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A Christmas Card a la Graphic 45 . . .

Graphic 45's Christmas Emporium is such gorgeous holiday paper.  Nostalgic designs and warm colors are just my cup of tea.  

Glad Tidings

When putting together cards, I like to use Graphic 45's 8x8 paper pads.  They're the exact same designs as the 12x12 papers in a scaled down format - perfect for smaller projects.

Glad Tidings 2

Spellbinders dies, May Arts ribbon and Want2Scrap bling helped add a nostalgic feel to this card.

More from Mary's . . .

I had the best gals in my class!  We all *jelled* so well and had a great time.  The stories were flying thanks to two of my Southern Belles and five nurses that took my classes!  We created two books.  The hand-stitched book on Saturday was a 6" x 12" book.  Each person got to choose their own papers and embellishments to make it uniquely their own.  

The class on Sunday focused on beautiful Graphic 45 Christmas Emporium papers.  The ladies recreated one of the projects shown at CHA-Winter using a Graphic 45 alterable box with included book.  The book began as an accordion before we reconstructred it as a hand-stitched book.

Here's some of my girls working on their projects:

Mary H

Mary I

Mary F

Mary E

Mary D

Mary B

Mary J

Mary C

Mary K

Mary G

Stay tuned later this week when I'll show you more photos from around Mary's studio!

Weekend at Mary's . . .

It's not every day one gets to spend time in Mary Engelbreit's studio. And what a studio it is. I have, thankfully, been at Mary's a few times before and it is one of the most magical places ever.  It's the Disneyland of studios.

Friday found my besties, Sonja & Stacey, helping me set-up for classes I would be teaching at Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion Workshops. What an honor to be teaching there.  So we loaded up my car and headed for the Central West End . . .

. . . and into Mary's amazing space.

Mary 1

When I say this is Mary's studio, it's not just one room.  It's a serious of rooms.  Mary's office, her staff's office space, conference room (sounds huge, but it's really cute and intimate and oh so Maryish), small kitchen space.  And when Mary opens up her studio to a Home Companion Workshop weekend, she opens up every single room.  It's a no-holds-barred - look at whatever you want - even the new designs that we're working on - feel free to take photos - weekend. AMAZINGly generous!

So here's Sonja sitting in Mary's office at the very desk Mary sits at and draws her detailed images.

Mary 2

Mary 3

Mary 4

Mary 6

Mary 7

Mary 8

Mary 9

Mary 10

Mary 10 C

Mary 10 A

After looking around, we got to work and set up for my class on Saturday.  

Mary 11

Mary 12

Charlotte Lyons and Kathy Curotto were also teaching at Mary's so of course I had to take a peek at their set-up as well.  Fabulous goodness and oh so fun things to work with!


Mary 14

Mary 13

Mary 15

Tomorrow:  Meet my peeps.

Simon Says . . .

it's all about women!  One of the most beautiful women in the U.S. is this gift from France. I designed this tag using images from Crafty Secrets Adventure & Travel Vintage Cuts. The tag was embossed with a Polka Dot Cuttlebug Embossing Folder then inked with Distress Ink. Accents were added using Spellbinders Parisian die and a bronze colored Mini Rosette. Miscellaneous ribbon and frames finished off the Statue of Liberty tag.

SSS Women


You should see what my Team Mates have come up with for this week's challenge! Head over to Simon Says Stamp & Show Challenge Blog and enter your own project. You may be the person who is randomly chosen to win a $50 gift certificate from our generous sponsor  


or you may be chosen as one of the

top 3 designers for the week!

Stop by


see inspiring entries for this week's challenge


Simon Says Stamp & Show Challenge Blog.

Graphic 45 Metal Film Canisters . . .

So much fun working with the Graphic 45 Film Canisters.  You can see what I did with mine on the Graphic 45 blog today.  A HUGE apology for the video that's on the Graphic 45 blog.  I don't know what happened to the music! Can you tell I'm new at this video stuff? 

You can see what my Team Mates, Jack & Cat and Jane, did with their canisters on the Graphic 45 blog as well.  They are so very clever!  

Take a look here:  http://g45papers.typepad.com/graphic45/2011/11/christmas-emporium-tin-with-ornaments-with-this-project-we-decided-to-put-to-use-one-of-our-favorite-techniques-glitter-and.html

In the meantime, here's my edited video with music (I hope)!


Imaginarium . . .

Jane Tregenza is on the Graphic 45 Design Team with me. Jane is the founder of Imaginarium Designs, a company based in Australia.  Imaginarium is having a Design Team call.  Jane has shared her Imaginarium chipboard with the Graphic 45 Design Team.  I am crazy about the chipboard.  It is perfectly cut with intricate details that I have never seen before in chipboard.

If you'd like to apply for the Imaginarium Design Team, click here for details:


I love working with chipboard.  It adds so much dimension to any project.  Here are some former things I've designed with chipboard:


You can see all the pages here:




















Copic Markers . . .

If you follow my blog, you know I love Copic Markers.  I haven't found anything out there yet that blends as easily as Copics.  Thanks to For Keeps Sake, I have been Copic Certified for quite a while.  For Keeps Sake is committed to Copics and carries the full array of colors at an everyday discount price! (No kidding - $2 off the MSRP!)

I am always asked what colors I use to do faces and hair. It seems to stump people on a regular basis. And I have asked other Copic Certified Instructors the same thing.  Of course, it always depends on what color skin and hair you are trying to achieve.  There are two wonderful tutorials I have found on coloring skin and hair. 

Maybe these will get you started:




What are your favorite colors of Copics for coloring skin and hair?

Packing up . . .

for Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion Workshops that will take place this weekend.  It is such an honor to teach in her studio.  Can't wait to meet the gals that are taking my classes.  I will be teaching 2 bookbinding classes - one on Saturday and one on Sunday.  What a thrill!

Packing up supplies and kits for the mini-move!

Packed 3

Lots of Graphic 45 is moving in with me!

Packed 2


Packed 1


My *home* is For Keeps Sake in St. Louis MO.  Each 2nd Tuesday of the month, I meet with a group of gals who gather to share ideas, show-and-tells, techniques, etc.  This is a free meet-up.  Everyone is welcome.  No reservations needed.  We just gather . . . and you can jump in at any time.  I think this is about our 3rd or 4th year of meet-ups.  

Last night, Sue V taught a couple of altered book pages that were way cool and easy!  Thanks Sue.  Loved the techniques - and the chocolate chip cookes!  

With just one meet-up left this year, we got to talking about the direction of meet-ups for next year.  We will be moving away from altering books and towards new ideas in 2012.

Here's some ideas the group came up with for 2012:

  • Going green: re-cycle and decorate
  • Use your stash/scraps
  • Banner trade (Sue showed us a sample of this last night. Really cute!)
  • ATC trades
  • Altered box
  • Secret trade
  • Altered tote
  • Creating mini-pages for a theme book. Remember the 4x4's we put together?

December's meet-up means we celebrate another year together.  Bring an appetizer or dessert and join us for a Christmas gathering/planning session.  Sue V has one more trick up her sleeve with some amazing skyline tissue paper.

If you wish, join us for  an altered Christmas bottle trade! Dress up a bottle in the spirit of the season and trade it away at our December meet-up.

If you'd like to participate in the last altered book page this year, please BYO:

  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • You can also try this technique with a pretty paper napkin if you wish!

Please join us Tuesday, December 13, 6 pm.

Just one more thing please. With the start of the St. Louis winters in case of inclement weatherplease call For Keeps Sake (314) 487-8131 to make sure our meet-up is taking place.