happens way more often than it should and I am sick and tired of people acting badly and getting away with it, because no one will stand up to the person and tell them, "Hey, that is NOT how you treat friends/people!"

Since when is it OK to lie to or mistreat your spouse, your friends, your family, and even your constituents if you're a politician? How come we as a people, we as family, we as friends, and even we as voters, can turn a blind eye to things that are just flat, plain wrong? Do we not have any sense of personal responsibility anymore? When did our word being our bond cease to be? Has it now become "do anything we can get away with?" Do not actions have repercussions/consequences? Can we lie with impunity?

What happened to treating people with compassion and understanding? Extending help even when we are not asked? Hoping others will "pass it on?" Is the good deed dead or does it only work in movies? Has Ty Pennington used up all the good will in America and the common person thinks watching it on TV is as good as doing it? Do people now have the option of making promises they have no intention of keeping and freely cop an attitude about it? Is that the new "cool?" Can we take other people's money that they were generous enough to lend and just pitch responsibility out the window and say, "Screw you, you can't touch me, I'm not paying you back a dime?" What EXACTLY has this nation come to? I hear a lot of people calling themselves Christians, but acting in a VERY un-Christ-like manner. Jesus is shaking his head and the founding fathers of this nation are spinning in their graves.

As a Christian myself, it sickens me. It SADDENS me. It makes me lose hope. Hope in America and it's people. A nation that was founded on Christ-like principles and now it's people are acting like a group of miscreants, thugs, liars, cheaters, etc. Do we blame this on a new generation? If so, it is people my age that have failed our children. We've not taught personal responsibility and accountability to them. Why should they feel responsible if we don't show responsibility to them? The golden rule has tarnished. A nation that was founded on the Bible now doesn't let you post the Ten Commandments in a public place.

All of this and more has hit home to me this week. I was generous with a friend and this person repaid my kindness and generosity with a lie and an attitude. They've told the lie so many times that they now think it's the truth. (Almost sounds like Congress.) I'm to a point that I can't believe anything that they say. It's a sad day when you have to document every little word someone says just in case they chose to lie about it in the future. What a sad and pathetic way to live your life. I feel truly sorry for a person like that. I would much rather have joy, truth, friendship, generosity, kindness, understanding, compassion, gentleness, love and hope in my life.

So my word for this year is BETTER. I want to be better at being a Wife, Aunt, Sister, Daughter, listening ear, encourager, sustainer, prayer warrior, Christian, artist and friend. I'd also like to be better at posting. :-) While I'm at it, I'd like to be better at picking better friends. Thankfully, I am already blessed with many wonderful, compassionate, gifted friends. I just need to get rid of some chaff and pass on a little lesson regarding actions have consequences, whether those consequences are experienced in the short term or the long term. Ultimately, we all know God is the final adjudicator and He sees all. I can live with that.

Keep the faith (I'm certainly trying),

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I'd say I was sitting here in sunny California, but it's definitely not sunny and I forgot to pack my oars so I could paddle on down to the convention center tomorrow. Oops. Hopefully it will be sunny and a little bit warmer tomorrow, or I think I might have to call this western, western Missouri. :-) Our condo does have a great view of Disneyland and we'll be able to see the fireworks from our unit. If we're looking out the window and not at our computer screens!

I did get my one clumsy move for 2010 out of the way today. Last year, my groove involved missing a step going downstairs at my house and doing a face plant at the bottom of the stairs, a week after getting my cast off my arm. At least I didn't have an audience for that performance (outside of the furry four-footed kind). This year, I waited until I arrived here in California and made my move in front of Bubba Gumps. Evidently I am not even coordinated enough to walk down the sidewalk without falling down. In the rain. Hard. Busted. Embarrassed. Sigh.

Well, it's getting late. I'm trying to keep up with photos and such on FaceBook and Twitter. Once the show (CHA) starts, I'll post pics here too. Theoretically. If I don't bust my camera by falling on it.

Keep the faith (and medical insurance if you're coming near me)!

Friday, January 15, 2010


One of the wonderful benefits of the Tim Holtz cruise this fall was having the opportunity to make new friends and spend time with other creative women. This cruise was also the first time I've been a part of an ATC swap. For those of you who don't know what an ATC card is, it stands for Artist Trading Card and it is based on a very simple concept. An ATC card is the size of a card from a deck of playing cards (think Hearts, Spades, Poker, Black Jack, etc.) and past that it really has no rules. It can be anything you want, using whatever types of media you feel comfortable using. The only real rule it has, is that it has to be given, not sold. So imagine 150 creative women making cards to trade with each other and with Tim, Mario, and Wendy! Not all of us made cards, but those who did were very generous and very creative. Since I signed up for the cruise about 4 weeks before departure, I didn't have time to make any cards, although I decided that I would try to make some after the cruise to share with several of my fellow cruisers. Watching everyone swap cards and show their collection of cards was a lot of fun, and one of my new friends, Kathy E., made a vest of ATC cards that she wore on the ship. Amazing! My other favorite was Mario's card... a copy of the shipping labels for all the boxes they had to send with supplies. Hysterical! It still makes me smile.

This week I received an ATC from Karen (aka KeyChain) that she made using some pretty cool techniques, and some interesting products. Rather than try to describe it, I thought I would post a picture of it so I could share it with all of you. What the picture doesn't show as well is that the right side of the card with the likeness of Mona Lisa is very textural, so I asked her what she did to create it and here is what she said:

"I spread a thin layer of Gesso on the card, made an impression using a clean stamp. Added a thin wash of paint after it had dried."

I thought it was a really nice look and worked really well with the other products she used on the card. I'm kind of an earth-tone girl, so the whole card really appealed to me. Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. :-) She also helped me increase my ATC collection (now that I have more than four, I can call it a collection, can't I?). Thanks Karen! Can't wait to see you at the show and you can tell me what else you used on this card... [wink]

Until tomorrow everyone, keep the faith!

Quit laughing...

So I have to be the world's worse blogger, nothing new there! Facebook and Twitter were clamoring for attention but now it is back to basics!

Since there is no way to catch up, I'm going to use a good old church euphemism that goes like this, "Come as you are." So, other than late to the party, here I am! You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter (@conquestkpsks).

Here's a quick run down of the last couple of months, and probably the reason I am slow to post, is THE CRUISE! Yes, the cruise to Mexico with Tim Holtz and Wendy Vecchi in October and arranged by ScrapMap happens to be one of the most incredible things I have ever done! Bar NONE! All the rest of the girls have blogged their trips, so now I'll endeavor to blog my perspective, along with current news such as the impending trip to Winter CHA in LA. I do have a few more days before I leave on Thursday, so I hope I'll be able to catch up while itching with anticipation for the show!

If you ever have the opportunity to do a scrapping/stamping cruise, working with ScrapMap and Jim West was a delight, considering I signed up six weeks before the cruise! Jaci Hague hustled around and got me everything I needed on time so I owe her special thanks. You ROCK Jaci! They had every detail planned and it was such a wonderful time. We did have some rough seas the first couple of days, but we all managed to deal with it as it came along. The Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas was a spectacular ship, our stewards and wait staff at dinner were impeccable, I don't know how else they could have spoiled us with everything they did. Just flat amazing! Because of the rough seas, we had to change our itinerary some, but Tim and his crew just rolled with it and we had an awesome time! Of course I picked up a few new slang versions about cruising, like "The Floating Raisin Ranch" or "Newly Wed or Nearly Dead" much to my amusement! They've already announced the next Tim Cruise, it will be in the fall, Sept. 30th through Oct. 9th, New England and Canada. I do have some pics posted in an album on my FaceBook page, but there are more to come (I took TWO cameras and some video).

After the cruise I threw myself into getting stuff together for our Forever Memories crop we do once a month, and OF COURSE we are all Tim peeps. It's a small group of very talented ladies and we all love vintage, distress and mutli-media projects. They really had to twist my arm to get me going to that! [grin] Now I feel like a pimp handing out Tim fixes once a month (if not more often).

As far as upcoming events and classes, we have two events this Spring. One is the Pleasant Hope Crop on March 6th that my friend Lori McCroskey puts together every year benefiting the school, and the other is the Children's Miracle Network crop April 9, which is always a big crop for a really good cause. For more information on these crops, you can contact Lori at Clear Dollar Stamps for info on how to register for that event, and for the CMN crop, you can contact The Scrapbooking Momeez for more information and registration. This year Krista Pickle, from Scrapbooks Forever in Branson will be hosting an excellent store for this event, you don't want to miss that! Mark your calendars now. I will also have a booth and teach a class and some make-n-takes, all emphasizing vintage/distress looks. I'll be carrying everything Tim in my booth, along with Zutter, 7 Gypsies, Graphic 45, Maya Road, Making Memories, and Jenni Bowlin, just to name a few. If it's vintage or distressed and available, I'll have it. Obviously we will be showcasing Tim's new products being intro'd next week at CHA, his inks, stamps, Idea-ology, and his new Sizzix dies. I'll be giving away a couple of really great products and you'll have the chance to examine and play with his new product lines.

In between those crops, we still have classes going at Hobby Lobby, our Forever Memories monthly crops and some other special events for a few local groups. If you're as excited as I am about all the new things coming out, you may need to stop reading here and go to the restroom. I'll still be here when you get back!

One of my new fascinations is Ten Seconds Studio and working with metal. I can't wait to see what those crazy ladies show us this year at the show. Seriously, you need to catch their Taco Tuesday videos. Look for links for all these on the sidebar.

Until later!