Monday, April 14, 2014

April's Cup of the Month

April's Cup of the Month
Featuring Graphic 45's Biotical Tea Collection.

If you have a cup that has an inter-changeable center, look to your scrapbooking supplies and change it up each month.  Most have a template that you can pull out and use to make your new look.

Cut your template, design and re-insert....

 I love doing this every month.  Give you a new cup and you did not have to spend money on a new look (well not much anyway).   Celebrate each month by changing up your look.  Love this!!


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Autumn turned 2!

Birthday #2
This past December, our Grand Daughter turned 2 years old.  What a hoot she is.  Autumn is full of life and attitude!.  She has 2 older brothers to keep up with, so she has to be tough and just as fast as they are.  Yet, there is this sweet little girl side of her that just makes me want to snuggle with her all day long.   Love her to pieces.
She was not so sure about that cake but then she got her fingers in it and YUMMY happened. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Let's Celebrate Freedom Blog Hop

Let's Celebrate Freedom Blog Hop
For The Hens' Den
July 1st through July7th
All week long we will be celebrating the 4th of July.  I hope you see lots of fun ideas and techniques.  Remember to leave a comment on every blog and then on FB.  We will track them and on Sunday, July 7th, we will pick a winner.  I am the second to the last stop.  From here you will go to our Face Book page and leave your final comment.   We will pick at random from all the winners that follow the rules.
I did not have all the cool papers the other Design Team Members had.  I only had the stickers to work with and cardstock. So I made a mini album and used lots of inks, utee, distress paints, embossing many products.    Let's take a look...........


My flowers are from Petaloo.   I dipped them in hot clear UTEE and let them cool.  The results are really awesome. The front of the album design was used with a stencil from Wendy Veechi and her Studio 490 Line.  The paint if White Linen from Dylusions.

The stencil used on the left side is from the Dylusions Collection. Using White Linen Dylusions paint, I sprayed it on the red cardstock.  On the left is corrugate paper that I painted white using Picket Fence Distress paint.  The I used some of the other colors out of the Dylusions line and sprayed over the white.  Not real happy with the way it turned out but then, you learn as you go.
On the back side of the corrugated page, I covered it using Claudine Hellmuth Gesso because I did not want any of the color tobleed through to the other side.  I finished using Distress Paints from Tim Holzt line.
The page on the left was made by  Again I was messing around with a piece of canvas and wanted to see what different layers would do with each other. First, I used embossing paste to cover the canvas. Then  I used a blue distress paint and then to make the stars, I took white paint and using a stamp that was a small star, I stamped the image on the blue section. For the red sections, I used another distress paint, allowing the embossing paste to be the white stripes.   Honestly, I did not like the look and took some white Gesso, and tried to cover it up and the end result I loved!.  Messy background but I could still see my flag.  Then, using one of the Dylusions Stamps, I used embossing paste to create the images.  After letting it dry, I played with Distress Stains and love how the flowers turned out.  Using the same procedure, I made the image for "always remember" and took black paint and daubed a bit here and there and then smeared it.   It was fun playing with all the different mediums, not that I could reproduce the end result, but it was the fun of experimenting that mattered.
I tore card stock pieces to make the page on the left and then sprayed with Dylusions ink to give it that washed out look. I also played with some of Wendy Veechi stencils in the back ground.  The frame is from Ranger out of their Inkssentials line.  Using the melting pot, I heated up some UTEE and added Red, White and blue embossing powders.  Careful not to stir too much, I then poured the UTEE into the frame and let it cool.  Then I stamped using the word HOME onto the cooled embossing enamel.

Nothing special here, just messing around with different inks from the Dylusions collection.
The page on the left was time consuming but I love the end result.  After coloring my frame from Petaloo, I used embossing ink to cover all the ridges inside of the frame.  Next, I used blue embossing powder to cover the ink and tapped gently to get all of the excess off.  I heated the embossing powder until it was melted and allowed to cool off a bit.  Next, using an embossing ink pen, I carefully covered every other ridge and then applied the red embossing powder, heated/melted the powder and allowed it to cool.   Final step was using the embossing ink pen again, I covered all of the remaining ridges and applied white embossing powder and heated/melted it and allowed it to cool.  I glued on the frame and then added half pearl beads inside the frame work.  The flowers are from Petaloo and I dipped them in hot UTEE and gave them a glazed look.  Again, experimenting and having fun.
This are my final pages and I played with the back of the corrugated page using Gesso to seal the paper.  After is dried, I used embossing paste and stencils to make the flowers.  All the products used are in the store for your buying pleasure...hehehe.
I have to say that I am so glad this is NOT going to be a kit.  I could not remember everything I did and the instructions would be a nightmare to  This was for fun and I learned a lot. 
I plan on giving this to my Son who served in the United States Army for 8 years.  I am very proud of him and want him to have a piece of his history to pass down to his children. 
your last and final step is to go to our blog and leave your final comment there.  Here is the link:   
Thank you for playing along.  Please come back and visit again.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Growing up fast

Autumn Grace
She is growing up so fast.  This photo was taken on May 26th 2013. The last time we saw Autumn, she was just learning to walk. Now, she is running!  What a doll, if I say so myself.  Love this little girl with all my heart.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Proper Tribute - Good Bye

*Aladdinn x Kasja
My tribute to Kasjan
 Sjan's Tree
Just a few days ago, I was walking around my yard taking in all the new spring blooms.  I have a rather large yard and did not notice right away that this tree had bloomed.  As I round the corner and looked up, I immediately burst into tears, and not just the little dribble, but a full on cry.  I sat down in front of that tree and let the tears flow.  Uncontrolled.  This was the first time in 6 years that this tree had bloomed.  I started this tree from a seedling and planted is straight out of a 5 gallon pot.  So, why did this bring me to such an immediate emotional state? 
If you will allow me, I would like to take you to the beginning.  Have your coffee ready and maybe some tissues.  I hope I can get through this without crying again.
1988 - We moved to a small farm in Olympia WA.  I had been to a horse barn the week before Christmas and heard a story about a horse that was 3 hours away.  I was told he needed a new home and the young woman that owned him could not afford to keep him any longer and was about to lose ownership because she was not current on her board bill.  I agreed to go take a look at him, the price was right.
On Christmas Eve, I drove up north and just in case, I have my truck and trailer with me.  You just never know about this like this and you want to be prepared.  What I was not prepared for was what I found.   
Sjan (Shawn) as I now call him, was standing there in a 4 x 8 box stall in cross ties.  There was not enough room for him to move.  He was standing in so much feces and urine, it made me sick.  He had hardly any mane or tail and he was so malnourished.  You could see all of his joints and every rib he had.  His coat was dull in color and I noticed that his skin did not look right but I was so over whelmed that I did not look any closer.  I knew right then I could not leave him there.  If for any other reason, I was taking him home with me to have him put down.  He was that bad.  I loaded him in my trailer and paid the young lady her fee and left.  As I drove down the road, I called animal protective services and reported the facility.  It was appalling, simply put. 
I called my vet and told him I was on my way home and needed him to stop by my place and help me with this horse.  He told me that it would be the day after Christmas before he could come by.  I looked at this horse and cried.  On closer inspection (in the light) I could see bumps all over his back, masses of them.  On his legs were mounds of yellow eggs (Bot Flies) and they were in a abundance.  When a horse licks himself or itches himself with his mouth, the eggs dislodge and enter their digestive system via their mouth.  They poop out the larva and the cycle starts all over, after the larva have fed on the insides of the horse.  As for the bumps in his back, those were warbles, another fly that is indicative in cows, not horses.  Those were larva working their way through his body to hatch. 
All I could do was put him in a stall and feed him, it was the least I could do.  What broke my heart was that he was so gentle and he had such a spark in his eye, he just did not have the energy to act like a normal horse.  Food, water and a pat on his head and I headed into the house for the night. 
Christmas morning, I went out and tended to him in his stall.  Gave him fresh bedding, food and water.  Another pat on the head and I went about my other chores.  That evening, I did the same thing.  He just stood there looking at me those big eyes.  Then he nickered at me and my heart broke again.  I hoped he did not realize that the vet was coming in the morning. 
The next morning the vet arrived and he looked him over and agreed with my assessment.  He was heavily invested and his digestive system was compromised and there was absolutely no guarantee he could make it through the winter.  BUT... the vet wanted to try because he saw the same thing I was seeing  in his eyes. So, we embarked on a 2 year struggle to get him well.   First, we shaved him right down to his bare skin.  I then burned all the hair to kill the eggs that were mixed up in the mess.   Then the vet started a worming process that would go on for the next 12 months.
The first year was spent getting him healthy and weight on him but that proved to be a challenge.  With his system so messed up I could not feed him the rich foods he needed to get weight on his bones.  It was even a challenge to get him to eat.  At the end of the first year, once we had him all cleaned up (and that was an ugly mess, I will leave out the details) he started to show interest in eating so we increased his food and the quality of this food. Slowly he started to put on good weight and showed signed of a good coat of hair as well. 
His spirits were up, his mane and tail were looking so much better and his coat started to get a nice shine.  He had to learn to stand still while being bathed, getting his feet trimmed and just general grooming.  At year 3, he went under saddle.  There we found out some more about his mental issues.
He had been "stalled whipped".  That is a process of teaching young colts primarily, to stand in one spot in the stall while the person in there was cleaning or feeding them.  Colts have a strong spirit and can be a bit to handle if you are not paying attention. Well, stall whipping is a process where they whip the front legs of a horse to get their attention.  Repeated abuse of this caused a lot of issues later on and I was now dealing with them.  I would not allow the reins to dangle around his legs because he would freak out very badly and darn near kill me and himself in the process.   Back to square one.
We worked on his legs.  Moving things over them and around them, touching him at every inch with every object we could fine.  We encouraged him to be still and that everything was going to be ok. It took me months to get him to the point that I could bridle him up and allow the reins to dangle beneath his chin and bump his legs.  This is important because if you drop your reins and you have to reach down to get them, you do not want your horse freaking out at the same time.  Slowly he trusted me and what I was doing. Slowly we gained ground.  Now, back to the saddle.  Surprising, this was easy for him.  No fuss or muss, I was so surprised.  We started trail riding.
Over the next 17 years Sjan was my buddy.
We went on many trail rides, competitive rides, camping, to the ocean and a few horse shows.  We played a game all the time (well several games).  He would come running into the pasture blowing, like Arabian horses do, and I would blow back at him and run for the nearest tree.  If I do not take cover, he would run me over.  So, I ran from tree to tree blowing at him while he prances and blew back at me and then he would neigh to so loudly.  I would laugh and when I was tired, he still want to play but got use to when Mom said NO.  He would nudge me and I would give him a treat.  It did not take long for him to even learn the word.  If I wanted him from the bottom of the pasture, I would yell "treat" at him and he would come running!!  Save me from walking my sorry ass down the hill to get him.. lol.
He looked so darn handsome at the shows.  Proud, shiny and spunky.

In 2005, I made the very painful decision to sell all of my horses and yes, Sjan was one of them.  That was the hardest thing I had to do.  I could no longer ride and it was not fair to him to just stand around.  He needed companionship and he needed to be working.  He was at his best when he was kept busy.  I took him to a trainer and asked that she find him a good home.  I said my good byes and left.  I refused to cry.  After a long drive home, I parked the trailer and went in the house and kept myself busy.. I was not going to cry.  I was not going to cry.
Two weeks later, I got the call the a family wanted to buy him and they were so excited.  I drove back up north and visited their farm and the facility he would be living in and gave my blessings.  They had a young daughter that wanted to learn to ride and he was gentle enough for her and yet the husband wanted a stout horse that he could ride and feel like he has substance beneath him and Sjan was perfect for that as well.
 Sjan is 23 years old in this picture. Who would have thought that would be possible.
I visited them often and short of a chandelier, that horse had everything he could ever have needed.  It was almost overkill but I would rather that he have that then the way I found him.  They loved him as much as I did.  I made the right decision for them both.  We have kept in contact over the past several years, until lately.  I have hesitated to call them and ask why, a part of me knew and I did not want to hear it. 
So, what does this have to do with the blooming tree?  Well, I brought that tree with me from the farm when we sold it and I planted it that same year. In 3 years time that tree was huge but it never bloomed.  This spring it did.  When I saw that tree, an over whelming feeling and emotion took over that I never thought that I would never experience.  Sjan had passed.  I knew if for sure, right then and there.  Those blossoms spoke to me.  He was gone. I sat beneath that tree and cried.  I finally mourned him in so many ways.
I mourned for him for the bad start in life and for all the bad treatment.  I mourned for the days that we would play, ride or just spend time grooming. I mourned for the decision of having to let him go. I mourned for his passing.  All I have now are my memories.  I will cherish them for the rest of my life. 
Good bye my Sjan... you were a blessing to me and you taught me a lot.
~ Mom


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Graphic 45's French Country Collection

Primitive Cabinet by
Unknown (hehe)
I found this cabinet, while out looking at collectible and antique items, several months back.  It has been hanging around since.  I know when I found it I wanted to make a really cool but functional display case for my store and some of the goodies I carry.  All I needed was just the right paper.  Along came Graphic 45 and their newest release, French Country.  The colors were perfect because the cabinet was painted in a soft green and then distressed with a darker green. I really like the colors and did not want to have to repaint the entire thing.  French Country filled the bill. 
Here are some "before" pictures.


Green and not really pretty but there was so much potential.  I just simply loved how it was made.
Here are some "after" pictures.
 Ok it is looking better but you need to see some of the close ups.  I spent some time on the metal flowers from Graphic 45.  I used several different embossing powders to color them and fit them in with the paper line.  I also used sprays from the Petaloo line. I fussy cut the Rooster and placed him against the mesh so that he sat back off the front of the door.
Here are some close ups:
This cluster is on the bottom of the cabinet.  I used soft embossing powders to use with the paper flowers from Graphic 45
In this cluster, I used black and white embossing powders and clustered the flower with flowers from the French Country collection.  This is on the right side of the door.
This cluster is on the top of the cabinet.  Using Red and Sea Foam white and Celery embossing powders, I wanted to pick up colors from the paper flower collection in the French Country line.
This cluster is on the left side of the door.  Using Mustard Seed and Spiced Marmalade embossing powders this flower went in with the Sunflower cluster from the paper line.

Here are a few more pictures from the sides and other angles.
Left side of the cabinet. 
Right side of the cabinet

Full top of the cabinet.

I hope you enjoyed viewing my project and I really hope it inspires you to do something really cool with a piece of furniture that you may have that you really want to change.
Always remember, we have a lot of really cool stuff to buy over at The Hens Den
Have a VERY crafty day


Sunday, March 3, 2013

French Country by Graphic 45

French Country
Graphic 45 Collection
I love Graphic 45 paper!   When I saw French Country, I sighed really big.  The colors, patterns and theme are so beautiful.  So.. I played.  Here is my take on a layout using this beautiful paper.
You can find this beautiful paper on line at The Hens Den.  We sell a lot of Graphic 45 paper and staples.  Thank you so much for stopping by. 


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Near and Far album

Near and Far Album
Created by Charlie LaBonte
I had so much fun making this album.  A young lady that I work with is getting married this June (actually they got married in Las Vegas in December..hehe) and they are such a sweet couple to know.  Nils is in the Army and is so far away, yet close enough for Elena to fly to see him on long weekends.  We had her bridal shower recently and she is so not comfortable in large groups.  So nice so see such sweetness.  This album will give her something to documents special moments and keep for years to come.
I love this picture.  It has such a statement if you really look at it.  Near and Far...Coming and going... I am very proud of Nils and Elena.  They have  been apart and have never lost their love for each other.  I wish them many blessings for their future. 
 Love playing with paints, embossing powders and bling.  This paper line also fit right in with her colors.
 Different picture sizes make for better attention getters, I think. 
I kept the embellishments light so that they did not over power the importance of the story.  There is a story about the back side of the ribbon on the left page.  I tattle on myself later on.
 Love Corrugated paper. You can do so many things with it but for this I kept it very simple.  But I can tell you I really wanted to ink, paint and mess it up... a lot!
 Journaling cards are so cute in this collection.  I love the softness of this entire collection.
 I used one of Martha Stewarts photo corner cutting tools.  Folded them and then taped them in place. Now all Elena has to do is slip in the photo and if she wants to change it out or move it, she can.
The journaling cards are so sweet in this collection.  I love the soft color that are in this entire collection. 
Elena's bridal invitation made for a perfect subject on the canvas page.  I also used Petaloo's Color me Crazy Corner  piece, coloring it to match her invitation.
Here is where I have to tattle on myself.  I had cut the binder holes on the wrong side and having already put the paper and photo mat in place, I hid my boo boo by placing a nice big bow there.  Now, tell me that you have never had to hide a
I also used Tim Holtz Curio Knobs and Graphic 45 Key Hole and keys.  Small accents to add depth and texture. 
Thank you for stopping by and remember, we have lots of goodies for sale in the store and would love it if you would shop with us.   Have a super day!!!




Monday, December 24, 2012

My Minds Eye - Follow Your Heart - Be Happy

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My Minds Eye
Follow your heart - Be Happy
Album in a Box
Created by Charlie LaBonte
We have a new kit in the store.  Using My Minds Eye Follow your Heart, Be Happy collection, this kit comes pre-cut with full instructions and illustrations for assembly. 
Inside view:
The album is our Sassy Chic Album

There is room to store trinkets with your memory album.
Supplies are limited and you can find this in the store, along with other kits that we have for sale.  The Sassy Chic album is one of 5 that we make and have for sale.  They have lots of pages for your memory needs.   Stop by The Hens Den and check them out.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December News Letter for The Hens Den

Once again the ladies from the design team have put together some great projects for you in this month's newsletter. Please take a look!

Don't forget we have our monthly contest on the online gallery, we would love to see your work! Link up your Hens' Den projects for a chance at an instore gift certificate!