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I headed down to Seattle the night before the Gala to help out in the preparations . . . I think Linda and I began cutting paper for all the classes around 10 pm, and stopped at 3 am; we could do no more . . . (Yes, we cut ALL the paper for ALL the classes!!!)  At that point, I was pretty done for (I had even declined Ross’s marvelous Margaritas at 11 pm, afraid I’d curl up on the floor and fall asleep, leaving Linda in a sea of paper, chuckle!).

Ya’ know how it is when you’re gearing up for something exciting?  No matter how utterly dog-tired you are, you still can’t fall asleep right away . . . along about 4 am, the sandman finally paid me a visit.  At 7 am, I could hear the faint jingling of alarms in other areas of the house . . . but, I paid them no attention . . . until the bedroom door suddenly burst open, and there was Annabelle, slamming down, and therefore activating, the alarm button on the clock on the nightstand. 

I can’t be sure, as I didn’t have my glasses on, of course, but, I don’t think she realized it was me, and not her older sister Hailey in the bed (!) . . .  She swiftly spun around and jetted outta’ the room, skipping down the stairs to the kitchen.  Meantime, I fumbled around with the clock, trying to figure out how to shut it down  . . . chuckling!

Reality hits, and I make a beeline for the shower!  Today’s *THE* day!!!


What kills me, is Linda, struggling with a wretched head-cold, got even LESS sleep, and just powered through the day like she always does–the woman is AMAZING!!!

See those cupcakes????  Both Cindy AND Linda’s hubby baked and frosted a gazillion cupcakes–I could hear the mixer going at 2 am upstairs as he whipped up yet another batch of icing, while we were downstairs in the basement slicing and dicing card stock like maniacs . . .

Some very special people in attendance:



Jen S.!  All the way from Texas!!!! 

I nearly PIMP’d right on the spot when I saw your smiling face!  I, the moron, did NOT catch on about the timing between you being in Seattle and the Gala; thank you for taking time out of your trip with hubby to come to this!


Ellen!  Girl, what would I do without you to take care of me?  That yummy Mocha kept me upright!  You can never have too many supportive girlfriends, and Ellen is the BESTEST!  Ellen graciously shared all these photos so I could share here!  Ellen’s the sexy babe in between Jen and I in this shot. (VBGs)

Barb and Mary Fran!!!  I couldn’t believe you girls schlepped all the way down from Oak Harbor for this!  You girls are my angels!

Gaylene!  You are a gem to come down from beautiful BC!  A pleasure to meet your darling family, too!  Gaylene is an instructor at Precious Memories in Langley, BC and, can vouch for the fact that I’m really not always as disorganized as I was that day . . . REALLY!!!!

Kivonne and Cheryl!  I had NO idea you would be there! {{{{{hugs}}}}} Thank you for all your assistance, cleaning things up, handling the heat gun, being such a calming influence when I started to panic over my unusually disastrous organization.  You reminded me to just take a deep breath, and everything will work out in the end, if you just keep forging ahead.

Marianne, sister of Brenda, one of my dearest friends in the world,  I was so happy to see you there, and meet your friend Tanya!  What a trooper you were with me in that corner, when my elbow knocked a tray of tools, stamps, ink pads, pretty much everything, to the floor (!), and so patient you were, putting up with me crawling around under the table back there!

Jill–CLEVER GIRL!!!–Jill and I had never met before, but Jill gets the Gold Star Award for ingenuity when the cloud scissors were needed at another table when we needed ‘em, too!  I shared your GENIUS all the rest of the day, girl!!!!  And, hope you don’t mind if I do so here at the blog first opportunity I get, with full credit, of course!

Darcie, I couldn’t believe the timing of your family event coincided to allow you to come down to the Gala.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  You sooooo saved my bacon with the embossing gun during that class!  Smooches!

Louise, so fun to have a stampin’ friend in nearby Pt. Townsend!   And, next time I’m over at Fins, I am SO havin’ an appletini!!!

Katie from Oregon, you are just a kick in the pants!  Delightful to the 10th power!

Cindy H. and Mary!  You are soooooo sweet; I couldn’t have been more surprised to see your friendly faces all the way from the Island, as well!

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Last, but not least, a shout out to Novell and Joanne from SCS!  You were my anchors during those last afternoon classes.  {{{{{{{hugs}}}}}} Would you believe it took me all the way to the last class to figure out how to efficiently have everybody emboss and glitter that snowman since none of us could move????  pppppffffffffttttttttt!!!!!!!


Ellen got this shot above, of Jen in front of A Muse–Can you see that *uber* cool haunted house and the spiders hanging down?  Nina, one of A Muse’s illustrators, created those!

Tired_julie_1 A Muse’s shoppe is adorable, but too small for multiple classes occurring at the same time; they secured space in a nearby coffee shop.   But, for some reason, the coffee shop owner would NOT permit us to move the sofas, other stuffed chairs and coffee coffee tables out of that area so we could have proper room for the classes. 

I was hemmed into a corner, and literally could not get out, once everybody was seated at the table.  Nor could anybody else at that table, for that matter.  LOL!  The bathroom, just across the room, seemed to be a million miles away . . . I’m accustomed to having students rotate from one station to the next in my classes, and I’m afraid, with only 3 hours sleep, my brain went dead and my adaptation skills flew out the window (grimace).   Everybody was so very gracious about the cramped quarters.  You guys ROCK for just goin’ with the flow!

I was so bummed to not have my digi camera with me; Saturday was Homecoming for my daughter Hayley, and my hubby needed it to snap pics of H and her boyfriend Ryan (who’d come over the mountains from college to take her to the ball).  As it turned out, I did make it home in time to shoot the photos (for which she was grateful, cuz Dave can’t seem to properly operate the camera . . . insert rolling eyeballs)

If any of you in attendance have any photos to share, I’d love to include them here, so feel free to send them to me via email!

A Muse Instructors Mary B, Pebbles (Jen P.), and Leah C. rocked the house with their enthusiasm and positive energy!  The A Muse Crew down at the shoppe really worked their tails off to make this a fun and enjoyable event for everybody that came–mondo hugs to all of you that joined in the fun of the A Muse Grand Opening Gala!  What a total BLAST!!!!

I’ll be posting the designs we did in the "Not Your Average Card" and "A Muse-ing Techniques" classes, as well as that A-2 envy trick I mentioned, throughout this week!  Here’s one of them, to start your Monday:


All images, Note Card, and Patterned Paper by A Muse Art Stamps; Staz-On Black Ink; Colorbox Fluid Chalk Ink in Ice Blue; Versamagic Ink in Cloud White; Inkjet Transparency (office supply); Sakura Black Glaze Pen; Water-based Markers; 1 1/4 and 1 3/8” Circle Punches; Marvy Mega Scallop Square Punch.

Those playful Penguin Pals are at it again!  This fun design features snowflakes, stamped onto an inkjet transparency window.

Positioning the Penguins in the window is easiest if you punch out the window first, close the card, and then stamp the penguins right through the window.  Re-open the card, and turn it so the penguins are upside down and stamp the skinny oval image along their feet—this is a fairly accurate method of positioning that comes in handy, if you’re an instant-gratification girl like m’self. (wink!)  So, don’t be afraid to pivot your project and work from upside down.

While I used Versamagic Cloud White for stamping the snowflakes onto the transparency, there are number of excellent inks you could use for the same, including Palette Hybrid in New Canvas, Brilliance Moonlight White, Colorbox Fluid Chalk Ink in Alabaster, and Staz-On White.  I like to stamp on the slightly textured side, gently heat set it, and place it with the shinier side facing outward.  Of course, this doesn’t work with words, but for images where direction isn’t relevant, it works great!  For this card, I simply put a mini glue dot in each corner of the window on the inside, to secure the transparency square, for a nice professional finish.

The Sakura Black Glaze Pen was perfect for putting a little pindot at each of the scallops and enhances the overall effect of the window!  If you don’t have one of these babies, you really should get one–I really do use it quite frequently!

  1. Hey that is my friend Holly on the right in the first picture! LOL

    I wish I was there. Darn moving across the country!


  2. What a fun time! Love the pictures – so many happy smiley faces! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hey Julie! It sounds like it was a fun and very successful gala! I would have loved to come over from Eastern WA, but my oldest son was marching with his marching band in the Cavalcade of Bands. It was a lot of fun, but I thought about you too!

  4. Julie, thank you for sharing the fun report of your weekend! I love looking at the pictures. The penguin card is so adorable. Your blog is #1!! :)


  5. I am soooo sorry that I didn’t get to take your classes, Julie!!!!! :( It was like meeting a celebrity when I saw Ellen H and Jen S from Texas…you would have been all that and more! Boo hooo….I hope there is a re-do day with more classes!! I’ll find a way to be able to take classes! It was a lot of fun and such a festive atmoshpere at A-muse – pretty spring green walls, and all fresh and cottagey at the same time! Linda’s hubby’s cupcakes looked divine! Hoping to meet you, the celeb, next time!

  6. Sweetie- it was so awesome to see you again…next time, let’s just appletini the night away!! (((((hugs)))))

  7. WOWIE!! That sounds like a busy but delightful day!! I love that penguin card, too!! Those scallop punches make the best window cards!!

  8. sounds like you guys had a blast :) wish i couldve been there.. but living through you and your blog is almost as good :)

  9. Saturday was a complete blast and as always your presence, smiles and silliness helped make my day so wonderfully bright!!! Thanks sweet Julie!!! I had so much fun meeting everyone and spending time with Jen S. Hugs, Ellen

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