Sunday, April 4, 2010

New Blog!

Hello friends!

I just wanted to give you all a heads up that I will be switching my blog over to my brand new blog name: Heart Escapes. You can find it here: I will be posting there from now one, starting this week. I will also be moving all my content from this blog over to there in the next day or two.

I hope to see you all there! :-)


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My progress so far, and some new goals too.

I'm typically not great at setting goals for myself, but I am starting to think I should do so more often as I seem to actually be working towards them. Huh. Go figure. :-)

My first step towards meeting my goals this week was to once and for all, come up with a new blog and Etsy store name. I just really don't like the name now, so I have really been putting some thought into it. This is what I came up with: My Etsy store name will be Art~Escapes and then my blog will be Heart~Escapes. Thoughts?

I also needed to purchase a few things in order to get my Etsy store started. Specifically, I needed some mats for my photography. I took care of that today, and I also made a few new hair clips and pieces of jewelry, so I should be ready to start selling in no time! I just need to bring my light box in from the garage so I can take some nice pictures of everything. That will be my project for next week. I think I should be able to get my Etsy store up and running by mid-April.

As for my new goal, I am determined to start living a healthier life, and slim down a bit. I have been overweight for a good portion of my life, with a few times here and there where I was in great shape. I am at a time in my life where I just want to be healthier! I am also at a time in my life where I want to think about having kids... and that just wouldn't be healthy for me to do in my current physical condition. I want to be able to be a good example to my kids, and I know I need to start that now. Sooooo..... I am starting Weight Watchers this week. I'm not actually going to the meetings, because I really can't afford that. Instead, I am just keeping track in my own logs, weighing myself once a week, and staying accountable be posting my progress here and on my Facebook. Plus, I have some great people that I know will be checking in on me. Feel free to leave me a comment every now and then and help me stay on track!

I am thinking the key to meeting my goals is putting them out there for the whole world to see... what better motivation is that??

On another note, this year I am an Easter baby. That's right, my birthday is on Sunday. I am a whopping 26 years old! Goodness, how the time flies by... For my birthday, I am driving down to Sacramento for a concert, and then over to Carson City to see my best friend ever, Sarah. Sarah has a wonderful husband (Chris), and adorable little boy (David), and is expecting baby #2 in August... YAY! I love her and her little family, and I fully plan on taking many, many pictures of her precious son, and her little baby bump. I am leaving Sarah on Sunday to drive home so I can actually spend at least part of my birthday with my hubby. Seriously, I could not ask for a better birthday. :-)

Since I need to leave at 7 tomorrow morning, I should probably start packing and get some sleep. I will leave you this evening with three collages that I made for a Photoshop assignment. I love how they turned out, and I hope you do to. Feel free to leave some critiques if you know anything about Photoshop... I am still just learning!


Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Beginning of Something...


It has been almost a month since I last blogged... Feels like it was last night! Things have been a bit busy with moving and such, and I guess I just got distracted! I started this blog with the intent on posting regularly, and using it to help start my Etsy shop. Instead, it has become my lace of random posts when I think about it. Well, no more. I am ready to really commit to my blog, and to my art. I am ready to set some goals for myself, and really work towards them and see what happens. So here goes, here are my 3 goals for now... I am sure I will add to them more later!

Goal #1: Post on my blog once a week, preferably about something related to my art or Etsy shop.

Goal #2: Take pictures of the items I have already made and post them on Etsy.

Goal #3: Start making new items! Maybe one a day for now??

I also really need to settle on a blog and Etsy shop name once and for all. I haven't really been happy with my current name (HandmadeByAmber), and I want something different. I decided I won't sell anything on Etsy until I have come up with a name, because in order to change my shop name, I will have to completely make a new account. I don't want to do that if I already have feedback on sales. So I need to just figure it out already!! I have some ideas that I am throwing around, and I am hoping I can come to a final conclusion tomorrow. Then, I can start working towards my other goals!

Sounds like I have some work ahead of me! Okay, I am going to get started on that, and in the meantime, I will leave you with some new pictures. I have been really into using my old film camera lately, and I have been getting some great shots. Here are some of my favorites. I am looking forward to matting some of my pics soon and selling some of them on Etsy. :-)

Have a great night everyone!!

The newlyweds, at the beach in Bandon, OR

My nephew Colton, play at the beach.

Covered wagon, in Sunny Valley, OR

I love the depth of field on this picture!

Mt. Shasta, after the first big storm.

The elk across the river on our way to Bandon

Love this picture!

Colton was playing leapfrog over the dunes, I love that I captured this!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

An update, and lots of pictures!

Hello friends. Be warned, this is a LONG post with lots of pictures!!

Well, the last few weeks have been crazy! Seems like life gets crazier and crazier ever day! Allow me to give you a recap of my last few weeks. I want to first give an update on my Grandma. After her surgery, they did find a bit of cancer out side of her uterus, so the changed her diagnosis from stage 2 to stage 3. They are going to treat her with both chemo and radiation in the coming months. Please be praying for her health. She still plans on being around for a long time to come!

In other news, we found a new place to live! A few weeks ago, we found a beautiful house about 15 minutes away from where we are currently. We were very excited about it, but then the For Rent sign was taken down, so we assumed it had be rented. We filled out an application anyways, just in case, and a few days later, the owner called and asked if we were still interested! We went up right away to put down a deposit to save it. The new place is really wonderful. It is much bigger, both inside and out. There will be plenty of room for our dogs to run and play, and also more than enough room to have friends and family over to visit more often! We move in on the 15th. Please feel free to come visit us anytime!!

Our New Home :-)

The big craziness over the past few weeks has been my Mom's wedding. It has been a crazy 6 months or so getting everything planned, but it was truly worth it. Their wedding was by far, the most beautiful and fun wedding I have ever been to! And my Mom, well she was just stunning. Everything really came together so well, and made for an amazing day.

The big day got of to a hectic start when the poor bride developed a bloody nose right before the ceremony! She was fine, and was taken good care of by her oldest son, Dustin. :-)

Before the ceremony, the Bride, with her Mom, two of her sisters and of course, Zachary.

Such a handsome little man!

The Kiss!!

The beautiful Bride, outside for some fresh air, and pictures.

All the Girls: Laura, Me, Mom, Misty & Christin.

The Birde & Groom cutting the cake.

After the reception, ready to head to their hotel in their decked out ride!

My dear Catie joined us up in Roseburg for about a week in order to help us with all the last minute details. And let me just say, that girl was a lifesaver! She did so many things, and she remembered all the little things that we would have forgotten. She made sure that everything ran smoothly. Without her, it may have been total chaos!


One of the best things about this wedding, was that we really put so much work into it ourselves. My Mom and I planned everything, and made almost everything ourselves. It was a lot of work, and A LOT of fun too. Here are some of the things that we created.

The Flowers. My Mom made all of the bouquets for the girls, and also the bouteniers for the guys. She also put together a floral arrangment for the guest book table. She does such a great job!

The cake. Well, of course I made the cake! Who else would make my Mom's wedding cake? :-) The cake turned out beautifully, despite a few hiccups. It was also pretty yummy, with three different cake flavors (chai, lemon, and coconut) all covered in cream cheese frosting. Mmmmmmm!

The Ring Bearer pillow and Flower Girl basket. I made these the day before the wedding, and burnt myself a few times in the process!! I think they turned out so cute! Much better than many that were in stores for $30+!

Mom's hair comb. Mom & I saw so many of these in the bridal shops, and they looked so pretty on, but they were SO expensive! Most ranged between $50-$100!! That was just a bit much for us, so I decided I would make one instead. I had never made anything like this before, but I think it turned out really well!!

Mom's jewelry for the wedding was actually originally made by a great friend of mine in Sacramento, Alicia. I gave her an idea of what Mom might like, and she just ran with it. When I showed it to Mom, she LOVED the design of the earrings and bracelet, but didn't like the necklace as much. What's funny is that the necklace was the one peice that I gave Alicia more instruction on. The earrings and bracelet she just came up with herself, and we all liked them so much bettter! I should have just let Alicia do whatever she wanted in the first place... silly me! So, I spent some time redesigning the necklace to match the earrings and bracelet. I ended up making a few more changes in the days before the wedding, to add a little more sparkle to the peices. Overall, they turned out so great!

In addition to those items, we also made the favors, centerpeices, decorations, and guest book ourselves. It was so nice to have everything so individual and personalized. We had a blast!

I think one of the greatest things that has happened as a result of Mom & Mark's wedding is that I have gained so much more family. Mark has 3 sons (Aaron, John & Paul), 1 daughter (Laura), 1 daughter in law (Christin), 1 soon to be son in law (Chris), and 2 granddaughters (Kaybee & Teagan). They are all so great, and I am truly blessed to now call them all my family. :-)

The day after the wedding, the Newlyweds called and asked if we all wanted to go to the beach for the day, adn spend some time together. Of course we said yes! We could never pass up a trip to the beach! We went to Bandon, Oregon for the day. We went to the beach first, to enjoy some fun in the sun. It was a gorgeous day outside! Then, we cruised through the town of Bandon for awhile, and got some food before we headed home.

The beautiful view

Aaron, Erik, & Zack playing in the waves.

Aaron, Paul & Zack, running on the beach. (Paul won)

My Momma & I. :-)

Paul (climbing the rocks) and Aaron

My Catie & I

My dear, sweet, Husband. I love him!

Misty... such a beautiful girl!

All in all, it has been a great past week or so. I feel relazed, rejuvinated, and ready to take on the world! Now, I just need to find a job! :-)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Life is Crazy, but God is Good.

Life has been a little hectic for me lately.

This week, my darling husband and I have been dealing with a few obstacles. We found mold growing in our bedroom, and have subsequently been sleeping on our front room floor. The mold problem has resulted in us needing to move because of not knowing where it is coming from and also because of the possibility of it returning. Erik has asthma, so living in a home with a mold problem is just not an option. We have lived here for 2 months, and now it is time to move... Oh well.

The mold also caused some significant damage to our belongings... Our mattress and box spring: ruined. Our shelving for our clothes: destroyed. Our nightstands: in the dump. All of my shoes (yes I said ALL OF MY SHOES): gone forever. Unfortunately, all of these things had damage from the mold and moisture that was just not repairable. So, that will cost us a pretty penny to replace!

On top of that, last week, my Grandma was diagnosed with uterine cancer. She had a radical hysterectomy yesterday. So far, it looks like the cancer was just in her uterus, so hopefully no further treatment will be needed. But, if chemo or radiation is needed, my Grandma is up for it. she is 69 years old, and told us the other day that she plans on being around until she is at least 80. That sounds good to me Grandma! I am praying (and I hope you will too) that the tests come back with good results, and that I will have my grandma around for many years to come.

So, to say the least, this week has been a bit overwhelming. But you know what? I'm doing okay. We have had great friends praying for us, offering advice, and just helping us out in general. I am so grateful for that! There is one person in particular that has really been such a great friend. And that is this girl right here:

This is Catie, and she is amazing. The day we found the mold, she came over and helped me completely clear out that bedroom. It was just her and I, as I wouldn't let Erik anywhere near that room with his asthma. So Catie and I, we moved all the furniture out of the room, and took it to the dump. Then, we took out all of our clothes, blankets, sheets, etc., bagged them up, and started doing load after load of laundry (when you have mold spores in a room, anything that can be washed needs to be, in order to kill the mold spores). Catie took a number of bags to her house and did many, many loads of our laundry. She gave me a hug when I whined that I didn't want to move again, and she drove around with me for 4 hours helping us find a new home. This girl is such a good friend, and I would have been lost without her this week!

Another great help this week has been my ceramics class. It is so therapeutic and really helps to release my stress! I have been having a blast building some beautiful pieces, and I can't wait to do even more. I truly look forward to that class every Tuesday.

Most of all, my greatest help and comfort has come from The Lord. I know, above all, that God has a plan in store for us. I know that there is a reason that we need to move again, and I know that it is all part of God's plan. That gives me so much hope and peace. If I didn't know those things, I would be so lost in frustration that I wouldn't be able to think straight! Instead, I am comforted by the fact that God is in control, and I am just asking for his wisdom and guidance through this. I hope and pray that when you are dealing with stress and uncertainty in your life, that you turn to The All Mighty God for your source of comfort and strength. There just isn't anything better than what he provides. Take peace in that, my friends. I know I do.


Monday, February 1, 2010

I'm a Master of.... ummmm.... hmmmm....

Kelly over at The Startup Wife gave me a blogging award! My first blogging award!
Yay me!! I am supposed to list six things that I am a master at..... ummmmm.... idunno.

She actually tagged me for this award a couple days ago, but I have been procrastinating on posting about it because I'm not sure what I am a master of....

Okay, so there is one. Only five more to go!

I guess to be honest I have a hard time saying I am a master of anything, because I still have so much to learn about all of the things that I love to do. Photography, cooking, baking, creating... all things that I love to do, and am pretty good at, but I still am so far from being a "master." And so, I will refer to some people that I love dearly in order to see what they think I am a master of. It seems so much less egotistical if someone else says I am a master!

My husband said I am a master all things cake. Baking, designing, decorating, etc. I hardly think I am a master, but I will take it! Thanks Love. You make my smile. :-)

My friend Catie said I am a master of baking. I told her to try again because Erik already took that answer. Ha! So, Catie says I am a master of crafts. I believe that would be most likely meaning the jewelry I have been making. Someday I will post my jewelry on here.... hopefully someday in the very near future!

I called my Momma, and she said I am a master of communication. I like that answer. My Momma knows me well. I do love to communicate (ie. I talk a lot), but I also just believe that communication is key. Many problems and disagreements between family and friends can be settled with just a little more communication! I am pretty good at talking with people and resolving conflict through communication. Thanks Mom. I wouldn't have thought of that.

Next up, Mom's fiance Mark. Mark said I am a master of creativity. Aw, thanks Mark! I do love to be creative, and to use my creativity to capture and make beautiful things. I get my creativity from your future wife, by the way.

And finally, the sixth thing that I am a master of comes from my adorable little brother, Zachary. Zack man says that I am a master of planning parties. That might just be my favorite answer yet! Every year, Zack gets to pick a theme for his party, and Mom and I go all out to plan a great party for him. That includes decorations, food, prizes, games, and a cake of course! As soon as his party is over, he starts thinking of what he wants the theme to be next year. We have done that since he was 5 or so. It's always so much fun!

I guess that's it! Those are the six things I am a master of. And what about you? What are you a master of? Leave a comment and let me know! For now, I will tag some fellow bloggers so that they can play along to.

1. Liza at yelizabeta
2. Lena at Rick and Lena
3. Brooke at Fun with Fuentes
6. Samantha at My Babbling Brook

The Rules:
1. List 6 things you are a master in.
2. Pass it on to 6 bloggers you think are masters at friendship, and make blogging so awesome.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Just some pictures

I've been a bit sick this week, so tonight my post will just be some pictures that I have been playing with in Photoshop. I am really enjoying using and learning about this program, and I can't wait to do even more with it! Enjoy!

Holly Berries covered in snow

Mt. Shasta, after the storm

Hot Air Balloon Sillouette

A beautiful rainbow

And what better way to end the day than with a gorgeous sunset...



Monday, January 25, 2010

Birthdays & Baby Showers

The last few weeks have been surprisingly busy, and also a lot of fun. We have had two very full weekends in a row, with the weeks prior filled with planning and getting ready for those weekends. First, we had my Mom's 50th birthday, which I showed some pictures from earlier last week. Below are some more pictures of her wonderful birthday weekend.

My beautiful Momma. The birthday girl.

Make a wish!

Eating her cupcakes.

The cupcakes. Lemon cake, lemon curd filling, and white chocolate lemon frosting. Yum!

This is Mom's favorite of the cakes I make, and it will also be one of the layers in her wedding cake in February.

Months ago, we all asked Mom what she wanted for her 50th birthday. She wasn't sure for awhile, and then she thought of something. She called me one day and said, "I know what I want for my birthday.... I want 50 presents!! One for each year of my life!" And so, our family began planning a birthday celebration that would include 50 presents for my wonderful Mom who deserves that, and oh so much more.

Mom in her new Pea Coat. One of her 50 gifts!

She had gifts big and small, from wine & cooking tools, to bath & body products, to clothes, and family pictures. It was so much fun to see her open all of them, and see how much thought everyone had put into her gifts.

All of Mom's presents.

We just had a small party, which included our immediate family, and some close friends. We made mexican food and margaritas, and just had a great time. We had great music, thanks to the musicians in the family, and later in the evening we had some great laughs while playing games.

My Momma and I.

Mom and my adorable little brother, Zachary.

My nephew Colton, with Mom and Zack.

Overall, I would say it was a huge success. Happy 50th birthday Mom. You are truly and amazing woman, and I am so very blessed to call you not only my Mom, but also my best friend.
I love you!


The following weekend, Erik and I traveled down to Sacramento for a baby shower for our dear friends, Christine & Andrew. Christine and Andrew have an adorable little boy, Oliver, and a little girl on the way, Lucy. Here are some highlights from the baby shower. Christine, I am planning on sending you a CD with all the pictures I have very soon!!

A precious baby blanket.

Miss Christine, looking beautiful!

Here is the cake I made for the shower. I decided to go with a small cake on the top tier, and then cupcakes below. This worked out perfectly, as there were enough cupcakes for everyone, and Christine was able to take the small cake home to enjoy! At Christine's request, the cake was a yummy combination of marble cake, raspberry filling, and white chocolate buttercream. The cupcakes were the same. I hope you loved it Christine!

Christine's cousin hosted the shower, and she did an amazing job! Her home was decorated so beautifully. All the little touches really came together for a wonderful shower. Here are some of my favorite things.

The sweet little favors.

The beautiful centerpieces and table decor.

The adorable baby clothes hung around the room. These mittens were my favorite!

The beautiful pink Gerber Daisies placed all over.

Precious pink pacifiers hanging from the chandelier.

And baby Lucy's name over the fireplace. This was just gorgeous!

Christine & Andrew, it was so great to see you both and celebrate with you. We can't wait to see baby Lucy the next time we visit! Congratulations on a beautiful little family!

Our whole weekend was really wonderful. It is always so nice for us to go visit our friends in the Sacramento area. We may not get to see them as often as we used to, but that makes our time together even more special and enjoyable!

Okay, that's it for me for tonight. I am working on some more pictures in photoshop, and can't wait to post more on that later... until then, Goodnight!