Tuesday, November 24, 2015

CKC Contest Winners Drawn!

Thank you to everyone who entered and have been or are now following along on my mildly epic CraftWithAnna-dventures!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Queen of the Crop Contest Details & A New Video Too

The last few years, at the close of the Creating Keepsakes Convention, I've drawn the winning name for a prize from one of my favorite vendors, Queen & Co.! This year is no different, and there are quite a few ways to win.
You can subscribe to this blog. Doing so will get you emailed versions of all my blog posts- so you never miss a chance to CraftWithAnna!
You can subscribe to my YouTube channel, which is just a purple icon click away- look for that on the right hand side of this page with other social media icons.  Instagram follower yet? That will get you an entry too!
You can also comment on any of my recent videos, including the one that hit YouTube TODAY- the November scrapbooking layouts from EmbellishKits.com

Or, you can comment on this blog post. I loved hearing from a follower at the convention this year!

With so many ways to win, I bet you're wondering what the prize is... well all I will say is, it's going to be some bangin' bling bling baby (the contest name is Queen of Bling)!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Favio Flavor

 It's not every day you encounter a large group of ladies that each bring a smile to your face whenever you encounter them just by their sheer exuberance of FUN. One of the bunches I spent time with at the convention this weekend was having a lot of fun playing with our Red Carpet Crop theme, and being the blogger that I am, I snapped pics and promised to put their hilarity online... your welcome!
But really, thank you ladies, for inspiring me to get my own card board cut out selfie with the dreamy young dude from the Vampire Diaries. At least, that's where his card board claimed he was from. It's a truly sad day when you realize, not only are you too old for a guy on tv, but that you're old enough to not even know why he's on tv. Just that he's cute. And that's kind of creepy. But I'm ok with that.

Stay tuned in this week as I debut another incredible kit from the fine crew at EmbellishKits.com, as well as my Queen of the Crop convention closing contest. Hint- you'll want to be a subscriber!


Saturday, November 14, 2015

A tale of two Shelbies

 For the past few days I've been working in Tacoma as a volunteer with the Creating Keepsakes Convention. This event is one I look forward to all year long. About six years ago my DF took me to my first show in their old Maydenbauer Center location, and I've never looked back! Lucky for me, Ray picked me up after that first show and was immediately aware of the craft hysteria that both precludes and concludes each of these weekends. He has graciously given me the gift of time away and sometimes even sends me off with some Make and Take money :-)
 Thursday afternoon I TA'd for one of my favorite teachers, Shelby Bywater! I love her sassy crafty instructions and there were cool techniques flying left and right. I will never look at a transparency the same lol.

She created a custom flair necklace!
Later in the day more ideas for creativity were introduced at the Technique Workshop. I thought it was so clever that one of the students was making cards from her scrapbook kit. So you know what I did- made layouts in my cardmaking class the next day!!! What a rebel. A copycat rebel but still.
When my volunteer shift started Friday afternoon I was reunited with my new class crashing comrade, Betty- what a sweetie! Since I'd got her coffee the night before, she returned the favor and got my night Rollin right. Craft without coffee? I don't think so!
By the time I got back home, my mind was reeling from all the exposure to (caffeine ) like minded crafters. Cause, you know we speak our own language, right. "Crop," "distress," "inking;" all verbiage that's part of our toolbox.

Janice has the warmest smile
Tammy, my late night bird of a feather
Shelbi & I getting Lei'd at a crop- a first for us both (I think)
I slept not a wink and decided to make that video I put up yesterday.  So I started the day with another favorite teacher, Shelby Dredge. At the crop THAT night, I caught a pic getting lei'd with Shelbi B., so I started and ended my day right I'd say.
With more fun for the day in store, I've got a lot more pics to put up and the details for my convention-closing contest, featuring a prize or three from one of my favorite companies, Queen & Co.! If you aren't already a subscriber to this blog or YouTube channel, now is the time. It's just one of the ways you can enter this year's Queen of Bling contest. Consolation prizes will be from email updates of the latest blog posts from this CraftWithAnna channel, so, it's pretty much win win... 
Waiting in line to hit the vendor fair

Friday, November 13, 2015

Start Planning Today

It's that time of year when I really start cramming things into our calendar space. Well, truthfully I have a tendancey to do that all year long, but we get more invitations to attend events as a family starting about now, and I figured that was reason enough to order a Christmas themed planner pad from WriteItDesigns.com
I also wanted to take a peek at their just-released planners... all I can say is WOW! Pre-orders are shipping out at the end of the week and that is almost too long to wait for me to get one of these fully customizable goodies into my hot little hands. If online shopping is your thing, you might want to take a look at those notepads the WriteIt folks have premade- they are cute, funny, and would be perfect stocking stuffers too.
Hope you enjoy my early morning excitement in the video I made in the wee hours; after a night of creativity in Tacoma with my super-crafty cohorts I was abuzz with ideas and lay awake imagining all sorts of happenings for the coming months. Now that I think about it through writing this post, I bet that's what led me to hop on WriteItDesigns.com before checking to see if Shimelle.com has posted her new design team.
I'm guessing wildly that she is super busy and is contacting prospective members already, and that sadly I am not one of them. On the other hand, she could just be so busy that she hasn't sent me word of my acceptance lol. I did get notice that her Christmas stamp set is shipping soon, I'm pretty excited for her number set because to me it looks like tiny twinkling lights.
I hear my family stirring, and I've still got voice overs to finish on my new kit preview video for November's EmbellishKits.com layout, so have a Happy, Crafty Friday, friends!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Lest We Forget: Veteran's Keepsakes

  Last night the Friends of the Key Center Library sponsored another CraftWithAnna class: Veteran's Keepsakes. All anyone had to do was stop by with a photo or a story to share and I brought all kinds of crafty goodies for participants to create with.
We even had special guest stop by, a member of our local Key Peninsula Veteran's Association that I'd met earlier in the day at Evergreen Elementary's assembly. He and our Storytime librarian, Carol, shared that although they did not fight over seas during their service years, they were still honored that the youth was showing their appreciation for the sacrifice of time away from their family. A lot of times the glorified versions of Hollywood war times don't match up to the real life experience of estrangement from loved ones, the fear of the unknown, and of course that drill sergeant barking orders at you. Ok, maybe that last one the movies usually DO do a pretty good job of showing.  I made sure to give the layout I had made to our librarian at the end of the night; I was so touched by her sentiments, and it's always interesting to find out something new about a person you spend a lot of time around.
As usual, my students for the evening showed me a thing or two as they made their tributes. We talked about what service to our country means, and I think I made a good point when I mentioned, how much can change in a person's life in just four years. How many moments with our family we would miss out on if we didn't live with them, or maybe lived nearby but not close enough to come home every night. We talked about how the families left behind make sacrifices for our country too. Moms and Dads alike take care of families while the other parent works over seas for undetermined amounts of time.
Another point I made is that, sometimes Veteran's don't want to talk about their experience. What a treasure their words are when they choose to share them, and how, as the recipients of that knowledge, we should honor them by not forgetting their stories and the lessons they contain. We talked about how those stories are actually part of our family's legends and history. And how we can document that history in all sorts of ways! But, that just like a soldier returning home may have a hard time "putting it all out there," we may have a hard time expressing what it really means to us that they did all that they did in the name of God, Honor, and Country.

Enter one of my favorite techniques: hidden journaling!  Using an old greeting card with a ship on the cover was an excellent place to write a note to grandpa in appreciation for his time in the Navy. This wall hanging features anchor print paper, gold chevron washi tape (donated by Queen & Co.) and Amy Tangerine thickers that spell out Grandpa. What a neat way to show some love!

Thank you to all the families who made their way to the library and stopped to CraftWithAnna! Our next event will be Saturday, December 19th from 2-4pm; I'll bring everything we need to make some awesome Holiday Greeters. Could be a card, could be a wine bottle topper- it's up to your imagination :-)
To my friends and family who have served for us all, thank you for your time and dedication. And if you have any pic of yourself in uniform, I'd love to scrap 'em! Happy Veteran's day.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Winter Warm Up of the Heart

Family and Friends traveled from afar to Warm Up with me!
Towards the end of Summer I received an email inviting me to participate in the annual, Winter Warm Up and Chili Competition at our local Civic Center. The booth fee was reasonable and I figured it'd be a great way to help people remember that I'm a local craft diva lol. I procrastinated quite a bit until a retreat I went to at the beginning of October, when I realized how much I needed to get done to be successful. After a couple more weeks of pro-craft-inating, I had over 80 cards, 7 mixed media canvas, 10 paper crafting kits, and some personalized notebooks for sale, as well as notecards that read the card types I have, plenty of business cards, next-event flyers, and this really cool sign that my family and I are holding in the picture above.
I ended up securing two tables to use in my perfectly placed window space- the one I'd hoped for, thanks Patti! I decided to use the stash of supplies I had packed along with me to set up a make and take station and collect donations for our local Youth Center, the Red Barn of Key Center.  What a hit that table was! A lot of students I've met from the library or Home School or the Red Barn or our Preschool stopped by and made something, and I got to interact with some new faces too.

Why, hello friends!
Oh you little monkey...
Favorite Student Alert!
"Chris" was SUPER helpful <3
The family that crafts together...
A card for a buddy
Waiting in line to CraftWithAnna

Right when I was setting up I spotted a familiar face- one of my best friends from High School was there for the day as well. What a treat to be able to spend time catching up with her. It was interesting because the day before Ray heard from someone very important in his life after over a decade of not hearing from each other. After the coincidence of me and a friend both losing our family dogs this week, this similarity was noticeable but much more refreshing and a lot more smiley :-) My friend's two daughters were my last students, and just when it was time to clean up, my family arrived and introductions were made all around. Just before they came in, my good friend and fellow scrapbook and stay up all nighter, Becca made an appearance. I also saw some customers of mine from when I worked for the bank in Port Orchard. What a neat day of reunioning, and in such a festive atmosphere.
Can you guess I would say it was a success, especially since I earned back my booth fee- which paid for the purse I bought from my neighbor booth- raised funds for the local youth center, and sold 12 cards and a canvas. I'd also go so far as to say I got a big fat paycheck of the heart!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Goodbye, Carrot

Our beloved family dog, Carrot, an eager red heeler, passed away Monday evening...it was very sudden and tragic but our family has accepted the loss with as much love as we can show for our friend. Thankfully, we were watching my parent's dog; having Rex around really made it easier to transition back to a one dog house hold.
Keep Smilin'
Carrot was really sweet. When I first met Ray, I loved how she would heel to a sharp "Ch!"  She loved the girls and was fiercely protective of us on our walks and runs and bicycle rides. When ever a car would come she would stand right next to us with out a leash. If you've ever had a dog that doesn't do that, you know what a wonderful quality that is in a dog.
She was my dance partner when I got wine-y. And I liked having her trotting around beside me as I ran errands around "the farm." I'll be the first to say I won't miss her signature presents left in just the most walkable places. I will miss her signature smile though. And the way she would clean up for me around the house with food and kids. I never had to put any mat down unless she was on vacation somewhere! Mornings in the kitchen are not the same. She had a hearty appetitive and ate healthy like us :-) Rex and Spunky, aka "Tata," aka "Little Rat Dog" (mine) are not into their fruits and veggies! One funny thing about her, she wasn't very good at catching food when I threw it at her- it would bounce right off her head or straight to the floor. Could have been some pitcher-related erring involved though hehehh.   
We had  nice ceremony in the front yard for her; she is buried within a scoop of poop's throw from the front porch. For a few days we'll have a chair out there that the girls can sit in if they want to visit her. There is a stunted red maple tree nearby and I sprinkled a few of it's rusty purple leaves within a circle of stones above her- a few carrots are within licking distance down below.
Just after we put her to rest, the sad news of my friend's little Chihuahuas' passing hit my fb newsfeed. I was tagged as Auntie, and that really made me break down, honestly. I really loved that little dog! I remember the first time I (or anyone else) saw or got their first glimpse of "The Woo." She was super tiny and had a big old bug eyed head and could lick right up in between your fingers if you didn't keep them closed tight. Someone once asked if she was a real gremlin... but really she was adorable and super sweet. But she had grit, too; you look over, and here she is, guarding a bone as big as her body ...always a moment of hilarity. Even after being in a terrible car accident, she lived far beyond what she might have if not for the fact that as a dog loved by an entire community, she continued to thrive and allow people to love her. I realized Carrot was a truly loved dog, all of the supportive comments that came with our own "announcement" online helped me to remember that losing friend is never easy, and so we must focus each day on loving those around us and contributing to society honestly and from the heart, as you never know what can happen the next moment. Live, love and laugh, REPEAT!
If you aren't crying yet, I leave you with the words from a sentimentally appropriate and classy classic song,
And I never thought I'd feel this way
And as far as I'm concerned
I'm glad I got the chance to say
That I do believe, I love you
And if I should ever go away
Well, then close your eyes and try
To feel the way we do today
And then if you can remember
Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That's what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I'll be on your side forever more
That's what friends are for
Well, you came in loving me
And now there's so much more I see
And so by the way
I thank you
Oh and then for the times when we're apart
Well, then close your eyes and know
The words are coming from my heart
And then if you can remember
Keep smiling and keep shining
 I'll be on your side forever more
That's what friends are for

Read more: Dionne Warwick - That's What Friends Are For Lyrics | MetroLyrics