Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Just wanted to pop in before getting the turkey ready to wish you all a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!

I created this tri-fold luminary for my post on Spellbinders Blog yesterday. My dining room table is clear from all things scrapbooking and (almost) ready for a Thanksgiving feast. I have this in there but did a test run and it glows so well - love those flameless tea candles! LOL!!

SO THANKFUL for these guys especially this year for helping me through a most difficult time - death of my father. Love you guys! xo

THANKFUL for all of my friends - have to love FaceBook for getting/keeping in touch with them! Love hi-tech...well, most of the time! LOL!

Special thank you to my friends who came to see me this month from IA-MI-MA-IL (thank you, Kimberly!) for one of the best times of my life! You all lifted my spirits more than you can image and I needed it! THANK YOU!!

PLUS... "Love My Memories" Magazine and LaserLine Company.

THANKFUL for all the companies and magazines I've had the privilege to work with them - TRULY honored to be a part of!

What are you thankful for?

OK...better get that turkey ready...have three HUNGRY boys on the loose! LOL! Have a wonderful THANKSGIVING!!!! xo

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

For Nestabilities Owners!!

Guess what! There is a book that covers everything and anything about the uses of those wonderful Nestabilities®! The best dear friend and co-Blog Author at Spellbinders™ is the COVER GIRL!! YEAH, Holly Simoni!!

Isn't this the most cutest baby ensemble you ever seen?! Well, I think so! LOL!! For more details, please click HERE. This book is downloadable for those of you who are space-challenged like me :0)

Also, we have winners for Spellbinders™ Holiday Hoppin' Blog Hop so take a look at the Company blog HERE! Thanks again for taking time to comment on my Friday post!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Scrapbook News & Review Magazine (E-zine) Calls!

First of all, I am overwhelmed with all the visitors and comments left on my blog hop post below...THANK YOU!!

Today, I'd like to give a head's up to those who are interested in being published by an online magazine called Scrapbook News & Review. I am fortunate to be on its staff and work with some of the most talented people in the industry.

The deadline is December 19th for the January 2011 Issue, and we have a variety of sections from scrapbooking to card-making to mix media creating to digital scrapbooking - we have it ALL! LOL!

For more details, please click HERE!
And good luck!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Spellbinders Holiday Hoppin' Blog Hop - Day 2

THANK YOU so much for visiting!! GOOD LUCK!

Welcome to the second day of the Spellbinders™ Paper Arts Holiday Hoppin’ Blog Hop! Spellbinders, along with Spellbinders' Cross Promotional Partners (featured on my blog today are: Gina K Designs and SCRAPBOOK ADHESIVES by 3L) are showcasing their newest products just in time for your Holiday crafting and gift giving. Lots of creative ideas are in store, as well as prizes galore! Each participating company has generously donated towards the prize package listed on the Spellbinders Blog.

A total of two identical prize packages, one for each day, November 18 and 19 will be given away! To enter, just leave a comment on a participating blog! Comments in the first 48 hours of the post are eligible. One commenter each day will be randomly selected as the winner. Winners will be announced on November 22, on the Spellbinders Blog!

Be sure to see all of yesterday’s Holiday Hoppin’ blogs for inspiring projects and another chance to win!

Visit all of today’s Holiday Hoppin’ blogs:

Mona Pendleton

Gina Hanson

Deborah Young

Becca Feeken

Julie Overby

Kimberly Crawford

AJ Otto

Margie Higuchi <-- That's Me!

Beth Pingry

Jennifer Holmes

Kerry Urbatch

Shona Erlenborn

Tammy Inman

Jessica Turner

Brenda Hurd

Julie Koerber

Rae Barthel

Rachel O'Crowley

Kellie Fortin

Kristen Cohen

Joy Dickson

Candy Rosenberg

Laura Craigie

Stephanie Hester

Leesa Crutcher

Nina Brackett

Today, I used Spellbinders S4-285 Nested Mittens to create a hot cocoa pocket card. It's the perfect little something to give to friends and neighbors. Please click on the images to get a closer view.

S4-285 Nested Mittens - Set of Five (MSRP $19.99)
The WOW Factor: It Cuts, Embosses and Stencils!

Supplies Spellbinders Grand Calibur™, S4-285 Nested Mittens #3 (smallest die template being #1), S4-286 2010 Snowflake Pendants Accent, F-012 Precious Metal Premium Craft Foils Assortment Bright Gold, S5-022 Labels Ten #3 & #4 and S4-112 Classic Ovals SM #3; Gina K Designs Warm Mittens Set by Nina Brackett; Worldwin Papers ColorMates Maroon; KasierCraft 'Tis The Season Collection; My Mind's Eye Lost & Found Collection PomPom Fiber & RicRac; Clearsnap ColorBox Fluid Chalk Inkpad Warm Red & Dark Green and Pigment Brush Pad Gold; Creative Impressions Pearls; SCRAPBOOK ADHESIVES by 3L EZ Squares and 3D White Foam Squares; and Glue Dots

First, take a 5.5" x 12" piece of Maroon Cardstock and score at every 4". The last panel on the right, cut diagonally across as shown to form a pocket.

Then I adhered the pocket along the bottom edge by using EZ Squares.

I set aside the cardbase and started to work on my card front. I cut/embossed the S5-022 Labels Ten #3 & #4 with Maroon Cardstock and 'Tis The Season paper, respectively. Note that I did a reverse stencil by inking the cut edges of the die template and cut/embossed as usual. Then I adhered both die cuts onto the cardbase.

Next I stamped a few images from Warm Mittens Set by Nina Brackett with ink on top of 'Tis The Season paper. I used the die templates that coordinated with the image to cut/emboss. Then I embellished the die cuts. If you noticed I snuck in an accent piece from S4-286 2010 Snowflake Pendants that I cut/embossed with craft foil, sanded and added a pearl to embellish the larger mitten.

After adhering the stamped die cuts in place, I added a packet of hot cocoa mix in the pocket and it's ready to be handed out! Here's another look...

Simply leave a comment on my blog to be eligible to win the Spellbinders Holiday Hoppin’ Prize Package! One winner will be chosen from all the comments on all the blogs participating today. Comments made in the first 48 hours of this post will be eligible to win. Winner’s names will be published on the Spellbinders Blog on November 22, and they will have 48 hours to reply to Spellbinders to claim the prizes.

Thank you and enjoy the rest of the hop!

Nestabilities and Shapeabilities are registered trademarks of Spellbinders Paper Arts, LLC.
Spellbinders and Grand Calibur are trademarks of Spellbinders Paper Arts, LLC.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What I've been up to....

OK...I ran out of steam with my Japan trip but will be back to posting our last day soon :) I'm switching gears by showing you some of the projects I've worked with in the last few weeks...

Most of these are from my contribution to the Spellbinders™ Blog. Not only do I enjoy working with these wonderful and talented people but it takes me out of my box and create projects that I don't usually do. So much fun and I am so lucky!!

Another company I am also proud of is TaDa Creative Studios! I love their style and their patterned papers are too die for! The fourth picture from the top is one of their newest releases, Bountiful Blooms Collection. I just got a stash from them and have been, working on a new project ;0P

OK...enough of the show & tell. Also head's up as Spellbinders will be hosting a blog hop starting tomorrow! Be on the look out over at their blog - prizes are involved...I'm just sayin'!!

Thanks, MargieH xo

Monday, November 08, 2010

Japan Trip - Day 5

10/25 - Lake TOWADA and OIRASE Hiking Trail

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my journal of my trip. Not only do I love sharing them with my friends but I have a selfish memory (aka senior moment)! LOL! If I don't write it down, I will not remember all the details ;0P

This trip to Lake Towada and OIRASE Stream is my husband's most anticipated trip. He had always wanted to visit so I was excited for him. We back tracked our way to HACHINOHE Station to get on the bus to take us to OIRASE hiking trail. It takes over two hours to get out there (with a pit stop halfway).

Good thing we got there early (45 mins before departure) to find a handful of people already lined up at the bus stop! So glad Hosho reserved tickets - LOL! Also note that most of these folks pictured are not Japanese - a majority of them are from China! Taka's ears were peaked as he is learning Chinese in high school. Perfect opportunity to make friends but alas, he was too shy.

This is what we saw at the entrance of the TOWADA-HACHIMANTAI National Park where the OIRASE hiking trail is located...look at those fall colors!

The hiking trail is 8 3/4 miles long but we hiked about 2 miles in about an hour. We took our time as there were some beautiful spots and waterfalls along the way. For a weekday, there were a lot of people out!

Then we caught the bus from the trail and took it to our next destination Lake TOWADA. After hiking, the boys (me too!) were ready for a hot lunch :) We took a quick stroll around the lake and found a restaurant that overlooked the lake. As you can see by the picture below, it turned cloudy and cold by the time we reached the lake.

After eating our lunches, we walked to the bus terminal and rode to our next hot springs inn (RYOKAN). It was in the TOWADA area which was good - I needed a long hot bath :) Yes, it was as hot as it looks! LOL! This bath is called ROTENBURO (open air bath).

Then we had this wonderful dinner after our baths...a perfect ending to a BEAUTIFUL day!

Tomorrow, it's off to AOMORI Pref. and back to SENDAI to hitch a ride to Mt. ZAO for our last stay of our trip.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Japan Trip - Day 4


After a REAL quick breakfast (10 mins to eat & 10 mins to get to the station), we left for our next destination - MATSUSHIMA (near SENDAI in MIYAGI Pref.) and MISAWA (AOMORI Pref.).

As you can see, we made it to ATAMI station in time. The KODAMA SHINKANSEN was due in at 7:31am. The ride is about 50 mins. to TOKYO. From TOKYO Station, we switched to TOHOKU HIYATE SHINKANSEN to SENDAI Station which is about two hours. Then the local train (30 mins.) took us to our first destination - MATSUSHIMA (literal translation: PINE ISLAND).

MATSUSHIMA (MIYAGI Pref.) is considered one of the "Three Views of Japan" (NIHON SANKEI) - locations that best represents Japan. The others are: MIYAJIMA (HIROSHIMA Pref.) and AMANOHASHIDATE (KYOTO Pref.). I have been lucky to cover two (MATSUSHIMA and MIYAJIMA).

After visiting the GODAIDO Temple, riding the 50 min. boat tour around the 260 islands of MATSUSHIMA and eating GYUTAN lunch, we headed back to SENDAI to catch the TOHOKU HIYATEI SHINKANSEN to HACHINOHE (one and an half hours). Then switch to local train (15 min ride) to MISAWA area for our final destination of the day.

Hosho made reservations at a huge hot springs hotel that included a dinner show. The dinner show is called NEBUTA Festival. See all those illustrations in the background? Those are called NEBUTA - they were creatures that were supposed to frighten off the enemies during war in the AOMORI area in the early 800s. Now they are floats depicting those creatures made out of Japanese paper with laterns lit inside.

What's a dinner show without audience participation?! Guess who got picked...both boys (Hiro is pictured behind his big brother). LOL!! In the last picture, a girl with the colorful KIMONO was there with a Korean film crew. Guess they were covering the hotel (it's famous for its hot springs and this show).

After a nice long hot bath, off to bed for another adventure tomorrow to Lake TOWADA.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Japan Trip - Day 3

10/23 in ITAMI/ATAMI

The sun rising over the mountains in OSAKA. I took this picture from our hotel window. It was a beautiful sunny day.

This day was the main event - Dad's Memorial Service at our family temple (MYOSENJI) in ITAMI located in HYOGO KEN/Prefecture. A prefecture is an equivalent to a state in the U.S. It is located next to OSAKA which is where we stayed the night before.

SHIJU KUNICHI (literal translation: 49th Day) service was held first. On the 49th day after the death of a person, it is assumed that the deceased has begun their new life in the land of the dead. It is also believed that the final judgement is passed on the deceased on the 49th day with a good, respectable person going to heaven or a less respectable person going to one of the other realms of hell. Families hold these services so that the sutras and prayers they chant for the deceased can help improve the judgement rendered on the deceased.

We also had a NOKOTSU service (entombment). It was decided to do two ceremonies since the whole family was present. It was so nice to see everyone despite the occasion. My two surviving aunts on my father's side attended and a couple of my cousins.

After having a nice lunch and spending some time together talking about memories of my father, we had to say good-bye with the promise to keep in touch :)

We went back to OSAKA and got our bags from the hotel. Next stop was to ATAMI in SHIZUOKA Pref. (near TOKYO). It's known for its ocean resort and hot springs. It was our stop (and laundry stop - LOL!) before we headed to the TOHOKU (Northeastern) Region of Japan.

Taka enjoying his SUSHI dinner after we settled into ATAMI. Love how the Japanese travel. I would say most of the hotels/inns have YUKATA (cotton KIMONO and in this case, used as PJs and outer wear) with short jackets, and amenities such as toothbrush/toothpaste, hand towels, etc. so all one needs is a change of clothes. Throughout the trip, you will see us in these outfits.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Japan Trip - Day 2

10/22 in Tokyo/Kyoto.

We hopped on the SHINKANSEN (Bullet Train) and head off to Kyoto. Today was the first day for DOSHISHA Int'l High School to accept applications for the entrance exams. Hosho thought it would be a great idea to see the campus first hand...maybe motivate Taka a little bit.

Gotta love that JR Rail Pass, we got on without a hitch. When we arrived in KYOTO, the first thing we wanted to do was eat lunch! LOL! So off to HAMAMURA for RAMEN! YUM!!

Then we went directly to the DOSHISHA campus where they house the University, the Women's College and the International High School. It was impressive but the 15 minute uphill walk nearly killed me! This is the entrance to the high school.

Then we went to OSAKA and met my MIL who stayed with us at the hotel. She was also attending my father's memorial in ITAMI/HYOGO Pref. (the neighboring prefecture to OSAKA). The boys were so excited to see her - it's been six years since they last saw each other. She was surprised to see how tall they had gotten.

Here's a picture of my MIL with my youngest, Hiro, in OSAKA Station. Sorry for the blurred picture but if you didn't move, you would be trampled by a sea of people (yes, another Japanese rush hour...sigh). LOL!

We headed to this restaurant that served FUGU (Blowfish) dishes. Hosho found a licensed FUGU chef that made our wonderful dinner! Blowfish are poisonous - a chef needs to learn how to cut and serve this specialized dish - that's where the license comes in :)

After dinner, we walked it off by wandering around the area. Then off to bed. Another productive day and tomorrow will be the big event - my dad's memorial :)