Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!!

Most of the world is already on New Year's Day - Happy New Year to my friends in Australia, Singapore, Hongkong and Japan!! May the Year of The Rabbit bring good fortune to you all! xo

Here in the States, we have a few hours before the big countdown. What do you have planned? We will be celebrating at home with the four of us (Taka came home from a youth retreat last night - so good to have him home!). On New Year's Day, we will be attending church in Wrigleyville (Chicago) for the first prayers of the year (HATSUMODE) which is a big thing in Japan.

When I was a high school junior at The American School In Japan, I wore a KIMONO and had my hair waxed/fixed into a traditional Japanese hairstyle. It took days to get that stuff out of my hair! On New Year's Eve, my uncle took me to MEIJI SHRINE around midnight for HATSUMODE. All I can say is NEVER AGAIN!!! It was us and a couple million people! OMGOSH! LOL!!

So back to the States...

Yesterday was my turn to post on Spellbinders' blog. And of course, I went with the New Year's theme! I loved how this turned out. At first I was a little worried about how WILD the red boa would be but you have to be festive, right?! LOL!!

Personally I had a rough year - my dad, uncertainity of plans, etc. but I am looking forward to an even better year for me and for everyone!!! So let's make a good one! HAPPY NEW YEAR, my friends!


Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas From Our House to Yours...

On behalf of my family, I'd like to wish you all a wonderful Christmas, full of happiness and good memories. In 2010, we remember all of the good and the bad (we learn from them and become stronger). No matter what has happened or is happening, we are thankful for the positive in it all - like a lotus flower, in the muddy water floats a beautiful flower.

Taken in La Jolla, CA - December 2010
So Merry Christmas and enjoy each other's company. Extend a hand to a person in need this season, whether it be a friend, neighbor or stranger...I'm sure you'll make their holiday brighter!

PEACE & JOY, my friends! xo

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Sweet 16 to Taka!!

Just wanted to post that my oldest son is 16 today! So happy birthday, sweet boy...hmmm, correction: young man! The way you have grown, we couldn't be more prouder.

8th Grade Graduation - 2009
High School Homecoming Court - 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

SNR 12 Days Of Christmas Tags!!

Scrapbook News & Review (SNR) Magazine is having a 12 Days of Christmas Tags where staff members are asked to share their Christmas Tag.

Well, today is my day! The tag is "Cookie Exchange" and why not! Food is always big with us and well, I need to explain?! LOL!!

Here's a couple of sneak peeks on my project. Note the cute papers (oops, I have it on the wrong side!) are from TaDa Creative Studios' Jolly Holly Days Collection!

So I hope you take a peek HERE for my tag and the rest of the staff. Lots of great ideas and reminders on some wonderful techniques.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A JOYous Thursday!

Today I tried the sticky back canvas on Spellbinders™ Grand Calibur™! Although it had three layers, I knew I could cut it on the machine - it has more pressure than the Wizard™. Just need a couple more pass throughs and it cut PERFECTLY!!

LOVED how it turned out! Had so much fun trying to figure out how the letters - JOY - would work out. Want more details? Click HERE to get you on the Spellbinders' Blog.

I also tried felt on the Grand Calibur - no problem with it either! I put the felt and the S4-285 Nested Mittens together to create this cute ornament? gift card holder?

Notice the red "nose" on the deer? LOL!! This ornament will not be given away - HA! More info is on Spellbinders' Savvy Saturday post HERE.

Have a JOYful I am off to get more holiday shopping done!
MargieH xo

Monday, December 06, 2010

A Quick & Easy Page...

This is a layout I did for TaDa Creative Studios' blog last week regarding back to basics with a simple design and some leftover scraps.

So if you're short on time, try this!
Speaking of short...that's it for today. LOL!!
Happy creating :)

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Happy December!!

Already it's December..I wasn't done with November nor October!! YIKES!

Well, October has one/two more posts of our trip to Japan. All I can say it's a work in progress! I'm trying to get the names and places straight! LOL!! So bear with me - I will get it done...soon ;0P  Here's a picture to tie you over! LOL!!

As for November, I wanted to share my Thanksgiving dinner. This is the second year that we had dinner with just the four of us.

I usually invite a Japanese family or two to dinner since Thanksgiving is a U.S. holiday. Plus the fact that turkey is not a staple in the Japanese diet. I also celebrate Christmas with them just to add the festivities. So I deck the whole house out in Christmas, even the tree comes out with gifts for everyone.

Well, let's just say the Christmas tree hasn't make an appearance yet...only the wreath! LOL!! Note to self: get the tree out!! It's perfect today - we have snow falling this morning! What a hint :)

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I'll be back with some crafty stuff soon :0)

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.