So, butterflies are all the rage, and have been for awhile, right. And, so many different companies came out with them, and I bought a few here and there. I finally decided to quit buying ones that I sortof liked, and do some research to buy the ones I LOVED. What did I decide? Hero Arts. I bought these before ScrapFest, and if I hadn't, i certainly would have after testing Hero Arts stamps in Jennifer's class. My absolute favorite....so many sizes, so many styles, and they stamp like PERFECTION. But then, while at the Crop Around Town at ScrapFest, they were putting out the new Basic Grey line, and I SWOOPED in and grabbed me one of these beauties. Hello, do you see that detail? This thing is HUGE...I think it's actual size on the screen. I've only used it once, on this layout: Do you think it would start to look funny if I used one of them on EVERY layout?!? I love it THAT much. So clean, so crisp. Hmmm.. Yummmy. I haven't had much time to post fun stuff, because I haven't been DOING any fun stuff. I've been so busy making inventory for the coming craft shows that I am in next month. I don't want to be doing it at the last minute, so I'm doing it all NOW, rather than doing fun layouts, then having to scramble. And I figure, since we're going to be at Leaf River Retreat the end of October, I'll have plenty to scrap then. this place is heaven on earth. If you leave anywhere near MN or WI, I highly recommend it. This will be our third time attending in two years. The group has changed some each time, but we always have a hoot of a time, eat lots, drink lots, and scrap lots. Love, love, love you, Leaf River Retreat. I would seriously live there, and like, mow lawn, or clean toilets just to be there every single day. Cutest house ever, most peaceful place ever. OK, so if you click on the layout, you get a really good view of how disgustingly dirty that life jacket is. This pic was at the very beginning of summer. I think it was the first time Zack wore this. I'm not sure if those were bugs, whatever, but he did get a small rash afterward. And now that I look closely, you can even see the red rash on his neck beginning. Such a smart mommy, aren't I?!? Did I really think something that disgusting WASN'T going to leave a mark on my child?!? Took a few days, but that rash went away. And then we got a new, clean lifejacket, and this one got thrown into the dirty boat to be used with Daddy.
Scrapfest weekend. Holy tiredness. I feel like I got hit my the scrapbook bully and totally pounded on. Four days of scrappin', scrappin', and MORE scrappin'. Oh yeah, and scrappin.' This was the first year I went all three days, and boy am I glad I did. First off, I got to visit a ton with my fave friend Andrea. (hi cutie!) Day one I had four great classes, (Cosmo Cricket, Heidi Swapp and two others) and got to do a few make n' takes. Friday night was the big crop at Archiver's sponsored by Basic Grey. I got about 14 pages nearly-done, and am finishing them up today. Saturday Day two I had 4 more classes, all four fabulous again. Sunday my last class was with the adorable JENNIFER MCGUIRE. How cute is she?!? And seriously...if you think she's cute online, you should see her in person. What a great class, with some great tips, and even greater prizes and giveaways. Did I mention all the free schwag you come away with at Scrapfest? Well, ya do. I'm guessing my bags of stuff that I bought, and that I got, was over 40 pounds. Seriously. I had to take pictures so people would believe me. The first one is all the stuff that was given out during classes or won as prizes. Do you SEE all those stamp sets?!?!? Yes, that is one by Autumn Leaves, one Cosmo Cricket, one from Hero Arts... the list goes on. And on. And let me just talk for a minute about Hero Arts. I had only purchased one of their sets prior to Scrapfest. A cute butterflies in several sizes. I liked it fine. In the HA class, I learned this little bit of info: While many clear stamps are made in Taiwan or China, HA stamps are made in the USA. And stamps made in China are different than stamps made in the USA. A little material called photopolymer something or other, which makes all the difference. You know how sometimes with a clear stamp, when you stamp the impression, it looks kind of beady...kind of like you spit on the stamp prior to making the imprint...it's just not perfect? Yeah, well, that doesn't happen with these photopolymer/made in the USA stamps. And now I know why, whenever I saw a Hero Arts sample stamped at Archiver's I thought to myself "did they PRINT that sentiment, or how does it look so perfect?!" Now I know! And, now I am totally hooked on HA stamps! And then there is all THIS stuff. This came from the $1.99 Hot Spot at Archiver's. Yum. Yum. YUM. Love that place. And I feel so proud of myself that I only shopped at the $1.99 section all weeekend. Nevermind that I came home with more than 100 items from that little tempting place. How can you resist $1.99 rolls of 15 yards of Bazzill ribbon? Not me! That's why I bought 13 of them. Or $1.99 chipboard?!? Again...10 of 'em. Everything you see here - $1.99. Love you, Archivers.
I needed to do a Congrats card for a friend who just got engaged. I decided to partake in Kristina Werner's color challenge to give me a starting point. I used a Stampin' Up set from the summer mini "all about spring", which has only been used for these 'bride to be' cards. I used mini crystals& marbles on the flowers. I had never used these before; a word of caution: they are VERY MINI. When they spill, they go EVERYWHERE and are very hard to pick up. Hee hee. I really wish I could tie cute bows. I've watched video of it, to no avail. Still can't do it. Uck.
Looking for a good book? I just finished "Skeletons at the Feast" by Chris Bohjalian. It. Was. Fantastic. I didn't want to put it down. It has several story lines, and intertwines the lives of a German refugee, a Scottish POW, and several Jewish prisoners during WWII. It was a whole different perspective of the Holocaust and the attrocities that went on during that time. Chris Bohjalian is one of my FAVE authors. Can't go wrong with him.
I'm giddy opening my new 14 pound package that UPS just dropped off. Seven new sets, four rolls of ribbon, five new ink pads, and five packs of designer paper. Mmmmmmmmmmmm....yum.
Here are my first two cards using my newest Stampin' Up! goodies. I received a BIG box (i'll post it) on Friday, and couldn't dig in until Monday night. Mmmmmmm....I'm LOVIN' the new stuff, and can't WAIT to do more! I think my new favorite is Kraft cardstock with white ribbon, so I'm sure you'll be seeing more of it. It just looks so crisp and classy, doesn't it?