Category: inspiration

Heidi Swapp Spotlight Tour “recap”

International travel has been one of the PERKS of my job from the very beginning! I really do love to travel! I am lucky because I can sleep pretty much anywhere, and my curiosity and sense of adventure can usually overcome any level of jetlag!   Sunday I just returned from a 10 day “TOUR” of Singapore and Australia to celebrate “National Craft Month” for Spotlight Stores! For those of you not living ‘down under’… Spotlight is a large craft and home furnishing store that has over 100 stores throughout Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia. The stores are pretty awesome really… TONS of crafty supplies, fabric, “Manchester” (which we call sheets and bedding), window coverings, balloons, and everything else you can imagine! I don’t even know what I would compare it to…closest would be a Hobby Lobby, but maybe if it was combined with a Bed, Bath and Beyond! They carry a WIDE range of stuff!

Both Amy Tangerine and myself were invited to tour several different cities and make appearances at select stores, and do some fun make & takes and demos! It’s a crazy amount of travel in a very short amount of time! But it’s SO much fun!

My tour started out in Singapore… I have wanted to visit Singapore for YEARS since one of my cousins has lived there, but then this summer one of my friends moved to Singapore RIGHT next door to my cousin! Well, I knew that I HAD to go visit! It’s a bit of a jaunt… I flew from here to Tokyo, and onto Singapore and landed in the middle of the night. I had heard that Singapore was spectacularly beautiful, but I was still completely amazed at how clean and nice it is there! I really only had 2 days to squeeze it all in, but the highlights included a “tree top” hike and “food stealing monkeys” (check) as well as delicious food and amazing shopping! (check, check!).

Saturday morning I took a taxi to the shopping mall where the Spotlight is located, and I found my way to the 5th floor of the mall. I wasn’t sure what kind of a turn out we would have there, as I had never been there, so I was totally surprised when a group of scrapbookers were already there waiting for me! We had just a small set of tables set up for our make & take, so everyone had to take turns, and we rotated through the large group using a close by coffee shop as overflow! I was DELIGHTED to meet so many Singaporean crafters! They told me how much they love to watch my videos, and they were SO enthusiastic! It made me so happy! I can’t wait to go back there and actually teach classes! The make & take is just not enough!

After an all-night flight, I landed in Sydney where I met up with Kim Jeffress, the only Aussie on my Media Team… and we spent the day enjoying Manly beach (gorgeous), and allowing my body to adjust to yet another major time change! This was actually the only time me and Amy would cross paths, just as she was leaving! I was spoiled with accommodations right on the coast with breathtaking views of the ocean. We visited 2 stores in Sydney, and I was so happy to meet up with familiar faces, as well as meeting new friends as well!

Next stop on the tour was the Spotlight HQ, in Melbourne. We had 2 full days, 4 different stops on our route, and it was here that major parties were had in all stores! Momentum really picked up as we laughed and caught up with people that I have only know via social media and also some who have attended most ALL the classes I have offered in Australia over the years, as well as ONLINE classes!

The connection is strong despite the distance! It’s just amazing… Each store would create such happy gathering places in preparation for our arrival – complete with balloons and tables squished in between the aisles of the paper crafting section!

In each store we squeezed into group shots as well as taking the time to visit individually with everyone and share stories, and memories!

The next city was brand new to me – and in the most Southern tip of the country, off on the island of Tasmania: Hobart! I have wanted to visit Hobart for so long, and I was thrilled that I had the chance! This was one of my most favorite store visits… it was a very small store, and a much more mellow pace and vibe than the rest…I arrived to just a couple of women, and we sat chatting about what we loved about memory crafting, and slowing more and more and more people arrived until we had great group!

The store staff kept trying to gather up more and more chairs… but soon it was standing room only! There we all shared stories, and laughed about favorite memories we are grateful we have kept! I was amazed at how these women had taken so many of my online classes, and I realized that we were actually very connected even though I had never been there before! It was so humbling to me, and I just continually felt so grateful for that ability that I have to teach ONLINE and share via virtual classrooms and videos!

The last stop on the Tour was up to the north, and the sunny and WARM Gold Coast and Brisbane. This has to be my favorite city to visit! Not only because it’s so beautiful and so beachy… there are so many special friends to me that I love getting the chance to catch up with! The last 2 days were spent in the Ashmore store in the Gold Coast – SUCH a great group of women that gathered there! And 2 stops in Bris… and again I felt so grateful to be surrounded by such wonderful people!

In each stop, some had travelled great distances to be there – some were coming to meet me for the first time, and some had seen every video that I have ever shared! Some were very (very) young… lots of sweet little crafty kiddos who love to scrapbook right along with mom, and watching videos and collecting “ Heidi Swapp” pretty stuff ! Some were much older than me, in a different stage of life, keeping up with the HOT trends and techniques! and still many who are busy Mum’s juggling kids, families, work, school and every other demand we are all familiar with! And the thing that connected every single face that I met and smiled with, was that shared LOVE of capturing memories!

I love that there is not a “right” or “wrong” way to document…

I love that no matter where you live, what your age is… and what you DO… we all have precious memories to preserve.

I love that the options to “scrapbook” are great! You can be quick and effective using Project Life… and you can be creative and enjoy HOURS of art and making that is both fulfilling and rewarding if that is what you choose!

But that no matter how you choose to put your memories onto paper, they are THERE to remember. To enjoy… and to draw from forever!

As I toured around, I felt compelled to share my feelings and personal experiences and how they relate to documenting LIFE… I truly believe that our stories, our experiences are God’s way of teaching us. Through our stories we can connect, we can show love and we can access the deeper memories that are the foundations of precious relationships and valuable experiences. I probably sound like a broken record – but I always say that I am SO grateful for every minute I have invested into documenting my life, and the lives of my children. They are so precious to me! And they only get better with age……. it’s SO worth it!

I want to thank EVERYONE who was involved in the logistics, planning, preparation, facilitation and execution of this tour! It was seriously awesome! TO all the hands that prepared the over 4,000 make&takes that were distributed to each store: THANK YOU!! TO those of you who made the effort to come and visit with me: THANK YOU!! And of course I have to thank Brian – who I jokingly refer to as my ‘body guard’… he personally escorted both Amy, myself and Kim to every store – he made sure we were fed, watched over and arrived to the right place on time! He is a delight to travel with and a true gentleman – we all love and appreciate his tireless efforts! (his job is NOT easy! ) I also want to express my deep gratitude to AMERICAN CRAFTS! In the short year that I have been a part of the amazing, and growing organization, we have made a LOT happen! And it’s been an honor and privilege to work with the tremendous, creative individuals who work very hard! THANK YOU…

This time of the year is tricky for me to be away from my family- I was so happy to make it home safe, and sound! I am deeply grateful to my sweet husband for holding things together- it’s a juggling act to manage the 5 kids and all their activities! I am thankful to great friends and family who always lend an extra hand of support when I am away- I am thankful to my kids for their understanding of my responsibilities and acknowledge my efforts- even though they miss me when I am gone! (which is a good thing too!)


I hope to see you all again someday!! Until then… and as always:


Make pretty stuff!




marquee love: birthday monogram!

it’s been a year already that our dear Lindsay Bateman had her sweet little boy!!! time goes by so fast! i can’t believe he is already 1!!! i love that she decorated his special party with his initial in lights using my Marquee Love collection!

Today I am SO excited to share a really fun and super simple way to jazz up a Heidi Swapp Marquee Love letter.  Probably the hardest part in the whole customization process is deciding just what to do!  Really the options are…well…endless.  There are SO many amazing ideas out there that I have already seen done that it was really difficult to nail down what I wanted to do with mine!  There is glitter, paper, tapes, paint, spray paint, etc.  Honestly, I can imagine that there are probably no two alike out there.  I have seen people that also love to just leave their Marquee Love letters plain white, and that rocks too!

At the end of the day, I knew that I wanted to use the ‘M’ that I had for party decor.  It would be the perfect added and finishing touch for my son’s first birthday.  Yes, he definitely deserves to see his initial dazzling in lights! :)  I also want to have his letter up in his room post party, so in keeping with the decor of his room (grey and white) I opted for a simple, clean and classic look.  One can never go wrong with grey, white and polka dots!

To complete my letter all I needed was the two sizes of the silver and white polka dot marquee love washi tapes and the marquee love glitter paper pad.

If you have not yet had a chance to check it out, Heidi Swapp posted a fabulous video tutorial on My Craft Channel demoing exactly what I did in using the tapes to embellish the Marquee Love letters.  It is super simple to achieve this look as the two sizes of tapes fit perfectly on both the outside and inside of the letters.

Even though I left the inside of the M white, I still wanted a little extra dazzle.  So I used the template that comes with the Marquee Love letters to trace out another M using the glitter paper pad and the white glitter paper that comes with it.  Once I was completely done tracing the ‘m’ I simply placed it inside the letter and then with a piercing tool I marked where all the bulbs go.  Then (with absolutely NO adhesive required) I simply pushed the bulbs right back into place and they hold the paper in place perfectly.  SO simple, easy and NO mess.

The finished look is simple and clean, but when the lights glimmer against it you get the most beautiful and subtle shimmer.  Cause everything is just better with shimmer…and polka dots! ;)

Marquee Love Monograms are seriously the perfect touch to any party decor.  Go one step further and add in some beautifully foiled Heidi Swapp Minc accessories (such as these darling Minc Banners foiled in gold, blue and silver) and you will have a fabulous and eye catching display guaranteed!

This past weekend I was able to grab myself my own initial and the coveted star that I have been wanting forever so I cannot wait to start personalizing them!  Now back to the hard stuff…what to decide! Help! ;)

Lindsay, this is just beautiful! i can’t wait to see more pictures of his special day!!!! he and you will treasure them forever!

Supplies: Marquee Love M; Marquee Love Glitter Paper Pad; Marquee Love Silver Polka Dot Washi Tape; Minc Banners

marquee love- foiled!

how fun is this project by Kim Jeffress?!! she is stepping it up with my Marquee Love inspiration week by using the Minc with her project too! it just shines just like she does! see how she created it below!

Hands up if you have been loving all the Marquee Love inspiration this week on the blog? I have! I  love that the lights can be totally customizable to suit your decor. At the moment I am loving gold and foil so I thought I would combine the two and I came up with this ! I combined the Minc and the Marquee love for a stunning effect!

I started by creating a block of text with the word Sunshine in power point, you could use whatever word-processing program you are familiar with. I repeated the word over and over changing the size and the font. I then printed it off on my laser printer and traced around the K template inside the Marquee box. Next I laid some Gold Reactive  Foil over the words and ran it through my Minc machine.Then I grabbed some of the 1 inch Gold glitter tape and adhered it to the inside edges of my letter. You can watch Heidi share how to do this on an earlier My Craft Channel episode here. To complete I added the 2 inch gold Spot Washi tape on the outside edge. Do you spy that tricky close edge at the top and bottom of the K! I used a skewer to push the tape against the side of the letter, a quick and easy trick!

I adore the gold on gold. It really makes the Gold foiled words pop!

I love how the bulbs over lap my words, really makes it look professional , you would never guess it was created at  home on my computer.

It’s even more prettier at night all light up!

The gold glittery edges really sparkle with the lights reflecting off it!

The options are endless. How will you decorate your letters? I cannot wait to see. Please share and tag Heidi and I on Instagram and don’t forget the hashtag #hsmarqueelove so we know where to see your creations!

Supplies: Marquee Love K, Gold Polka Dot Washi, Gold Glitter Tape, Minc 12″ Foil Applicator, Gold Reactive Foil

vintage marquee love

all week long my team and i have been sharing some Marquee Love!!! when i think of Sarah Bargo i think of her her romantic vintage style. this marquee project she has done is the definition of her personality!  it is beautiful!!!

Well hello there paper peeps! Happy Spring! Have you been lighting it up with some Marquee Love letters?! I have loved seeing what everyone has been creating with their letters, all so different, all so fabulous!! There are literally millions of different things you can do with these things, trust me. I’ve counted. I’m so happy that I got to play with my favorite letter, “S!” I wanted to give it a feminine vintage feel because I loooove roses paired with old book paper and music paper, so I dug some things out of my stash…

I wanted to make a letter that looked good even if it wasn’t lit up, because I probably won’t turn my lights on unless I’m having company, so I grabbed my Marquee Love glue & glitter and started playing…

I glittered the outside of the letter first, then did the inside ledge, then just started chaotically strategically dumping the glitter on! I had a blast. I love glitter!

Then I took my glue and slathered up the “S” insert that you place inside the structure, and laid a sheet of music paper over it. Cut around it, and I had me a perfectly vintage S! Here it is with the lights off…

And with the lights on! I didn’t even glue the flower in, I just took out the bulb that was in there and the bloom stays right in!

Easy peasy and it looks so pretty sitting there all aglow ;) As I was making this one, I had so many other ideas running through my head….

SUPPLIES: Marquee Love S, Marquee Love Gold Glitter, Marquee Love Glue

create to remember: lighted signs

I am so excited to share with you a fun DIY lighted sign that will surprise anyone that sees it! I have created artwork that I then have turned into a marquee sign! here is one i did for this sweet bedroom makeover! I created the artwork on my computer, and then sent it to my local Walgreen’s to be printed on a poster board print in only an hour!

I used my Marquee Love light up kits that you can find at Hobby Lobby or Michaels Stores to make it shine!

Here are the supplies that you will need:

Box cutter

Nail driver

IKEA deep shadow box frame

Craft Mat

Marquee Love Light Kit: Small Bulb Caps .5″ 24 piece

Art Work

Painters Tape


1. With the box knife cut an X on the 24 places marked on the artwork.

2. Use the nail driver or pencil to push through the Xs you have just made through the board.

3. Place the bulb caps inside the holes from the front of the artwork.

4. Add the light bulbs from the back of the artwork. You do not need to push them hard because they just sit inside the bulb cap.

5. Use a low tack painters tape to tape the battery pack to the back of the art.

i have to share the one i created for team member Kim Jeffress! i made a yellow one because it’s her favorite color!!!

watch my video below to see how i did this and then the tricks to adding it to the IKEA frame!! i can’t wait to see what art you add lights to! if you would like to make one using my artwork, you can find it in my Etsy shop right here.  then you can print it and make your own!

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