Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone and may you have happiness and joy in the new year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Nana's Basket

The first official class I took at Silver Bella was Nana's Basket taught by Charlotte Lyons.  I have been a fan of Charlotte Lyons for years so I was pretty excited to meet her and take her class.

We were to bring some photographs to use on the basket along with buttons or jewelry to embellish it.  I choose to use photos of my children from Christmas past.  I had no idea what size to print for the photos so I ended up cutting them so they would fit.  The baskets definitely look better when the photo covers the entire section, but still, I think my basket turned out cute enough to hold our Christmas cards this year.  This photo is my oldest son Jake at 10 months old.

This is Maddy's first Christmas with big brother Jake...

Now we move on to Christmas with three children.  Alex is about 18 months old, Maddy is 3 and Jake is 5 years old.  I had dressed them in matching pajamas for the Christmas card photo that year.

This next photo includes our fourth child, Joey, at age 2.  The kids are holding flags, because it was 2001.  My little Pomeranian, India is also in the picture.  Sadly, she is no longer with us.

This last photo has all five children.  Tommy is three years old, Joey is 8, Alex is 10, Maddy is 12 and Jake is 14.

The instructions for this basket can be found in Charlotte Lyons newest book, Between Friends.  Her sample is a spring time basket tied with raffia.  I'm definitely going to make a couple more!

Friday, December 10, 2010

What Is Silver Bella?

It's been a  month since the Silver Bella workshop, and I should have posted much sooner.  I am happy to report that in the meantime, I have all the Christmas decorations up!  This post is a bit long, but I just have to share a bit about my Silver Bella experience.  Silver Bella was started by Theresa McFayden who had a vision of bringing together people who love to craft.  It has been held for the last five years in Omaha, Nebraska.
It took me a long time to decide to register for this year's workshop.  I was so excited about going even though I wouldn't know anyone there.  The first night, I sat on a chair in the lobby with my basket of supplies just watching all the other ladies who were greeting each other and obviously knew people or had come with friends.  Normally I am perfectly content to sit by myself, but everyone looked like they were having so much fun.  As I was trying to decide whether to try and "join" a group or not, a woman standing nearby said hello.  It was so nice of her to take the time to notice someone who was there alone.  Laurie Jackson was my rescuer and she introduced me to some other ladies.  They kindly invited me to sit with them at the dinner that evening.

On each table, there was a stack of white gift boxes, one for each person.  Inside were all the fabulous supplies needed for a project.  I wish I had brought my camera that night just to take a picture of the goodies inside the box!  This was the group project we made that first night...

It's been so long since I have done something so completely creative like this, but I jumped in and had so much fun!  My right brain hasn't been sleeping all this time after all!  We were each given a kit with various papers and embellishments to use.  I had a bit of trouble with glittering my frame and ended up using some of my own fibrous pink tissue paper instead.  It has kind of a fuzzy look that I love so it was a happy accident.  That was my theme through the entire weekend of workshops.  I had to make do with my limited collection of ephemera and embellishments.  Look at how much fun I'm having!  I'm in the middle with Susan and Janelle from Colorado.

The vintage photographs were part of the supplies.  They represent happy gatherings of friends and family.  I especially like the photograph of four women standing together in the upper left corner since I have three sisters.

I feel that Silver Bella has had a huge impact on me.  Before I went, I was overwhelmed at the idea of sitting down to make a project.  I have no problem buying supplies and planning, but getting down to business is the hard part for me.  There is a bit of fear that I won't do it right.  After Silver Bella, I know I have the ability and I'm not so afraid to experiment or make a mistake.  There were so many other ladies in some of the workshops who were a little out of their element too with certain projects.  It gave me confidence again.  I've also become a bit of a connoisseur of glues!  Did you know dry adhesive simply refers to tape?  I also know the subtle difference between E-6000 and 527 glues-just wipe the tip before putting the cap on or you will never get them open again!

I met so many amazing women and have been so inspired by the work I discovered on their blogs.  It's like a whole new creative world has been opened for me to explore, and I can't wait for next year!

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