The Craft Coop

Today I want to take you on a tour of my Craft-Coop. It always seems to be a work in progress!

My first disclosure is I have been stamping and collecting supplies for a very long time (30 years to be exact). I was introduced to stamping in 1991 when I was invited to my first Stampin’ Up! Party, a D.O.T.S. (now Close to My Heart) party soon followed.

I thought this would be a fun hobby while being a single mom on a tight budget but still wanting to send Christmas and birthday cards to my friends. Little did I know that card-making would become my passion and I’d still be at it 30 years later!

My second disclosure is that I’ve been a Close to My Heart (CTMH) consultant since 2005 and although I’m not brand loyal I do prefer the quality of their stamps and paper. I earn a discount on the product I buy and have minimum sales requirements to meet. This June I will be celebrating 16 years.

Alas, you are here for a Craft-Coop tour, so I guess it’s time to get started.

When you walk through the doors the first thing you will notice is that it is BRIGHT! I wanted lots of windows for natural light and my husband found some amazing LED lights to help too!

The back wall is all custom cabinets built by amazing brother-in-law. At the end of the cabinets is a built in desk area that I was originally going to use for my sewing machine and then I remembered sewing does not bring me pleasure so I turned it into my photography studio.

I use a Limo Studio Lightbox that I purchased on Amazon. I love it because it collapses and has storage for the lights so I can pack it back and forth to our Arizona House (where there is only a Craft-Closet).

Above the lightbox I have a pegboard from IKEA.

Currently it’s my display board for received Happy Mail. When I’m holding in person classes it becomes a place to display upcoming classes or samples of the Stamp of the Month swap I participate in. The Stay Awhile wreath was a gift from my friend Maggie.

The end two cupboards hold my CTMH stamps. They are organized in alpha-numeric order. In the larger bins on the counter are stamp sets that have matching thin cuts or a coordinating Cricut Cut. I have tried other ways of organizing my stamps, but this is what works for me.

At the far opposite end is my cardstock. It currently takes up two cupboards, but as my supply dwindles this area will be getting a makeover.

Below the paper is my Cricut…it doesn’t get nearly enough use. I have a love-hate relationship with Design Space and I just need to play with it more. Maybe this winter?!

You may have noticed the purple plane hanging from the ceiling. It’s a beloved kite belonging to my son and the easiest way to store it is hanging so why not in mom’s Craft- Coop. It’s a fun reminder that this now 30 year old was once a little boy!

Last but certainly not least is where my magic happens. My desk (never this neat) sits in front of two windows that look out over our driveway and my husband’s shop. I love that at any given moment I might catch a glimpse of my Wrangler Wearing Sweetheart.

To the immediate right of my desk is an IKEA Alex drawer system that holds a variety of supplies from Copic markers, extra adhesive and long ago used punches. The top holds acrylic blocks shimmer pens, and other tool caddies.

Above that are are a few of my favorite cards and a magnetic vision board that has some of my favorite photos, quotes and magnets. I filled it in with a few stamped pieces and some Cricut cut words.

Like I said the Craft-Coop is a work in progress so when I get the lower half photo ready I will be back with more.

In the meantime, stay crafty and keep spreading kindness.

Just Chillin’

My resolution in 2016 is to take control of the photos I take!  In my head, that means I better start scrapbooking more!  Most of my 1000’s of photos are taken on my iPhone and I wasn’t real sure how to get them from my phone to my computer to print them without a lengthy process until now!  I learned of a FREE app called FreePrints – there is a catch, they only print 4X6 photos free and only a total of 85 each month and there is a charge for shipping (which still works out less than what I’d pay for my photo processing at Costco) and it saves me a trip to the store!

So, here’s my first layout from our first activity in 2016!


Along with trying to scrapbook more photos means using up my extensive paper stash.  This retired Snowhaven paired with a pattern from the current La Vie En Rose made quick work of a pattern from the Cherish How To book.  I couldn’t resist including the “frustrated face” of my friend’s husband…she’s not a scrapbooker (gasp) and I seem to ALWAYS be sticking a camera in his face!  Now I need to add the journalling and get these pages into page protectors and into an album.

Thanks for stopping by – I hope I’ve inspired you to start getting your pictures scrapped.  If you’d like to get started join me on Tuesday from 10 – noon for two hours on uninterrupted scrapbooking at my BRING YOUR OWN PROJECT CLASS.  You MUST RSVP as space is limited.



An Egg in the Nest Makes 2

A few days ago (actually March 16th) I was cleaning out flower beds and found this delightful little nest built into the dirt of one of my planters.  If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably already seen the pictures.

Sunday, after having a fairly bad morning, I discovered an egg…it was ecru colored with specks of brown.  I felt so blessed and had hopes of it turning my sadness around.  My hubby joked that it looked like someone snuck a Easter Whopper Egg into the nest and for a few minutes I just felt like crying.  Seriously?!

This morning I was excited to share the news with Miss B and decided that maybe we could spot what kind of bird it was and what did I discover – A SECOND EGG and the mama bird (my friend Connie thinks it’s a Nuthatch, but my research leads me to believe it’s a Junco).  Whatever, it is I’m thrilled that I found it!

So to celebrate…I’m offering a special on this cute little Tweet Me My Acrylix Stamp!

Offer details:  Order Tweet Me by itself receive 10% off.  Place an order of $50 or more and receive it for free!  This offer has no connection to CTMH or any other CTMH Independent Consultant.  You must e-mail me directly at


***Update 3/28 – there are a total of 4 eggs in the nest and the mama bird seems to sit on them until the day warms up.


Day 8: Droplets

I’m sorry for my unexplained absence.  I spent the past 6 days in Honolulu, HI on a last minute vacation and didn’t have internet where I was staying to keep up with my daily posts – so although I read my e-mail assignment each and everyday I wasn’t able to keep you up to date!  I’m going to work very hard to get caught up now that I’m home.

Today’s assignment was to capture the sparkle of water.  Showers symbolize renewal, encourage growth and sprinkle the world around us with shimmering gems. Seek out water droplets and see the light through these tiny treasures. If Mother Nature hasn’t provided a downpour (or even a sprinkle) there are drips and drops to be found all around us.

  In the PNW I have plenty of chances to capture drops.  Today was no exception!  I captured this line of water droplets outside my kitchen window as I was attempting to photograph a group of hummingbirds around our feeder.  It was SO wet today after my return from paradise.


I decided that it would be fun to play with a little post processing and the sepia filter gave my water droplets a little different life.  They don’t look quite as cold!

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Look around and see what sprinkle you might find today!



Day 7: Pretty Pastels


I’m discovering more about me as my journey through 30 Days of Spring continues.  I love the daily e-mail prompts, it’s the first thing I open in my e-mail in box in each day.  I’m inspired to capture just the right shot and then be able to tell the story behind it.

Todays journey was to seek out pretty pastels “We often seek out bright and boastful colors this time of year (we’ve been fighting the doldrums of winter after all) but spring can also bring the soft, muted tones to soothe our senses and calm our souls. Farm fresh eggs and spring dresses are among a number of places we see and can appreciate another kind of color: the pastel pallet. Note: Pastels don’t just include pinks and blues. Consider all the tones of soft white there are: ecru, eggshell, crème. Consider these as you seek out the soft colors of spring.”

I am definitely a bright and boastful girl with hints of warm earthiness.  My living room walls boast a warm mustard yellow with lots of accent pieces in either earth tones or deep hues of red.  It makes a bold statement.  I have always loved pastels, baby blues and soft pinks remind me of the sweet newborns that have graced my life.  I have also recently become very fond of white…not just any white, but an antiqued white with the slightest hint of washed browns.  It’s such a contrast for me.

As I looked around my garden at all the bright hues I wondered what I might find that would inspire me today.

I found this dainty iris in a soft hue of purple soaking up the beautiful morning sun.


I was also inspired to catch the happy face of this Avalance Clematis a new comer to our garden – it has a beautiful white face with a delicate yellow center.  It’s blossoms are abundant and it seems so cheery in it’s new home.


I’d like to thank you for continuing my journey with me as I discover 30 days of wonder.



Day 6: Selfless

I’m selfie-less!

Spring is the season of renewal and rejuvenation. Beyond the blooms, our spirits feel alive! Today, as you soak it all in, capture yourself in a self-portrait. Celebrate yourself! You’re worth the hoop-lah!

Note: Not everyone is comfortable with self-portraits. Just keep in mind there are no rules to this; use a self-timer or a mirror, hold your camera or use a tri-pod, capture a detail of yourself or smile and say cheese if the spirit moves you. This is supposed to be fun! Play. Experiment. Try a whole bunch of different ways to capture a little glimpse of yourself today in all your glory!

I’m not afraid to take a selfie, my iPhone is filled with a bunch of them, but I really wanted to use my camera and play around with the timer and my tri-pod (which I spent the better part of my day trying to find).

Forgive me!


Day 5: Grounded


It’s already been determined in yesterdays post that I don’t do dirt, so you can imagine my dismay when I opened my e-mail today suggesting that I place my camera on the ground to get a new perspective of the world around me.  My husband will be surprised at my picture today because #1 it meant walking through his shop to his garden space (which in itself is a challenge for me) and #2 that it’s of dirt, not just dirt, but composted dirt, not the nice clean dirt that comes in garden bags that I won’t touch either.


Yes, I put my camera directly on the freshly tilled earth and snapped a picture – it only took me three to get the view I wanted without an excited white and black border collie making his way into the frame.  This dirt will soon bear the fruits of my husbands hard labor and will provide beautiful vegetables for our summer dinner table.  His garden is a beautiful masterpiece which gets lots of heat reflecting off our metal shop. 

I love the contrast of the dark soil against the green pasture.  This picture really captures the tranquility of living in the country.  It reminds me of how blessed I am.



Day 4: A Nearly Cloudless Sky


Today’s photo assignment was to spend a few moments outdoors, look up and capture the sky overhead today, whatever the weather.  I have never been much of an outdoors girl, until recent years – I think my Wrangler wearing sweetheart is responsible for that, I have however a plethora of cloud pictures on my computer because I’ve always thought they were interesting. 

As a child, I remember laying in the grass in my grandparents hillside orchard watching the clouds and trying to make out mysterious shapes.  I don’t lay in the grass anymore (I’m afraid I couldn’t get up) but I do look up and still try to find shapes.  The summer after my mom died I saw an angel on a regular basis.  I felt it was some kind of message, but that shall be saved for a later post.

Living in Western Washington, it seems that I am afforded lots of opportunities to take pictures of clouds – today, however was not one of those days.  The brilliant blue sky is nearly cloudless and it’s to remain that way all week – three cheers for Mother Nature!  Yesterday was a completely different story and the clouds would have scared anyone from “tornado alley” they were gray, heavy and looked like they were ready to gobble something up!


I kind of think this cloud looks like a reindeer galloping through the sky.

My e-mail assignment went on to explain that  “editing images of clouds via post processing can help accentuate their texture and give the shot more dimension.”  I decided to try it and found that a beautiful blue sky can soon turn into a spooky dark sky with a little filtering.



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I have to admit that it was really fun comparing the different aspects that the filters made in my pictures, but my favorite is the original photograph with the bright blue sky as the backdrop for that wispy cloud.



Day 3: Wrangler Butts Drive Me Nuts


Today’s e-mail kept me close to home!  My inspirational e-mail “Sometimes the less we plan or try to get a great image, the easier it can come. Today, grab your camera and from where you’re at take 30 steps (stay inside, go outside, go upstairs, whatever) and take a picture of what you find there. Discoveries stumbled upon by happenstance can often be little gifts from the universe.”  I really wondered how far 30 steps was and from where my camera was I learned that I could only go in one direction and make 30 steps.  Out the front door I went…30 steps led me to a small clump of Heuchera also known as Coral Bells.  Coral Bells adorned my maternal grandmother’s front steps and every house I’ve lived in I’ve made a point to plant some, but I was tired of taking pictures of my garden so I stepped off 10 steps in the opposite direction and ran smack dab into my husband as he was repairing a GFI outlet. 


Rarely (I think I can count on one hand) have I seen my husband in anything other than Wranglers.  He wore them to our wedding and his sister exclaimed “you’re the only groom I know that can accessorize with a Leatherman’s and a cell phone hanging from his belt”.


He admitted that modeling was a pretty tough job, so I left him to finish his electrical work and decided I’d had enough photography for the day…I think I’ll bake some cookies!



Day 2: Daily Rituals


I awoke this morning excited for the Day 2 assignment to be revealed in my inbox, but first I had to feed the cats.  I chuckled when I finally opened the e-mail “How do you begin your day? Capture a vignette of your morning ritual.”

I grabbed my camera (which I leave on the dining room table in plain sight) and rushed back to the cat dishes just as they were licking their lips and walking away.  Hmmm?  I opted for giving them a little more food.

My lazy mornings often begin around 6:00 with two cats meowing outside our bedroom door and sending my husbands dog into a tailspin of dramatic whining that someone is going to steal her food.














As soon as the door is open I’m escorted directly to the food dish, if I detour along the way I’m scolded.  My kitties are old and spoiled, but I wouldn’t start my morning any other way.