Saturday, January 31, 2009

Journaling Challenges

Lilia has started a photo journaling flickr group modeled after the 3191, A Year of Mornings blog by MAV and Stephanie which is now available in book form. The idea is to snap a picture every Saturday @ 3:00 p.m. no matter where you are or what you are doing. {I am in the middle of painting boxes for a swap in this photo.} Simple concept on the surface, yet after a year of collecting photographs it will be quite interesting to see what you have done with your Saturday afternoons, don't you think? Feel free to join in if you like.
Another fun journaling project I am working on this year is 52Q - A Year of Questions and Answers - started by Emily Falconbridge, originator of A Deck of Me challenge. I didn't do so good at keeping up with the latter challenge, but I'm hoping to do better with 52Q. Most of us are journaling our answers on shipping tags and with a small format like that there's no excuse for slacking off.

Friday, January 30, 2009


Photo by Ellen Mueller

Ellen, from One Ripe Peach put together this adorable Foofy Photo Album (don't you just love the polka dots and all that glitter?) and she is sharing a tutorial on how to make one for yourself on the Joli Paquet blog. I thought I would make one to hold some of the photos from my daughter's wedding. I have a pile of those $1.00-bin photo albums sitting in my studio right now just waiting to be "dressed up."

Monday, January 26, 2009

Merci Beaucoup!

Just wanted to give a BIG HUG and THANK YOU to everyone who purchased Joli Paquet Kits this past weekend. All my orders from the weekend were shipped out today so keep an eye on your mailbox. It's so much fun putting together all the bits and pieces that go into each kit. Of course being a bit of a worry-wart, I check and double and triple check to make sure I didn't leave anything out of the packages. I know how frustrating it is when you buy something that has to be put together and discover that parts are missing when you go to assemble it. Anyway, I hope you all have as much fun working on your kits as I did in putting them together for you. And when you finish, be sure to post of picture of your creation on the Joli Paquet Flickr Site here as we all would like to see how they turn out. I have a few kits left and so do some of the other artists, so if you didn't get a chance to pick one up over the weekend, be sure to stop by my Etsy Shop here or the other artist's links here. ~ Photo by Beth Quinn ~
Today the one and only Beth Quinn has posted a tutorial for the darling little felted heart shown above. Don't you just love it? Hurry on over here to see how to make one of your own.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Joli Paquet Kits Now On Sale!

It's's time! My Joli Paquet kits are in my Etsy Shop now, as well as lots of other fun Valentine Goodies. Also, be sure to check out the Joli Paquet site here to see what my artist friends have created for you.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Little Teaser

Just thought I would give you all a little teaser as to what's happening on Friday. That's when the Joli Paquet kits go on sale and from the looks of it you are all in for quite a treat! Here are a couple of sneak peeks from the kits that I'll be selling in my Etsy Shop. In addition to the JP kits, I'll be updating the shop with other goodies as well.
Along with all the wonderful artists who participated in Joli Paquet last November, we have 3 fantastic new artists joining us this time around - Ellen, Lilia, and Tiffany. I've admired their work for a while now, and if you don't already know them, you are going to fall in love with their style. And while you are at it, be sure to visit the Joli Paquet Flickr Site, where you can post photos of creations you make from our tutorials and kits.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

History at High Noon

Happy Inauguration Day!

I'm sure many of you will be glued to your television sets today watching history be made. My DH asked me if I was going to watch and I said, of course! Being a sentimental gal, I really love all the patriotic traditions we have in this country and there is no time when these historical customs are displayed more than when we inaugurate a new President. I've been watching the pre-inauguration coverage the past few days and have enjoyed being reminded of the historical explanations of how things will be done today. Knowing that our country is rooted deeply in this kind of history makes today even more special. It makes me very proud that we live in a country where there can be a smooth transition of power from one President to the next without a battle or upheaval. Democracy is something to showcase to the world as one of the great things about the United States of America. Sometimes we take these things for granted and it's nice to be reminded of them occasionally. God Speed to Barack Obama during the next 4 years and thank you to ALL our past presidents for their service to this great country of ours!
And if you feel like doing a little Valentine crafting while you are watching the inauguration coverage, be sure to check out my tutorial over on the Joli Paquet blog. I'll show you how to make this lovely Valentine (or anytime) Frame to hold a picture of your sweetie-pie! Then on Thursday we'll be previewing our Joli Paquet Kits which will go on sale this Friday, January 23rd.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

This and That

Congratulations to Karri who was the winner of the Valentine Giveaway package on the Joli Paquet blog yesterday. Cindy put together a great bunch of goodies perfect for lots of Valentine crafting. I'm giving you a tiny little sneaky-peek (shown above) of what's coming up Tuesday on the JP blog - It's MY day to share a lovely project with you, so be sure to be there!

Hope you are enjoying your weekend. We are trying to keep warm here. Actually we are experiencing a slight heatwave (9 degrees) in comparison to a couple of days ago when it was minus 16 degrees - brrrrrr! Everything is relative when it comes to weather here in the Midwest. When the season first changes and temperatures begin to drop, 45-50 degrees can seem cold. But after a few days you adjust and it doesn't seem so bad. I think it's the same during the bitter cold temps of anything that's below zero degrees. It's amazing how our bodies can acclimate to the weather.

In between crafting and putting together kits for Joli Paquet, we've been doing a little housekeeping at our house. We finally got all the Christmas boxes packed up and put away. It's really scary when I see how many decorations we have for just that one holiday. Many I haven't used in years, but can't bear to part with because they are so beautiful or hold sentimental value. I did give our daughter some things this year to use in her new home, but even by doing that and bringing a load of Christmas decor stuff to Goodwill we still have the same number of boxes to put away. How is that even possible? Oh well, it is packed up and out of sight now, so I don't have to worry about it again until next Christmas!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Fun Starts Today!

Today is the official launch day for the Joli Paquet blog. Tiffany Kirchner starts us off with a darling pop-up card tutorial featuring the sneek peek shown above. We have lots of "lovey-dovey" ideas and kits lined up which I think you are going to absolutely fall in love with.

I just got over the 24 hour flu - yuk! That makes two times I have been sick since the start of 2009. Not a great way to begin a new year! I've decided to load myself up on vitamins and try to get more sleep at night. I have a habit of being a night owl, but then I am up at 6:00 am every morning. Not a good system at all, so something's going to have to give on one of those ends.

I've been having fun making Valentines for Natalea's Valentine ornament swap, which I have to pack up and mail out today. It is sooooooooo verrrrrrrry cold here (minus 16 degrees as I write this) that I am going to hate to have to leave my nice warm and toasty home to venture out to the post office. But since I am out I may just have to stop for a yummy hot cocoa here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Joli Paquet Giveaway

Image Courtesy of Cindy Gilstrap

Joli Paquet officially begins on Friday, January 16th and Cindy of Junque Art has gotten the party started by putting together this jam-packed Valentine Giveaway just for all you Joli Paquet fans. Just leave a comment on this post here to enter. Good Luck!

Monday, January 12, 2009


Click here to brighten your day!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Coming Soon!

~This Lovely Design is by Cindy Gilstrap~
Get ready ladies. . . the return of Joli Paquet is right around the corner!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Another Special Gift

Years ago my father-in-law wrote down his autobiography while the memories were all still fresh in his mind. He told about growing up in Poland and being run out of his home by the Russians at the beginning of WWII and how he was sent to a work camp in Siberia. Later he joined the army and fought for the allied forces and it was there that he met my mother-in-law, who also was in the army. They married and relocated to England after their service ended. That is where my husband and his brother and sister were born. Later, when my husband was 5 years old they came to America on the Queen Mary and eventually settled in Chicago.

For Christmas this year, my daughter and two of her cousins published their grandfather's autobiography and presented a copy to each family member. And along with the book, they had calendars printed through the Apple website. Each month of the calendar features a collage of old family photos from my in-laws childhood, to my husband's childhood, to our weddings, and the births of my daughter and her cousins.
These were the first gifts we opened on Christmas and they were such a hit we almost didn't even get to the rest of the presents under the tree.
I knew about the calendar because my daughter had asked me for the old photo albums. However my husband and his siblings were totally blown away by the thoughtfulness of these gifts. Even my mother-in-law, who now suffers from Alzheimer's Disease, could still recall the names of many of the people in the pictures, although locations were not as clear for her. Of course when she saw the picture of her late husband, her eyes lit up and she told us he was a such good man.
And below is my dear hubby - isn't he a cutie? Love that bow-tie!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Back Among the Living!

I'm back and feeling much better than I was a week ago. I think I am at the end of this New Year yukkiness and glad of it. I hate being seems like everything I try to do is in v-e-r-y s-l-o-w motion. Thanks to all of you for your well wishes...somehow I think all those kind thoughts helped keep me on the road to recovery.

I thought I would share my favorite Christmas gift of all with you. Just look at the picture above. . .yessiree, that is my very own antique chandelier for my studio! It's from my DH and it couldn't have been more perfect! He hit all the marks that I was hinting at all year. . .white, old, hanging crystals. . .it even has a little cherub hanging onto the center post. He made me nervous when he told me one day he was going to Menard's and Home Depot to look for a chandelier for me. I know they have some nice ones there, but not any that fit the look I was after. I think that must have been a diversionary tactic, because in the end, this is the one he bought me and I do love it so! And just like my friend Cerri wrote here about one of her Christmas gifts, I think DH finally gets me!
He didn't waste any time getting the chandelier hung, complete with a dimmer switch which is, as you know, essential to getting the proper aura from the light. What a peach he is! Then after seeing this photo from Holly, I got out a few of my cherished vintage Christmas balls to hang from the bottom. Such a great idea, Holly ~ thanks!
Another favorite gift I received was this little ingenious bit of technology. I've been needing a new phone since my contract expired at the beginning of 2008, but procrastinated and kept putting it off due to not wanting to have to learn how to use a new phone. But so far this one is a cinch to use and I like being able to have access to email and the internet (if needed) wherever I am.
Finally, I wasn't going to mention this little faux-pas that I had this past week, but then I thought, oh why not! It sort of rivals Karin's little miss-step she wrote about here last year. Because I was bustling around trying to get something out of the messiness of the laundry-room-turned-gift-wrapping-room-during-the-holiday-season, which happens to be a very tiny room and currently has very little floor space to walk on, I had a slight accident. Somehow I turned around and found myself tripping over an empty laundry basket and watching (in a sort of out-of-body-experience kind of way) the whole thing occur in the slowest of motion, but was unable to stop the momentum my body was already in and CRASH! There I was sprawled out on the floor, with my head resting on a bag of discards ready to take to Goodwill and the laundry basket popping off all four of it's plastic handles in the force of the impact! My DH, called out from the other room asking, "What fell," and came to my rescue after I managed to reply, "Not what, but who!" He offered to remove the Goodwill bag from under my head, but I told him I liked the way it was cushioning my head, since I wasn't quite ready to get up and see how much damage I had done to my body. Fortunately I came out of it with only some bumps and bruises and a knot on the side of my head. . .all of which is a lot better than a broken bone in the middle of winter here in the Midwest! A friend of mine told me last week that she believes that the way you bring in the new year sets the tone for the way your year is going to be. Oh dear, I hope she's not right about that, because with the awful head cold and now this fall, I looks like I will be in for one heck of a year! Perhaps my DH should up our insurance just in case!
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