Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Great Salt Lake and Downtown Salt Lake City

Today’s post is full of beautiful images of the Salt Lake and downtown SLC.

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A bit hard to read, it says:

Daughters of Utah Pioneers No. 115 Erected 1934 Garfield & Lake Point Resorts

From 1881 to 1893 Garfield Beach was the most famous and finest recreation resort on the shores of Great Salt Lake, with its railroad station, lunch stand, restaurant, bath houses, and pier leading to the dance pavilion, and with the pioneer steamboat “City of Corinne” exhibited at anchor.  lake Point was located 1 1/2 miles west.  A three story hotel erected there by Dr. Jeter Clinton became a stopping place for overland stages.  The boulder used for this shaft was taken from “Old Buffalo Ranch” one half mile west”.

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Beautiful scenery, but I should have been plugging my nose – the lake has quite a briny odor to it!

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Some unique scenery behind us while photographing the lake

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The LDS Conference Center on the left.  A view of the Salt Lake Temple from the street on the right.

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Much more SNAP! fun to come this week!

Monday, April 23, 2012

How to Attend Your First Blog Conference {from a small blogger’s perspective}

How to Attend Your First Blog Conference

Many of my fellow bloggers were posting while at the SNAP! Conference this weekend, but I really wanted to take my time to absorb what was happening and spend time living in the moment.  I hope to share my experience along with some do’s and don’ts.

My experience at SNAP! was phenomenal.  I will try to break it down, but it is so overwhelmingly awesome that might be hard to do!  I will have some other posts that go into detail, but for now I will briefly overview how it all came together.  I bought my ticket to SNAP! in August, only a couple of weeks that I had actually been blogging.  Kind of crazy, looking back at it, but it was a great decision and I met lots of wonderful people.  Throughout the way, Tauni and the SNAP! Team was very communicative and helpful on the blog, Twitter, FB, and emails with providing information, connecting roommates, and answering questions.  I cannot thank them enough for being so thorough!  I was able to find awesome roommates quickly – Vivienne from The V Spot, Jennifer from Always in Wonder, and Karen from Redoux (although Karen unfortunately wasn’t able to make it at the last minute).
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I was nervous the whole time about going; isn’t everyone the first time they do something new?  I was worried that I was a small blogger and people would wonder why I was there, or that the conference would be way over my head, or everyone would form in their own little cliques and not talk to me.  When I got there, I felt even more anxiety, as it seemed I was totally out of the cool kids club – my roommates and their friends all had Moo Cards, and I just made mine off Vista Print.  They also had their iPads with them – no dinosaur laptops to lug around.  Their Canon DSLRs and Jo Totes looked so impressive compared to my stupid little point & shoot camera.  And their followers – way more than I could dream of having.  I thought to myself, ‘Ooh boy, this is going to be a looong weekend.  What have I gotten myself into?’

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As the conference progressed, I attended classes featuring well-known ‘big’ bloggers, such as Brittany from Pretty Handy Girl, Rhoda from Southern Hospitality, Beth from Home Stories A to Z, Shelley from House of Smiths, Traci from Beneath My Heart, Mandi from Vintage Revivals and so many more I could just go on and on.  It was like meeting celebrities!  But they were so sweet and down to earth, I felt like I was in some sort of alternate universe.  Not that I had expected them to be mean, but so lovely that they gave me the time of day.  And all the other bloggers who attended?  Believe it or not, they talked to me!  Me, a random girl who has never worked with any brand, has just over 100 followers, doesn’t know how to advertise on her blog, who is totally making it up as I go along!  I met lots of lovely ladies who were just like me – regular business cards, no DSLR, no iPad, few followers.  Totally worth it.

I’ll post more this week about my experience, but for now here’s the basics on How to Attend Your First Blog Conference – some Do’s and Don’ts!
  • Compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.  There are going to be bloggers there who have been blogging longer than you, with better cameras than you, with more followers than you, and who have more connections than you.  (Unless you’re Ana White, than you probably have everyone beat.)  This one has been really difficult for me – and I haven’t totally conquered it yet – but I think this is the most important to remember.
  • Be someone you’re not.  This goes with the first, but try to be happy with who and where you are.  As the saying goes, ‘be yourself because everyone else is already taken’.  God made us all unique – celebrate your individuality!
  • Forget to drink LOTS of water.  Especially in Utah, where it is very dry, I became very dehydrated and ended up getting sick.  Plane travel is also notorious for being germy, so don’t forget to wash your hands frequently and try to avoid touching your face.
  •   Go to bed much later than you usually do.  You will be very tempted to stay up much later past your bedtime to chat and have fun but this will negatively affect your conference experience as a whole.  If you’re coming from a different time zone like I was, this will be even more important.  In my case, my roommates were on West Coast Time, (let’s say 10PM), the conference itself was on Mountain Time (11 PM), and I was on Eastern Time (1AM).  You can see how I was totally exhausted most of the time.
  • Go right back to work right away.  If you can afford it, take one day off afterwards to reflect, unpack, and relax.  I ended up getting sick, so I was forced to stay home – ha!
  • Stress.  You will be very busy and there’s nothing you can do about it, so just have fun!
  • Participate in Twitter chats for the conference you plan on attending. This will help you meet and mingle beforehand. For SNAP!, we participated with #SNAPConf. This same hashtag was used during the conference as well to tweet the latest happenings.
  • Follow people on Twitter and their blogs, it will help you to get to know them before you meet them in real life, and you might make some great connections.
  • Make a list of everything you need to pack. It might sound obsessive, but it will ensure you don’t forget the little, yet important things – like business cards!  Speaking of cards, I plan on putting my profile picture on the next set I order.  So much easier after you get home trying to figure out who’s who when their card has their picture on it.
  • Use a larger bag than you think you will need. This will be really helpful when you bring home all of your amazing swag from the conference.
  • Pack cute clothes. Although you might spend your days in sweats, know that everyone there will be dressed comfortable, yet stylish. While you’re at it, pack something a little dressier (like a sundress and cute wedges) for the last day’s get-together.
  • Plan posts ahead. I did one, but many really had their act together and had posts scheduled each day. Consider kindly featuring another blogger while you’re out, so your followers can get to know someone new!
  • Put yourself out there. You will never regret being kind and making friends.
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If I met you at SNAP!, please say hi and follow if you like.  I’m trying to make sure I follow all of you wonderful ladies on your blogs and on Twitter.  Stay tuned for some more adventures I had at SNAP! :-)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bon Voyage!

Today’s card serves a double purpose.  I am celebrating my sister’s birthday today, and she is celebrating by going on a Caribbean cruise with the family!  I am really upset that I couldn’t join them, but I have something equally fun to go to, you may have heard of it…
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OMG I’m SO AMPED!  I mean, not amped, excited.  I mean sort of amped, really kind of in between.
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As soon as I saw that stamp set from Stampers Anonymous, I knew it was meant for my sister’s birthday cruise.  I started out smudging Stormy Sky and Iced Spruce Distress Ink on the sides and stamping the embarking background lightly also with Iced Spruce.  Some water flicks were quickly added – love how Distress Inks interact with water!  With Jet Black Archival Ink I stamped the main ship image – kind of Titanic-esque, eh?  God forbid anything happens to their ship, but if it does at least they’ll be in 70+ degree water near Mexico instead of 28ish degrees in the Northern Atlantic!  The ‘cabin class stateroom’ was stamped on a tag and cut down to size, and inked moderately in Vintage Photo Distress Ink and adhered.  A touch of brown and white twine through the loop gives it a really vintage look.  ‘Bon Voyage!’ was stamped and fussy cut and brushed around the edges with some more Vintage Photo and a touch of Peeled Paint.  A few spritzes of Silver Sugar Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist finished this card off.
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Some details of the waves at the bottom, this was done with Stormy Sky Distress Stickles, white gel pen, and a couple swipes of Smooch Ink.
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Close-ups of the water spots. 

Hope you enjoyed this card, please comment if you’ll be at SNAP!, I’d love to meet you and make friends!
To Tamme, Happy Birthday – I hope it’s the best yet!  Love always, Kit <3

Monday, April 16, 2012

Fishing in Baneberry

Hope y’all had a beautiful weekend – here’s some shots from me, my husband Jeff, and two naughty Boston Terriers in action.  We went fishing in Baneberry, Tennessee – enjoy!


Every spring this section of Douglas Lake rises when they open the dams.  The water level will soon meet the grass.


The view from our friend’s house – gorgeous, no?


Jeff and his buddy Chase.  Jeff caught two fish, so he was happy Smile


That bait isn’t for you, Chase!  Ella, the diva, is totally disinterested in such things.


Me learning to fish for the first time!


The sun setting on one of God’s beautiful days.

Thanks for letting me share with you – did you make it out of your craft room this weekend? Winking smile

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Blog Named Hero Challenge #1

I’m sure many of you have seen the first challenge from A Blog Named Hero, easy yet hard because I love all my Hero Arts stamps – clear, cling, wood mounted rubber – it doesn’t matter.  From my trip back home I scooped up this beauty, CG194 Large Stencil Flower – seen here at Simon Says Stamp

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It has quickly become a favorite, to the point of where I had to duplicate my original card!

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Products used (links are to Simon Says Stamp):

Liquid Pearls - Buttercup, Key Lime, Majestic Purple, Baby Blue

BoBunny 6x6 paper pad – Country Garden Collection

Copic Markers – B02 Robin’s Egg blue, B04 Tahitian Blue, YG24 Celadon Green, YG17 Grass Green, RV23 Pure Pink, RV25 Dog Rose Flower, Y18 Lightning Yellow

Hero Arts CL487 Thank You For Being My Friend stamp set.

Also Zing! white embossing powder, misc. gems, and Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black.

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As always, thanks for visiting –and if it’s your first time here, look around, stay awhile!  Enjoy your visit! Smile

Friday, April 6, 2012

Tim Holtz Online Card Class–Creative Chemistry 101 Day 5

Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry 101

Day 5 of Creative Chemistry for me – my Picket Fence Distress Stain came in the mail yesterday and wow is it cool!  I think craft companies really have our number when it comes to producing the same item in a myriad of colors.  That ugly burgundy color that I’ll rarely use – doesn’t matter, hafta buy it so I can have a full set!  It’s a really frustrating (and ultimately expensive) problem to have.  I feel like non-crafters don’t really understand, asking ‘why don’t you just buy the colors you will use?’ I can’t explain it, but it’s like some sort of compulsion.  Sometimes I can hold off and buy some at a time, but if it’s all at once on a really good sale, watch out – because it’s like some sort of drug.  Adding (and especially completing) a collection is the fix.  I wish I were joking about this, but those who know me, know that I’m not kidding.  But it’s a love-hate relationship, I love color so much and seeing all shades and tones together is so visually pleasing to me.

Why did I go off on a mini rant on colors?  Because Picket Fence (Distress Stain) is a game-changer.  It’s not like buying that random ugly color of burgundy (I’m looking at you, Aged Mahogany) to get your fix, it’s a completely unique product.  Given that it’s white, it’s actually pigment mixed with liquid to give a semi-transparent look.  I’m so glad I got it because there’s a lot you can do with it, and two of today’s tags feature it.

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Stained Kraft Resist Technique – I don’t have Kraft Resist paper, so I made my own with some clear embossing powder on a paper bag.  Not supposed to use Picket Fence Distress Stain on this one but I did – oops!  Turns out to be a happy accident; I love how it looks.

Stamping with Stains Technique – Love the bold color with the white script and black butterflies.

Marbled Stains Technique – LOVE!  Super cool technique, so happy to have that Picket Fence Distress Stain.

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Close-up of my fake Kraft Resist paper…pretty close to the real thing, no?

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How pretty is that script behind the butterflies?

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This mottled and marbled finish is so cool.  I tried to catch some of the detail – I couldn’t get this result if I tried, it just happens and comes together naturally!

I really hope you’ve been ‘enjoying the journey’ as Tim puts it, each day is more and more fun.  If you missed Day 4 you can check it out here.  Not sure what I’m going to do for Day 6…I have no Distress Markers and no plots to buy any at the moment…any ideas?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cute Baby Card

A client that I work with had their first baby, so I wanted to celebrate with a handmade card.  I’m not sure if I enjoy the fact that the title of this post is rather ambiguous.  Is it a cute baby?  Or a cute card?  You be the judge:

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At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about this card, as it is really random – but really fun!  I wanted to incorporate some teals and greens into it so it wouldn’t be too heavy on the pink.  I started with some Echo Park papers to line the base of the card.  I cut some banner flags and inked the edges with a touch of Vintage Photo Distress Ink, and stamped them in Smooch Ink.  I popped them up with some foam tape, and strung that cute fluttery string/ribbon behind them.  A cut some circles in varying sizes and adhered to the lower half of the card.  A couple are popped up with foam tape, and a couple have Liquid Pearls in Petal Pink on them to finish.

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A close-up of those beautiful Echo Park papers

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A close-up of one of the banner flags.  The Smooch Ink is so pearly and metallic in person.

I hope they love this card – wishing them health and happiness for their baby girl! Smile

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2012–April

Happy April everyone!  I don’t really put any effort into silly April Fool’s pranks, but please feel free to share one if you pulled off one successfully (and no ‘hehe I posted on Facebook that I’m pregnant – but guess what – I’m not!’ derp type of pranks.)

As always, check out Sir Tim’s tag here first, then come back to check mine out.  Also if you missed March’s tag, you can view it here.

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If you’re wondering why that sentiment looks insanely familiar, it’s because I used it on my March tag too!  I accidentally used it 2 months in a row.  Oh well, it’s very fitting for any time of year I think.  Here’s how I made April’s tag:

I don’t have any of those dies and too lazy to turn on my Pazzles, so I freehand cut the branch and bird.  Inked in same colors as Tim, I embossed the edges in a metallic green Zing! powder (don’t have plain green or Peeled Paint Distress Embossing Powder), and the main branch part in Vintage Photo Embossing Powder (don’t have Brushed Corduroy).  I also don’t have any reflections stamps or that embossing folder he used, so I just used a random Hero Arts script background then ran a different folder through.  Inked in similar colors to Tim’s, and adhered the bird/branch on with Glossy Accents.  I don’t have the ribbon or key he used, so I just found some different robin’s egg blue ribbon and some random trinket I stole from Jeff’s toolbox.  I don’t have that little sentiment on metal, so I faked one with my own sentiment stamped on top of Perfect Pearls that I placed on a piece of cereal box (no chipboard in my stash!).  Some really cute twine and unfashionably-large-by-comparison staples to finish it off!

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Close-up of my fake tag

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Bonus points to whoever can guess what that thing is on my ribbon!

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There’s my little bluebird, with a crown made out of cereal box (the poor man’s chipboard), painted in Silver Fox Smooch Ink, and a couple dabs of Silver Liquid Pearls.  Don’t you just love that texture from the embossing powder?  It looks so cool!  If you can only afford one color, I’d say go for Vintage Photo.  It could be anything – branches, rust, dirt, whatever!

Are you playing this round of Tim’s 2012 tags?  Let me know so I can stop by and ‘tweet’ hello!  Speaking of tweeting, are you on twitter?  I am – I’d love to have you follow along with me! @PearlGateway Smile

Monday, April 2, 2012

Tim Holtz Online Card Class–Creative Chemistry 101 Day 4

Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry 101

Welcome to my Day 4 of Tim Holtz’ Creative Chemistry.  This lesson is all about using Distress Re-inkers.  I didn’t have any re-inkers, but luckily I was able to pick up some from a favorite scrapbook store back home.  Next time I go back I’ll have to take pictures of that place – it puts many a scrapbook store to shame!

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3 Distress Stains, 1 Distress Embossing Powder, 3 Liquid Pearls, 3 Distress Inks, 2 BoBunny 6x6 paper collections, a Hero Arts/Studio Calico Moroccan background stamp, a Hero Arts cling flower stamp, and some Cut n Dry stamp pad felt.

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Watercoloring with Re-inkers Technique – I love love love how this came out.  I will for sure be doing more!

Layered Misting Technique – I cheated a wee bit because I really should get more mini misters.  I started with the yellow in the corner using the technique with Mustard Seed re-inker, but the rest was finished with shhh…don’t tell Tim…Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists.  And that cool pattern?  I found some old doilies at a garage sale, so I bought two for 10 cents each! They make a great mask although I did use a bit too much ink and they aren’t the clearest because they don’t really lay flat of course.  But that’s okay, I still like how it turned out!

Custom Stamp Pad Technique – Tim has shown this technique elsewhere, I remember seeing it during 12 Tags of Christmas.  Basically using Cut n Dry Felt to make your own custom inkpad.  Very cool.

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Love how bright these colors are!  I need to practice a bit keeping them in the lines, I think maybe I should dry it in between colors to avoid bleeding.

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Wish the camera could pick up the shimmer from this – it’s intense!

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Did I mention I love bright colors!?  If you can only afford a couple Distress re-inkers and really want to try some of these techniques, think basic color theory.  Pink (or red), Yellow, and Blue will get you all types of colors.  See how the yellow (Mustard Seed) blends with the blue (Tumbled Glass) to make green?  And see where the blue blends with the pink (Worn Lipstick) to make purple?  And of course pink and yellow make orange!  So by purchasing the right 3 colors, you just got 3 more by mixing!

If you missed Day 3, check it out here.  Sit tight for Day 5, I’ve ordered some Picket Fence Distress Stain and waiting for it to come in.  Picket Fence is such a game changer, it’s not like buying a random color.  Can’t wait to play with it!  I don’t have any Distress Markers and don’t plan on purchasing them anytime soon – if you guys have any ideas on how to fake Day 6 (Distress Markers) – please let me know!