Thursday, December 08, 2005


I feel like a kid in a candy store!!! I cracked open my pots and here are some photos of my latest experiments with Twinkling H2O's and Polished Pigments. I really haven't had this much fun in I don't know how long! Wish you could see the real thing cause they loose some of the depth and the sparkle in the photo.

Got so much going on here--of course, Christmas plans, a birthday party Monday night and two BIG packages of art have just landed on my doorstep. I'm entering the "layout" phase of the book and I'm working on layouts with the paper from my new paper line. I've got photos, paper and ribbon EVERYWHERE! Life is good...

Thursday, December 01, 2005


There seems to be a lot of talk about passion lately...

*Cultivate passion

*Live with Passion

*There is something so exhibitionist in honest passions-that it dances in the daylight.

Quotes— people writing about passion— people talking about passion—scrapbooking with passion!?!

What does it mean to you? What does it mean to Scrapbook with Passion??? Let me know what YOU think?

Wanna know what I'm passionate about TODAY?!?

*my family: being the best mom and wife I can be

*my friends: check out the new photos Brenda & I took together- do we look like we are ready for Vegas or WHAT?!?

*my book: I will finish...I will finish...I will finish...Dec. 15 is the deadline-I'm on the homestretch, but...there is still SO much to do.

*my art: today I took time away from writing (ssshhhh! I met my personal goal for the day, but then I took time to create.) I'm finding I get grumpy and out of whack if I don't play with my paint or my photos for too long and it has been tooo long. Today, I played with my Twinkling H2O's and Polished Pigments-can I say WOW! double WOW! I mean I know I love these paints, but I just fell in love today all over again. Everytime I get them out and play I think-I'm not really the type of gal who really likes all that shimmer and glimmer and then I see the way the light plays off a finished piece and I am a sucker all over again. I really can't get enough.

*gratitude: I'm just overwhelmed. We spent the Thanksgiving weekend surrounded by family. We celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas with my husband's side of the family this weekend. Every other year we "do Christmas" at Thanksgiving time. My son had great fun telling his entire school class that HE was going to open presents over the weekend. We spent Thanksgiving morning in church-the best place to be to ponder all our blessings. There was a time when we could bring our offerings to the front-be that money or food donations for the food bank or a leaf to hang on the "tree" listing what we were thankful for. I sat in my chair and watched my three sons walk to the front and hang a leaf for each member of our family. I watched as my friends and their families added more leaves to the tree. I found tears coming to my eyes as I pondered just how much I have to be thankful for right now-it's too big...and I'm passionate about that...passionate about all the blessings in my life...passionate about the people in my life...and thankful that I can process it all in my scrapbooks...I don't want to forget the good things...I want to think about them...I want to dwell on them...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

New Painting Projects

Latest Home Improvement Creations

I just can't stop...painting!!! Maybe I should have titled this blog the Scrapbook (and Painting) with Passion blog?!? Thought I would share with you some of my latest painting projects. The first two photos are from my newly redecorated living room. The canvases were drybrushed and I added the Antiquities photos taken of my boys this summer. I used the old ladder I got on my Grandpa's house auction and another one I picked up while antiquing in Galena, IL. The desk is a hand-me-down from my other Grandpa-I've painted it at least twice. My best friend, Missi, and I picked up the wall hanging in the Shipshewana flea market this summer. It was painted an ugly, bright glossy white and I brought it home and sanded and painted and distressed it. Then, I hung mini-paintings in each open "window". I was experiementing with various painting techniques and then added quotes to some of the pieces.

Decorative Painting Gone WILD!!!

The photos below are all from the church nursery project I finished a few months ago for new Liberty E. Free church building. They built three nurseries and I worked with them to decorate an infant room (stars), toddlers (Jesus Loves Me) and preschool (Noah's Ark) room. Thanks Jill for asking me to help! It was such a delight and brings a smile to my face just looking at the photos. Now, I have to scrapbook these photos and add them to my painting portfolio. How crazy is that!?! I even scrapbook painting projects! But, I must say that my painting portfolio is a very handy tool. I use it whenever I go to a new painting consultation. Often times people have an idea in their mind, but it is hard for them to articulate their ideas. By walking thru my past projects with them, I can soon get a good feel for their style. I photograph all the major painting projects I complete and then I scrapbook the project with the location and customer name. It helps me remember and often inspires new projects. Today, I finished my latest large scale painting project. I'll post more photos soon...

Thursday, November 10, 2005


I'm off to spend a weekend with my girlfriends! I'm looking forward to inspiration, late night chats, good food and time to "just BE together"! I've been busy all week with finalizing the designs for the paper line and writing, writing, writing. I've been debating on flights, hotels and appointments for Vegas. This will be the last chance I have to get away with my friends until CHA, so I plan on enjoying every minute. It will be good to get away-rejuvinate...think new thoughts, and meet new people. I always come back ready to leap high buildings and tackle the mounds of work I left behind. Now, I just have to find some time to pack (and fill the tank with gas, make last minute phone calls, go to the bank, pick up some Dutch bakery goodies...)

Sunday, November 06, 2005


"Patience is a virtue" I was always taught as a child. Today, I'm waiting to hear what pieces of art will be included in my first Scrapbook with Passion paper release at CHA Winter. I'm really not anxious-just excited. I'm "ready to roll" and have the paper designs show up in ads, see the catalog and prepare layouts with the new designs. I feel sort of like a kid waiting to open my Christmas presents...

This week I need to focus on writing the last chapter of the book I'm working on. The projects are all completed and I just need to describe exactly "how" I did everything. Thankfully, I took digital photos of all the projects before I sent them off so I have a handy reference in case I need to refer back. I tried very hard to record every product I used while I was actually working so that makes instruction writing much easier.

I "went scrapbooking" Friday night. A group of friends meets at my church one time a month and this week I got to join them. My mom even came along. She was finishing up a project she started in a class she took at convention this summer. I dug into a scrapbook that desperately needed some work. I actually scrapped some photos that were over 3 years old. It felt so good to "catch up" a bit on that project. I'm not one to usually obsess about being "current" in my books, I pretty much scrap what I want when I want. But, a bit of guilt was setting in concerning one of my son's books-I had worked on the other two, but his was drastically behind. It was so good to play with paper, run out of adhesive and just mess with photos for the pure joy of it. I didn't take anything along that I considered work-I only "played" and by the end of the night-I didn't want to stop...I wanted to keep on going and going and going...this hobby can really be addicting! GOTTA LOVE IT!!!!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Fall Family Fun

My TALENTED hubby! I promised a photo and here it is! One of my friends said to me "I thought YOU were the creative one!?!" Brian taught himself how to do balloon animals several years ago. The line was 5 or 6 kids deep all night long.

We love candy! The boys at their school Reformation Celebration.

"Dress up" is an everyday occurance at our house, not just once a year.

Monday, October 31, 2005

A jam packed schedule

This quote really struck me today.

"A jam packed schedule can be the greatest thief of creativity."

Ummm...yes, I can directly point to a time in my life when my creativity really blossomed. I had moved away from my home town and didn't really know anybody. I unpacked my boxes and thought "now what"!?! I started scrapbooking with wild abandon again. I started painting-pretty much everything in sight (walls, furniture, drapery rods...) The creative activity kept me going, gave me energy, kept me sane.
And yet...sometimes a really busy schedule can make the creativity blossom for me as well. If I have a deadline and a list...the art gets done. Paint hits paper. Photos get stuck down. I don't "analyze" everything to pieces...instead "I DO"! I've been "doing" a whole lot lately. Deadlines for the book, my product line, and decorative painting projects have been coming one after the other. I've had to be very organized. I love doing lots of things at one time-I always have. But, somedays, when it's late October and the temperature is in the upper 60's, the leaves are gorgeous and the last rose is blooming on my rose bush...I'm ready for a long walk, a good book, a cup of cocoa and a short "To Do" list.

Tonight we get to go to the school carnival. My hubby is making balloon animals for all the kids-he'll be the coolest dad there. Tomorrow-it's back to writing and creating...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Sugar Tree

I am so excited to be able to tell you that Scrapbook with Passion paper will be available from Sugar Tree at the CHA Winter Vegas show! Sugar Tree has licensed my designs and we are working together to release a great collection of beautiful papers. I have been waiting for SO LONG to be able to tell you all!!! Sugar Tree is known for their excellent customer service, on-time shipping, and great thematic papers. It was so hard to select the "right" company to work with-I didn't want my art to be in the hands of just anybody. This industry is so large and I have heard so many horror stories from other designers and artists that I really wanted to make sure this was the right decision. I think they are going to be a wonderful partner. They were able to come visit me in my studio in September. It was such a delight to have them here. (I think they LOVED it here in Pella with all of our Dutch goodies-Dutch letters, bologna, bakery treats!)

I really couldn't be more thrilled! I've been busy making plans, painting and designing for the show. Thanks to all of you who helped make this happen. You know how long and hard I have worked. So many of my friends and family have played such a huge part in making this dream come true for me. I really could not of done this without you. I will write more and share more about what I am doing as the show gets closer. I can tell you I NEED to spend the weekend painting-I'm going to work now. Love you all!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Writing a book

Writing and designing for my first book has been a learning experience. I always wanted to write books-a secret dream I told no one. The first time I really allowed myself to think seriously about writing a book was when I was faced with the final project in my Photoshop class and the instructor wanted us to design a book cover. was an assignment so I had to dream big and designed the front cover of the scrapbooking book I might some day write :) And, here I am writing now! It is a lot of work, but I knew that it would be. I've turned down lots of other employment opportunities to have the chance and the time to do this.
And what does my studio look like tonight? I could take photos but I that would be giving too much away... I CAN tell you this-I have paper, paint, stamps, tools, more paper, layouts, and photos piled everywhere. There is a huge list of projects on my wipe board and I check each one off as I go. It is a great visual motivator to see it all written out and at a glance I know where I am at and what project is next. People keep telling me "writing a book is like having a baby"...interesting thought, but I can guarantee you I'm not nearly as sick during this process as I was during ALL 3 of my pregnancies!!! :) Probably won't have nearly as adorable outcome as those precious baby boys, but I will be happy to have the project completed. The waiting, planning, anticipation...yes-I think there might be a bit of truth to the comparison. It is sort of non-stop. I can't stop thinking about it, and dreaming up the next project. It is always there-waiting for your attention. I think motherhood has definately been a great preparation for this process!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

A Break

A complete change of pace-a totally new experience can do wonders for my creativity. By Friday, I was ready to not look at my studio for a very loooong time, but 24 hours, a football game and some retail craft therapy can be a good thing! We were lucky to have tickets for the Hawkeye game in Iowa City today. Got to swing in Reminisce (one of Iowa's best scrapbook stores) real quick on the way home and we did some birthday boy shopping. A gorgeous Iowa sunset all the way home always helps give me a different perspective. A good day...and a needed break for the mind. Got some new paints, some new scrapbook toys...I'll be all "ready to roll" by Monday morning.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Getting to work

It's raining here today. I have a large diagram of all the projects I want to finish for the book staring at me from my wipe board. I have the day to work. One day a week I have a friend help take care of my youngest child. So...the house is quiet, the dishes done and it's time to dive in. But...I always need to ease into it-psych myself up-think-and then I go to work. Sometimes I think I MUST be in the right "frame of mind" to be creative, but most of the time I recognize the truth. This is my job. I have to "show up" at the table and get it done-even if I'm not feeling especially creative today, even if it's raining outside, even if there are household chores to do, if I'm going to create-I have to DO it.

While "designing stuff" is my job right now, I still need to apply some of the same things that help me get my designing projects done to my work habits with my personal scrapbooking. I have to "show up" at my scrap table. I have to get the photos out and I have to play. Just staring at it, reorganizing supplies is not going to get it done.

One of the wisest quotes that I learned in the summer painting class I took was shared with me by my intructor-Wendell. (See photo of Wendell painting in the Amana Colonies above). I don't want to guess how old Wendell really is... I'm sure he has been painting longer than I have been alive-AMAZING man and teacher! But, he said you don't have to wake up everyday and say "Today, I'm going to make a painting or two paintings or whatever. Instead, say to yourself 'Today, I'm going to do SOME painting'." I've been applying that to my work so often lately...not I have to get 3 layouts done today or at this crop, but "Today, I'm going to do some scrapbooking."

My "Scrapbook with Passion Tip of the Day"...

Go "Do SOME scrapbooking today."

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Passionate Beginnings

"Tell me-what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?", I'm trying something new-BLOGGING. I'm not usually one to jump onto the latest technology. I am scared when it comes to programs I don't know. But, for the cause of scrapbooking- I have decided to figure it out. I've rarely meet an art supply I'm afraid to experiment with so the computer should be no different. And, so I have decided to blog.

I hope to use this as a place to share my thoughts, opinions on the scrapbooking market, cool new stuff I've discovered in my artistic journey, books I'm reading and any bits of new information about what's happening at Scrapbook with Passion. For those of you who are curious about what Scrapbook with Passion is all about-let me fill you in.

Scrapbook with Passion is the name of my art studio. I am currently authoring a book on scrapbooking techniques, so you might see me discussing the ups and downs of my new life as an "author". I also design products for the scrapbooking and craft market so I may discuss "my life as a designer" stuff- what has led me to this point in my career, and thoughts about the future of the industry. Maybe, I will share some of the thoughts or tidbits from my speaking engagements as well.

One of my main goals at Scrapbook with Passion is to help every scrapbooker look and feel like an artist. I don't think very many of us look at our scrapbooks as ART. For so many years I have almost felt the need to apologize for the fact that I scrapbook. You know-someone asks you at a party the dreaded "What do you do?" "Well, I have three boys, I teach art one afternoon a week and I scrapbook." After I actually signed a book contract, my friends around me started to add to these conversations stuff like "she is writing a book". For the first time, it was like my work was somehow validated. Now, finally it is important. But, what about the 7-8 years I have spent scrapbooking and teaching in my local scrapbook store??? As a scrapbooking community, we need to embrace the idea that we ARE "scrapbook artists". We need to know what that is, we need to know what that means about how we approach our work and we need to share those ideas with others.

I think this blogging thing could be fun...