Fir Trees

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These photos were taken on our trip to the UP in June. This was the day we decided the rain and cold wasn’t going to ruin our vacation and we bundled up and hiked through the wooded beach. It was so beautiful.

I used the new Fir Tree die from Mosaic Moments to embellish the page. I love this one because you can use it with or without the grid square.

I am imagining a border of these trees all decorated for the holidays, but I can’t do that until after Christmas, when I have photos to use!

Until then, I made a video to show you how easy it is to cut and put together this little tree. Click here to watch it!

Above the Trees

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I was privileged to go to Boyne Highlands this fall — right in time to see the amazing autumn colors. There was breathtaking beauty everywhere I looked.

I used Mosaic Moments’ new leaf die (love the unique size and shape) to accent some of my favorite photos. And, of course, I made a video to show you how I did it! Click here to watch it.

Mosaic Monday in the Pumpkin Patch

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This is my adorable cousin Layla. Her mom always dresses her in the most adorable outfits and takes the cutest pictures of her. I make it a regular habit to steal them off of Facebook and scrapbook them!

Although you cannot tell it, the photo is actually printed on a transparency and attached to glitter paper. It has a really cool effect in person and a lot of reflection as I photographed it. It really looks quite magical in person and I cannot wait to give it to her mother.

As for the pumpkins … those are brand new from Mosaic Moments. I made a video to show you how fun they are to use … click here to watch it.

The letters are also new dies from Mosaic Moments … stay tuned to discover more on those!

Apple Inspiration

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Today I am sharing a technique I learned from a customer while teaching her how to create a Mosaic Moments page. She gave me permission to publish her page, and the idea, but asked me to leave her name off, so I am. But she knows how brilliant this idea is!

Her page is of her tour to Applewood, a mansion owned by a famous Flint family. (sorry for the photography … I took these pictures at a crop with my phone, but you will still get the idea) The large green space is where her journaling will go … And, you should know this is her first page using the Mosaic Moments system. She used the dies to create the entire page.

She wanted to carry the theme of apples through the page. And she brought this paper to incorporate …

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As soon as I used the new Pumpkin Harvest Die Set from Mosaic Moments, I thought the smaller pumpkins could easily be used as apples, if cut from red or green paper. But I hadn’t had a chance to try it yet …

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When I showed her the die and told her my idea, she agreed. She asked if she should cut them from green paper. I thought she meant the same green paper she used for the journaling square and told her that would be perfect. So, I was a bit surprised when I helped another customer and came back and saw she cut from the printed apple paper.

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Yes, I have cut from patterned paper before, but I have never thought of using a large-scale apple paper to cut tiny apples. When I saw it, I fell in love! It adds so much depth and elegance to the die cuts. And, it didn’t matter where she cut — the bottom one above has a stem in it, but it still looks fabulous.

Thanks for teaching me a new tip, what’s-her-name! Thank you for letting me share it with my readers! And, congratulations on creating your first Mosaic Moments page!

 

Samples, samples and more samples

sample_candy_spiegel10Whenever I have a big crop to attend as a vendor, like Boyne Highlands’ “Girls Just Wanna Crop” with 331 women, I create samples for as many of the products as I have for sale as possible. After all, how do you know you need that product unless you can see (and touch) what someone has done with it for yourself?

I finally had a chance to get photos of all of these card creations … this post will be long, but hopefully it will be inspiring!

 

Elizabeth Craft Designs’ A Way With Words Dies
Elizabeth Craft Designs makes these dies using hand-drawn words from Suzanne Cannon. They are beautiful and unique and fit perfectly on cards and scrapbook pages alike.fullsizerender-14

My husband, who used to just run my register and serve as chauffeur and pack-mule at the larger crops, has gotten a bit crafty lately. Every time I taught a class, I would come back to either new samples or a group of ladies hanging on his every word! The coolest thing is I have not shown him how to do a single thing … he has absorbed it all from listening to me teaching and/or discussing products with him over the years. It turns out he is quite creative. I know I should not have been surprised, but I was!

For these words (to show the differences in the Elizabeth Craft Designs’ Cool Diamond Silk Microfine Glitter and the Warm Diamond Silk Microfine Glitter), he adhered ECD clear, double-sided adhesive to black cardstock and then used the Believe die to cut each one out. Then he applied the glitter and polished it with his finger. Super easy and super beautiful!

By the way, the top one is Cool Diamond — it has a silver or blue tint. The bottom one is Warm Diamond — it has a gold or yellow hue.

sample_candy_spiegelFor this one, I cut the words out twice — once from brown cardstock and once from Bazzill’s Foil Cardstock (one of my new favorite products). I layered the foil die cut slightly to the right of the cardstock one to create a bit of a shadow.

The foil background is embossed with the ECD snowflake embossing folder. I used the medium die from the ECD Entwined Circles die set and added a few Glitter Dots. Easy and stunning!

 

Elizabeth Craft Designs Silk Microfine Glitter

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Did you know ECD double-sided adhesive and Warm Diamond and Cool Diamond glitters are transparent and can go over photos? I did the fairy and birds with Cool Diamond. Matt made the mosaic with Warm Diamond (he was looking for ways to join my two lines).

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Matt also made this one using the Warm Diamond Glitter and Mosaic Moments RTC Grid Paper in Black.

 

Elizabeth Craft Designs’ Chevron Backgroundsample_candy_spiegel4

I love this new die from ECD. On this card, I put back in some of the chevron pieces it cut out (flipping some over to take advantage of the double-sided paper). But the coolest thing is all of the pieces along the top and bottom of the chevron have tiny holes cut in them so you can take out those pieces and create a banner, like I did at the top of the card. Ingenious!

I also used Halloween Charms and Alphabet Die from ECD on this one.

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This time, I covered my card base in ECD double-sided adhesive, added the die cut to the top (cut out of silver foil cardstock) and then filled in the open areas with ECD Silk Microfine Glitter. Then I colored them in using Copic markers. This idea is totally stolen from Kelly Booth and hers looked much better than mine, but you can get the idea …

 

Elizabeth Craft Designs Animal Dies

These are part of the Karen Burniston Pop It Ups Collection for ECD. I love that they have little props, like a Santa hat and glasses, that fit on any of the animals.sample_candy_spiegel7

This is new paper from PhotoPlay … I used Honey the Bear with Props 5. He’s sitting on the Holly Flourish (trimmed and mangled from transport) with Glitter Dots for berries. The stamp is also from ECD.

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Cheepers the Chicken wearing Props 5 and a stamp from Karen Burniston, as well.

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Jolly the Mouse, stamps from Karen Burniston (the same set as the chicken) and the new Labels & Circles die

 

Iron Fence Pop Upsample_candy_spiegel12This ECD die, also by Karen Burniston, came out for Halloween, but it is easily made into a Christmas fence by using glitter paper. I added the Labels & Circles dies and a stamp by Joset Designs for ECD. The paper is from BoBunny.

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Here’s the fence again … this time not as a pop up. In addition to the Labels & Circles (love that set) and the stamp from Joset, I used the Chevron Background Die to cut out the pieces for the banner from glitter paper.

 

Winter Sweater Diesample_candy_spiegel9

I can’t get enough of the Winter Sweater Die by Joset Designs for ECD. It is way too much fun to play with. These are just cut out of paper … I added the Holiday Garlands 2 and Holiday Charms dies, along with Glitter Dots to these ones. The hanger is cut from foil cardstock.

sample_candy_spiegel21Matt did this one … he used foil cardstock for the cuffs, antlers and nose … I love how it shows the embossing that is part of the die. And, he added googly eyes and Glitter Dots. The bow is from the balloon die set by ECD. Quite clever!

 

ECD Peel-Off Stickers

sample_candy_spiegel19I love these stickers. They are so versatile … you can use them with any coloring medium and on just about any surface.

Matt made this card on Mosaic Moments RTC Grid Paper with Cool Diamond Silk Microfine Glitter and Copic markers. I love how he colored the background in.

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I did these on patterned paper (from Graphic 45) and fussy cut them out.

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More glittered and colored stickers … it never gets old.

The card on the top right uses the Transfer Sheet to use the remains of the sticker after the outline has been used. The paper on that card is made using the new stencils from Karen Burniston for ECD.

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Two more samples … I thought the Kitchen Time set would be fun to make tags to adhere to your homemade gifts this holiday season.

 

More Dies from ECDsample_candy_spiegel10This one uses the largest die in the Entwined Circles set. I added the Holly Flourish, Joset’s Birds and some Glitter Dots. The birds are cut from glitter paper (Close to My Heart) and the hats and scarves are cut from felt. I love how versatile the dies are!

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I made this one the last day of the show using the new Pinwheel die from Joset Designs for ECD. I cut most of it out of foil cardstock (I told you I love that stuff). Because the foil is white on the back, I added Cool Diamond Silk Microfine Glitter to the backside before creating the pinwheel. The paper is from Doodlebug. And, yes, the pinwheel is adhered with a brad and spins!

 

Stencils

sample_candy_spiegel11Finally, I purchased this beautiful Memory Box stencil from Bayview Scrappers, another vendor at the show. I made a sample for their booth using Distress Ink and dies, which I neglected to take a photo of.

But, I also did this one with Viva Decor Glitter Paste in two different colors for my booth. I love how it turned out. It will become a card eventually!

And there you have it … Are you inspired?

Stay tuned … page samples are coming soon!

Starting with A

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Thin metal dies from Mosaic Moments makes putting together beautiful layouts take less time than ever … honestly … with a page pattern to follow and the dies, I can put together a complex page in just 15 minutes.

But, the basic dies … the ones that cut the squares and rectangles you need to complete your pages … are a bit of an investment. Fortunately, you don’t need all of the dies to get started. I did this entire page using only one set of dies, the A set.

The A set is one of my favorites and probably the one I use the most. And, it makes making layers and all different size squares quick and easy.

I created a video to show you how easy it is … click here to watch it.

NOTE: I am compensated for making videos for Mosaic Moments.

From Boyne Highlands

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Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs, MI is one of my favorite places to visit.

It’s a ski lodge and features some of the best golf courses in the state, but I go to work — and relax. The place is truly magical. Less than four hours from my house, I feel like I am in another country every time I visit. The buildings have a Tudor vibe and are covered in ivy. Inside, the decor is quite Scottish — which I absolutely love. There are rustic log tables in the lobby, vintage Scottish posters in the halls, and lamps with antlers in many of the rooms. The hotel has a tower, although I still haven’t gotten my Rapunzel photo from it, with beautiful stone, spiral staircases. The bar has amazingly comfortable chairs to relax in and the carpet is red tartan. The rooms have robes to borrow and the hot tub and heated swimming pool are open the entire time we’re there. Every employee — from the front desk to the cleaning staff to the security staff — is polite and happy and they will go out of their way to do whatever you need. In the fall, you can ride the ski lift to look at the colors — more on that to come later. There are many other amenities to enjoy, but we never have the time to enjoy them.

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I love this place. I feel like a fairy princess living in the castle with a beautiful room I get to call my own for 3-4 days, twice a year. Honestly, I never have to make my bed or my own coffee and wine is available by the glass or bottle. What more could a girl ask for?

candyscraps_boyneThis year, we got to go three times, since they added an additional Girls Just Wanna Crop weekend, the weekend following the traditional fall one. For me, these two October weekends were monumental.

candyscraps_boyne3On a professional level, I developed a new business plan limiting my products to Mosaic Moments, Elizabeth Craft Designs and my unique page and card kits. My husband built me some new displays to showcase my new lines and Boyne was the first time I got to try them out. I also worked out a deal with another vendor while I was there (you’ll see more about this later). And, I taught Mosaic Moments, in the form of a two-page layout, for the first time to a group of 15. The class sold out quickly, I had to turn many away and I was very nervous … but the ladies loved it. (Of course, I forgot to take any photos the entire first weekend)

candyscraps_boyne4As usual, I did free make and takes to show new techniques throughout the weekend. Here’s a card one cropper made after learning to use Elizabeth Craft Designs glitter and peel-off stickers.

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And a pair of sweaters my new Canadian friends made with the Elizabeth Craft Designs Sweater Die.

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Another created this amazing page with Mosaic Moments … the empty spot will be filled with a photo, once it is reprinted. It suffered a slip of the knife …candyscraps_boyne5

And, in the last few minutes of the second weekend, Sandy Wilkinson and Tami Migda came to show me these amazing pages they made … They liked them so much, they bought frames from another vendor and framed them! (Naturally, they were the only ones I managed to remember to take a photo of and get their name … you would never know I was a journalist for decades.)

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I did not get a photo of a winning layout … one customer bought one of the Mosaic Moments dies from me and then created a two-page layout. During the crop, they have a contest and her layout was voted the winner! I had nothing to do with it, other than showing her how to use the die, but I felt pretty darn proud!

On a personal level, the second weekend at Boyne was also monumental. I drove there by myself — the longest drive I’ve ever done alone. And, on the way home, I drove with a custom-designed rack on the back of the car to hold all of my products. It wasn’t a big deal, but it was something I had never done before, so it made me feel pretty good.

For the first time in my life, I got out of the hot tub and pool without feeling self-conscious. This was a huge moment for me in my personal growth. I was so calm going from one to the other — even with others around and all of the hotel rooms looking onto the area — that I didn’t even notice I wasn’t uncomfortable until the third time I did it. I guess I’m finally learning to accept myself for who I am — well, and losing 75 pounds doesn’t hurt either.

Finally, I actually rode the ski lift to see the fall colors. I was scared to death — especially before we figured out there was a bar we could pull down in front of us. I held onto that bar with white knuckles, but I didn’t have a panic attack and I did manage to take pictures. (I have yet to download them, but I’m hoping the stabilizer on the lens combated the shaking in my hands.) From someone who a few months ago couldn’t climb up a step ladder, this was a HUGE deal! Thanks to the guys operating the lift for slowing down and even stopping it so I could get on and off.

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So now I’m back down below the 45th parallel and getting special orders ordered and shipped, restocking my inventory and getting ready for my next crop … I have lots of samples I made for Boyne to share … stay tuned!

Mosaic Borders

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One of the biggest natural attractions in Michigan is the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Along 40 miles of Lake Superior’s shore are these incredible rock formations.

On this trip, the weather didn’t cooperate, so we were unable to take the 3-hour boat tour to see all of the rocks, but we did get to view the few that are easily accessible from the shore. This one is called Miner’s Castle. Since I only had a few pictures, I wanted to do something that would really make the pictures stand out and show how unique they are.

I used my favorite die, the 1×1 Mosaic Die Borders, to extend the photo beyond the photo mat. Then I used some paper that reminded me of the colors of the Pictured Rocks in between.

Want to learn how to combine dies to get this look? I made a video! Click here to watch the video and take your photos beyond the border.

NOTE: I do receive compensation for making videos for Mosaic Moments.

Mosaic Windows

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As you probably know, my studio is in the corner of my living room beneath huge picture windows. When I sit at my desk, I look out over several vacant lots and woods owned by my husband’s parents. “The park,” as we call it, is filled with my mother-in-law’s flowers and a huge garden. I have a bird feeder in front of the window and I love my view … even though I live on a small lake lot, I feel like I live in the country when I look out my window. I’m used to seeing a variety of songbirds, crows, turkey vultures, squirrels, chipmunks, and the occasional bald eagle, or neighbor’s cat or dog.

But this day, when I looked up, I was surprised to see two deer in the yard!

For a few seconds, those deer and I locked eyes. I was afraid to move, but I really wanted to capture the moment. Telepathically, I suppose, I sort of asked the deer if he would stay put. Figuring I was no threat, he stood in place while I snapped a few pictures with my phone and called my in-laws to tell them to look out the window (they weren’t home, which made getting pictures even more important).

The pictures on my phone were way too far away, but my camera was, of course, nowhere near my desk. Again, I silently “asked” the deer to wait for me and took off to my bedroom. I ran back to my studio, removing the lens cap and turning on the camera as I went, but expecting them to be gone when I got back.

Amazingly, the deer were still there, slowly exploring my mother-in-law’s flowers.

Getting over “deer fever,” I was able to get quite a few photos of the two. The female wanted to head back to the woods, but the male was insistent that she stay and he kept encouraging her to come back to the park to play — until something spooked them and they both ran back into the woods.

It may have only lasted a few minutes, but it was the first time I had the opportunity to really observe deer being deer — outside of captivity. It was an incredible moment and although some of my photos didn’t come out (I was shaking beyond my camera’s stability control), I did get some great shots through my dirty window!

I wanted it to be obvious that these photos were taken while I was inside. One of the dies from Mosaic Moments reminded me of a window and I knew it would be the perfect way to visually show that the photos were taken through the window.

I made a video to show you how I made this page. Click here to watch it

Have you had an opportunity to photograph animals in nature?

(NOTE: I get paid to make videos for Mosaic Moments).

Where are the animals?

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When I planned my trip to the Upper Peninsula, I went to see the animals. I had visions of hiking a trail for a mile or so, finding a big rock or log to sit on, sitting still for a few minutes, and then watching the birds and squirrels play. I thought, perhaps, I might even see an eagle, moose, elk, wolf or bear. (Well, I really didn’t expect to find one in the woods, but maybe along the side of the road or something …)

I spent a week and was along the shore and in and out of the woods. And I saw less than what I see in my own backyard. No songbirds. No deer. No rabbits. No squirrels. No raccoons. No foxes. No skunks. No coyotes. Not even any roadkill!

Honestly, I’m starting to think that whole bear and moose thing are myths! Probably something they tell us trolls (those who live below the bridge) to get us to travel up there and spend money.

I was extremely disappointed. And, since that was such a big part of our trip, I had to document it … so I scrapbooked the few animals I did see using the Mosaic Moments system.

Want to see how I did it? Click here to watch the video …