The Old Willow Tree

Is it silly to be sad over losing a tree?

This Willow tree was a beautiful tree, in its time it had a canopy so large it was like a secret room.

We used it’s large branches as a swing set for the last 10 years.

Lately it has lost so many of it’s big branches and is in pretty bad shape.

We took the swings down this year.

I couldn’t bear the thought of a branch crashing down on one of the kids.

Today it comes down and a little bit of me goes with it.

The only silver lining is the tree trunk slices they saved for me.    (future project?)

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In Case you didn’t Know…

Last year, I was asked to do a Contributor Spotlight for Craft Ideas Summer Issue. 

As intimidating as it felt, it was an honor to be asked for a featured interview.

Unfortunately, my interview was also the last interview. 

The Summer Issue was later decided to be their last issue.

I’ve had several projects featured in Craft Ideas throughout the last several years.

I always enjoyed working with them and was sad to see it end.

I’ve never shared the interview on my blog after it was featured in the magazine…

I thought I might as well share it now for those of you who don’t know.

 1.  How long have you been creating and how did you get started?  

When I was a kid, I loved doing all kinds of crafts.  On Christmas, Mom liked to include a craft kit as part of our presents.  Every year, there was a new craft for me to try.  At a very young age, I even had a thriving candle business for a while (or at least I thought I did).  In High School, I took every Art class available, but never considered myself artistic.  It was just fun. 

I was surrounded by people that loved using their hands.  My Mom loved to paint and decorate cakes.  My Grandma was a seamstress and the “ultimate crafter/craft hoarder”.  My Dad, I believed, could fix anything.  He was always tinkering on something, even the neighborhood kids would bring things for him to fix.   

I didn’t get into crafting seriously until after I opened a gift store in the 90’s.  I had attended a Gift Trade Show in Chicago and saw a rubber stamping demo.   I was sold after watching the wonderful melting gold embossing powder.    After that, I brought rubber stamps and paper-crafting into my gift store and learned to stamp.  It grew from there (any boy did it).   While I had my store, I taught classes, hosted events and guest artists.  The customers became friends and were the best part of owning a business.  

2.  Are you a full-time designer? What design teams do you belong to?

I am a part time designer creating for magazines, manufactures and teaching classes.    After closing my store in 2002, I started designing for manufacturers.  I’ve had projects used in packaging, websites, magazine ads and trade shows.   I currently belong to Xyron, Deflecto Craft Solutions, Tape Technologies and Creating with Joy Design Teams.

3.       Tell us about your blog. How did it get started? What have been some of your most popular posts?  

I started blogging sometime in 2008 after my favorite stamp store closed.   I was regularly teaching classes there and really didn’t want to give that up.   I started my blog
“Sue’s Creative Workshop” to be able to connect and communicate with the regulars offering workshops and ideas.  
I re-branded my blog 4 years ago to www.sueeldred.com and started blogging seriously.  I blog about paper-crafting, DIY, up-cycling and general craftiness.

My most popular posts are the projects I do with my Grandson.   My “Creating a Garden Stepping Stone post, which he helped me with, has had over 450,000 views.  Everyone loves a cute kid. 

4.       What mediums do you enjoy working in? What techniques do you dabble in?

I used to consider myself mostly a paper-crafter, enjoying cardmaking and scrapbooking.  Now I’m more of a general crafter.   I love creating things for my home.  I love a good thrift store find that I can up-cycle into a great treasure.  I recently used an old bird bath base, saved for just the right project, along with old broken plates (left over from “Creating a Garden Stepping Stone”) and created a Mosaic Table for my garden.  

See post here Trash to Treasure Love Story.

5.       Where do you find inspiration?

Inspiration is everywhere:  in everyday life, in stores, on television and especially online.  I usually get my best ideas while lying down at night trying to sleep. Occasionally, I get lucky and I’ll see a complete picture of what the project will look like.  When that happens, I’ll get up and sketch it out.   (I love it when that happens.)

6.       I know organization is your forte. What tips do you have for staying organized?

My best advice would be to create a “home” for everything and put it away as soon as the project is finished.  Some people find inspiration in seeing all their “pretties” out on a shelf.  I’m a fan of closed door storage; I don’t work well in chaos.  I have an extremely small work space, so I must be organized or things can easily get out of hand.  I like using baskets, crates, mason jars and old drawers for storage.  Keeping it visually fun and appealing helps me want to keep it clean.   

Whenever I work on a big project, I create a gigantic mess, it’s part of the process.  Sometimes the mess lasts for a few days but as soon as the project is finished I try to put everything away.  I find it therapeutic. There’s nothing like making a major deadline by the skin of your teeth, catching the last Fed Ex truck and coming home and clearing the chaos.  It helps me put the stress of the project behind me.  It clears my mind and puts an end to the deadline.  

7.       What advice do you have for other creators?

 Just have fun.  Enjoy the process and don’t fight it (which is sometimes easier said than done).   

8.       What trends are you seeing in the crafting industry?

I see so many trends right now:  rustic wood slices, home décor, knitting, painting, up-cycling.  I like how Social Media plays a big part in creating a community of sharing and inspiring.  It excites me to see crafting growing in popularity again. 

9.       When you aren’t creating, what do you enjoy doing? (Hobbies, leisure activities, etc.)

I love taking pictures, treasure hunting at thrift stores and estate sales, reading, playing with my grandsons and just being with my family.  In the summer, I love growing flowers, vacations and lazing by the pool.  I’ve got a good life.

10.   List some all-time favorites: book, TV show, movie, song, travel destination, etc.

I’m a hopeless romantic and love reading sweet love stories.  (nothing trashy) I’m a big Debbie Macomber fan.  My favorite movies are “You’ve got Mail” and “The Holiday”, I watch them every time I find it on television.  (My husband always reminds me I own them on DVD.)

 My favorite, can’t miss shows, now are “This is Us” and “Fixer Upper”.  (And… I’m still bummed that they ended “Parenthood”.)   My favorite song is “What a Wonderful World”, sung by Louie Armstrong.

One of my favorite things to do is to sit on the beach under a beach umbrella, listen to music and read a book.  

11.   Tell us about your family. Do they share your love of crafting?

All three of my kids are creative in completely different ways.  My oldest son, is in web design.  My daughter is involved in fashion and my youngest son loves music.  My grandson and daughter-in-law are my partners in crime.     

That concludes the interview…for those of you who didn’t know, now you do.

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It Feels Good to Feel Good

There’s nothing like sunshine, blue skies…

and a couple days of antibiotics to get the creative juices flowing again.

Yesterday, I re-worked the mantel and put away the last of my winter decorating.

I washed all the bedding, threw out my toothbrush, opened windows

and used Clorox wipes all over the house.

After being stuck at home for the past several days dealing with Strep Throat,

I finally ventured out.  I went to Goodwill (donated and purchased),

visited the Camera Shop to exchange my tripod for an upgrade

and I went to Michael’s to get supplies for a new Spring project.

It feels good to feel good.

And talking about feeling good.

This past Holiday Season, I got a new tri-pod for my camera.

I researched several new tri-pods online first.

I was looking for a tri-pod with a pivoting arm for table top shots and videos.

Being that a really good tri-pod is somewhat costly…

I wanted to make sure I got the best deal.

I decided to go to the local Camera Shop to check them out in person

before I made my online purchase.  (I know, I know, that’s wrong)

Once there the guy helping me was so nice, that I spent a few more bucks

and bought local.  I did the same thing a few years ago when I was looking

for my new camera.   Great Service is worth something.  Right?

Long story short, I bought the wrong tri-pod.  (technically it wasn’t my fault.)

Flash forward to today. 

I stopped by the Camera Shop to see if  I was doing something wrong.

A couple of the sales-guys and myself were playing with it when a more

knowledgeable salesman informed us that my tri-pod with the rolling ball

action wasn’t made for what I was wanting.  (Oops, someone made a mistake.)

He took me over and showed me the one that would, explained how everything

worked and exchanged my 3 month old tri-pod.   “No problem, I’ll take care of you”.

You don’t get that kind of personal service when you buy online.  (Just sayin!)

Want to know a little secret?

adornit-it-girl

I’m excited to let you in on a little secret.

I have been chosen, for the next three months, to be an ADORNit Ambassador

for the Art, Coloring, Paper Crafting and DIY categories.

It’s going to be crazy fun.

I’ll be sharing lots of fun projects here and on all my social media outlets

using their great products.  I can’t wait to get started.

So…STAY TUNED!

Sue’s Favorite Projects of 2016

best-of-2016

Do you ever wonder which of my projects are my favorite?

Like most DIY people, I try really hard with all (or most all) of my projects…

some of my projects are a hit and some are a miss.

And some are just my favorite…

So… I decided to share them again with you.  (just in case you might have missed one)

Enjoy!

Click on post titles for project instructions

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My Creativation Adventure 2017

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It’s been a few weeks since the Creativation Trade Show in Phoenix…

and I’m finally getting around to sharing.

You might want to sit back and grab a cup of coffee.  (it’s a long one)

The Creativation Show was a fast, busy few days.

Getting the opportunity to see old friends, meeting in person online friends you’ve known for years.

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And the best part making new friends. 

Creativation, for me, is more than seeing the latest and greatest in the Creative Industry

(although that’s great too)

it’s about the opportunity to meet and network with people from all over the world.

When you’re at a show like this, you sit by a stranger on the convention bus and talk the whole way.

You go to lunch by yourself and instead of looking for a empty table, you sit with a group or

a table of one and the conversations flow.  That’s where we share ideas and inspiration.

We ask… “what did you see that excited you?”

During one of those conversations I heard someone say this is where our “tribe” is.

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(The cactus in front of my hotel.)

This was my first trip to Phoenix and the first time this Midwest gal saw cactus this large.

Can you tell I was impressed?

I wish I would of been able to see more of Phoenix, it poured the first evening I was there

and the sun didn’t come out until the last day.  Most of the time, it really didn’t matter as it was

dark outside when I left and it was dark when I got back to the hotel.

I didn’t even notice the mountains out my hotel window until the second day.

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I left the hotel before 7:00 on Saturday morning to take a class before working all day

in the Deflecto booth.  We made mini desk calendars using Deflecto’s 3″ x 4″ clear acrylic

frames, paper from Paper House Productions “One Big Happy Family” collection and cute

little calendars from Taylored Expressions.

Also in the booth was the “Caddy Challenge”.   ↓

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Each challenger was given two empty caddies and a variety of craft supplies.

Every caddy container had to have at least one craft item and put back into the caddy,

each layer had to be locked and put on the base.

The whole thing was timed and the timer stopped when the caddy was lifted.

It was so much fun watching how competitive it became.  (there were Visa gift cards at stake)

Co-worker against co-worker, friend against friend, husband against wife.

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SO…What’s NEW at Deflecto?

An interlocking wheel base for the craft caddy and the Interlocking Marker Organizer.

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Right next to the Deflecto Booth were my good friends at

Canvas Corp Brands, 7Gypsies and Tattered Angels.

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So many new things there.  They introduced their new line called “Architextures”.

I can’t wait to get my hands on all that vintage inspired goodness.

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Coming Soon from Canvas Corp Brands… Relics and Artifacts.

A lot of mixed media potential.

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On Sunday afternoon, I got to hang out in the Paper House booth where I helped attendees make

the Discover USA travel mini book project.  I’m so lucky to work in such a fun industry.

For full Discover USA project instructions click here.

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Monday was the last day of the show and a half day for me.

After working in the booths all day on Saturday and Sunday,

I decided I needed to take some time to do something fun.

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DecoArt, 3M and Pinspiration had a clear acrylic booth set up called the “Splatter Room”.

Dressed in a hazmat suit and goggles…

I went to town choosing paint and splattering onto a 12″ x 12″ canvas.

Oh, what a glorious mess.  It was the highlight of my day.

After painting and splattering…

I walked the show floor, taking pictures and making connections.

I always wish that I would have taken more pictures and maybe even a video or two.

Time at these shows go fast and I needed to make the most of that time.

Below are a few of the booths that I remembered to take pictures of.  (Enjoy!)

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Probably one of the most photographed booths is the Tim Holtz Idea-ology booth.

For Vintage lovers this is serious eye-candy.

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Lovely Mixed Media from Rebekah Meier Designs.

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Somehow my camera setting got changed and I didn’t get a lot of sharable pictures of the Sizzix booth.

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And the always impressive Graphic 45 Booth.  ↓

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Of all the wonderful things I saw, do you want to know what impressed me the most?

Let me start by saying, I’ve been a stamper for 20 years and it takes a lot to impress me…

the clear animated stamps from Uchis Design did just that.  (it’s the simple things)

Below is the business card they gave me.

I hoped you enjoyed my adventure to Creativation.

I just want to say…

I am very thankful that I have the opportunity to work with all the wonderful and talented people

and companies in the Creative Industry.  I am one lucky girl.

 

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Splatter Painting

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After working in the booths all day on Saturday and Sunday at the Creativation Show,

I decided on Monday I was going to take some time to do something fun.

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At the show they had a clear acrylic booth set up called the “Splatter Room”.

It was sponsored by Pinspiration, 3M and DecoArts.  (so much fun!)

splatter-painting-4002

Dressed in a hazmat suit and goggles…

I went to town choosing paint and splattering it onto a 12″ x 12″ canvas.

Oh, what a glorious mess.  It was the highlight of my day.

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Here’s my finished Art.  (still need to remove the masking)

I already have it hanging on the wall.

If you ever get the chance to do some Splattering.  I highly recommend it.

 

I’m home from Phoenix, but I haven’t had the chance to sift through all the pictures and stuff I brought home.  I will be sharing my journey in the next day or two.

My favorite night of the week…

If you could choose any night of the week, which would be your favorite?

For me…Tuesday nights is my favorite night of the week.

Nobody wants anything from me, nobody needs me and I can selfishly watch all my favorite shows.

I don’t even cook.  It’s my night.

I don’t have many shows that “I have” to watch on TV.  If I miss one, “no big deal”.

But Tuesdays?  That’s a different story.

Between Fixer Upper and This is Us.  I’m one contented girl. 

All my favorite shows now wrapped up into one entertaining night.

the-magnolia-story

Last month, when asked for a Christmas list, I put The Magnolia Story* on my list.

I have been a fan of the show Fixer Upper since the beginning.

I love the sweet way these two have with each other.

 (*affiliate link)

Last week I finally got the chance to sit down and read The Magnolia Story*.

The book didn’t disappoint.  I can honestly say, I love them even more!

You might say they’ve been blessed along the way.  Which would be true.

Their journey wasn’t easy.

But…with faith, dedication and determination they made it through even better.

Between their non-sugar coated stories and Chips crazy antics it’s just a fun read.

If you’re a fan of the show, I’m sure you’ll love the book.

 

 

*I am an Amazon Affiliate.  If you choose to make a purchase using the above link, I will get a small commission that helps offsets the cost of running this blog.  Thanks!

to be completely honest…

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I didn’t put up as many decorations this year as I have in years past.

And…while I think I liked the simplicity,

to be completely honest, the Holidays just about kicked my butt.

I wasn’t ready for December when it rolled around, and I just never caught up.

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Decorating the (partially) pre-lit tree took me almost a week to finish and I didn’t decorate

the mantel or the rest of the house until the 24th.

The thought of sharing pictures of the house all decked out for the Holidays went right out the door.

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I never even shared my family photo shoot pictures.  (Heck… I barely took pictures on Christmas Day.)

If it wasn’t for my wonderful husband, I might still be wrapping.

This Year… like many others, I took on too much.

My expectations were too high.  I couldn’t get my act together.

I just wasn’t feeling it.

I lost track of what was important.

Nativity on the Square

It wasn’t until Christmas Eve, while sitting in church, passing the lighted candle that it truly hit me.

(it almost felt like a Hallmark moment)

 

So…while everything wasn’t as perfect this year as I might have wanted it to be

or thought it should be.  It sure was Good!

Here’s to a New Day, a New Year and taking the time to be Thankful!

 

You know that feeling when you get the Urge to Purge?

I first got the feeling sometime in late January or maybe it was March…

You know… The Urge to Purge!

It happened while I was looking at the Christmas Crafting Hang-Over still lingering in my office.

It had been quite the party and no one had stuck around long enough to really clean it up.

Time to organize again.(The above picture is a picked up version taken before I started in Jan. or was it March)

Something needed to be done.

So…I started the slow process of digging out.

I purged, I tossed, I gave away, I cleaned, I dusted, I organized and I purged a little more .

I even purchased a new lamp and picture for my desk.  (a reward for a good job)

In the end it was a lot of work mixed in with deadlines and a lot procrastination.

I took my time.

Since I’m done for now (always a work in progress), I thought I’d to share a few pictures.

My Workshop measures only 8 1/2′ x 10 1/2′.

It has a large sliding patio door that leads out onto an upper balcony, a door into the master bedroom,

a closet door and a door into the main hall.

Size alone is a challenge, not to mention working around all those doors.

That’s why it’s real important that I manage a little bit of self-control.

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This is My Desk…

I love sitting down to a clean and organized space.  (If only it looked this way all the time.)

My desk holds my office supplies, files, embellishments, my favorite inkpads, samples, photo albums,

computer and a whole lot of misc.  It’s large a little over 6 feet with a built in bookcase.

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I love this picture and had to get it the moment I saw it.  (I found it at Homegoods)

Being a lover of the color red, I found the lamp on sale at Target for $20.  It’s perfect for this spot.

Ikea Shelf

To the right of my desk is the sliding patio door.

(Next to that door is the door that leads into my master bedroom.)

In front of the patio door, I have a shelving unit which I bought from Ikea.

It holds a plethora of goodies.  Ribbon, Big Shot, Metal Dies, Samples, Paintbrushes.

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Next to the Ikea unit, I put my small black cabinet…a.k.a. my fabulous thrift store make-over,

that cabinet holds small paint bottles, tattered angel mists, misc. hardware pieces and more.

You can read about the cabinet make-over here.

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Next to the bedroom door is my large red stamp rack that holds more embellishments than stamps.

It holds the stuff that I grab often.

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I love old drawers, tiny baskets and jars.

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What can I say… “I love Ribbon!”

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Next to the red rack is my closet door.  (kind of boring)

And…next to the closet is a set of cabinets that holds my go to cardstock rack and die cutting station.

I like closed door storage for the things I don’t access regularly.

Across from these cabinets are white storage cabinets.

In between is a super short hall leading to the main hallway.  (I told you my workshop was small.)

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My white storage cabinets are to the left of my desk.  They store the bulk of my paper and stickers.

Because I work with several different manufacturers, I have them sorted by company.

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Above my white storage cabinets is my inspiration board that holds some of my favorite family pictures.

I had to include it in the tour because it makes me happy.

And with that…I’m now back to my desk and that concludes the tour.

If you stand in the middle of the room you can spin and see everything.  (only one at a time please)

SO…. one big question.

Did I inspire you to do a little purging of you own?