Friday, January 30, 2015

Designer Spotlight: Elaine Howell & Hilary Kern

I hope you are enjoying our Designer Spotlight Series! We have two more LBH gals to share with you today...Hilary Kern and Elaine Howell.  Hilary Kern, is our Prep Captain! Hilary works mainly "behind the scenes" at the LBH kitting and prepping all the fabulous Project Kits and Classes we have at the LBH.   Elaine Howell, is a talented designer and instructor at the LBH. She is our "in house" Silhouette Expert! 

Hilary and Elaine also happen to be Besties! When they aren't creating or prepping, you can find these two gals exercising or visiting over coffee. Read on and get to know these two besties today!

Designer Spotlight: Hilary Kern

Hello!  I am Hilary Kern, Miss Tracy likes to tell everyone I am the Prep-Captain at The Little Blue House. I work closely with Miss Tracy behind the scenes, preparing many of the project supplies and kits for all the FABULOUS projects our designers create. It is a fun job, I just love working with such AMAZING artists!

I have always been a craft enthusiast, my mother was of the belief, “Homemade gifts are always better, it is like giving a little of yourself in each gift”.  I was the 3rd of 6 children, but my mom still found time to sew and knit. My dad could build anything. Every year he designed and hand cut our Christmas Card for home Silk Screening. They both always encouraged us to be creative and so you might say, my love of crafting is in my DNA.

I have been married for 25years to my WONDERFUL husband Kevin, and we have 3 beautiful girls. We moved to Keller in 1995. By this time my budding photo hobby had evolved, into  the family historian through the lens of the  Mom-ographer. Looking to preserve these memories for the next ONE HUNDRED YEARS, I took up the hobby of scrapbooking. About 1998 I met my BEST friend Elaine Howell, and we quickly bonded through faith, crafting and kids.

So what do I always like to have when I go crafting?

My BEST FRIEND Elaine of course!

 My name is Elaine Howell and I am a Designer and Teacher at The Little Blue House.
This is the corner of my scrap room where I have all my cardstock. As you can see our friend Tim Holtz is watching over me.  This picture is taken from a magazine that he was in years ago - I had him sign it at a scrapbook convention. As a joke I brought him to a scrapbook retreat I attend with a group of friends -we affectionately call ourselves "the Hags". We laugh every time and have convinced 
ourselves Tim goes on retreat with us.
I love his work and am inspired by his creativity.
Here are a few more pics of my studio. The window over the tables is from the house where Dan's grandmother was born - I love the colorblock look. 

I used cardstock in the front of drawers to mimic the colorblock look
of the stained glass windows - makes it look neater too.
Here is some of the shelving in my closet.
Now for a little about me. I have been married to Dan for 35 years. We met in college and I can honestly say he drives me crazy but I love him more today than ever.
I have two grown kids - Jonathan and Kristen. I love being the Mom to adult children. 
I also have one "old man" orange and white kitty named Sunny.
My working career started in high tech electronic sales (go figure)and I did that for 25 years. After a layoff I was left with looking for something new to do. I tried a few things and then one day  I went to Anthologies with a group of friends to take a class. I met Tracy and Susan (they were the teachers) - my friends would ask me questions (I would have them over to do crafts so they knew I knew a little something) - Tracy asked me whats up with this and I explained. She asked if I would be interested in a job designing and teaching. She asked me to bring her some samples of my work - I WAS SCARED TO DEATH and SO NERVOUS. I guess she liked what she saw and the rest is history. I had always wanted to be a teacher and I am blessed that I am able to do what I love. 

 I come from a creative family - my grandmothers sewed and did needle arts.
My Mom is an amazing seamstress, needleworker and now paper crafter. 
My Dad after retiring early did beautiful word work - everything from simple wood toys to artistic spalted wood turned bowls.  I have always been involved in things creative. 
In the Spring of 1998 Hilary and I were invited to our first Creative Memories party. We were hooked!! I went through the chop your pictures into shapes phase, the sticker sneeze phase, a big paper piecing phase and then I met "Glitter"! 
I love all things that sparkle.
Today I would say my style is classic. I love details whether it's ribbon, buttons,feathers or any other kind of embellishment. I scrap 12x12 albums and I do like to make cards. With guidance from Susan Tidwell I have started to venture into Mixed Media and I must say I love to get my hands dirty! 
I have to say I LOVE MINI BOOKS - I am going to start a class called Cover to Cover where we will create various types of mini books.
  Here  a few mini books and a layout I have done.

You may have noticed these are older projects, I took a six month hiatus from designing last year because we moved. I am so glad to be settled and creating again.
I am doing the One Little Word workshop with Ali Edwards and I attended the Faith Journaling Workshop at the LBH. I am really looking forward to doing both this year.
My other new passion is the Silhouette. I love the flexibility that it gives me to create.
My blog is GlitterMeHappy stop by and check it out.
There is always something happening at The Little Blue House, stop by the website or visit us at the store to see the latest and greatest.
Tracy took this picture of me at my table - this is as clean as it will ever be...BIG LOL!!


Thanks for joining us today on the Blog...
Tomorrow is our final day of Designer Spotlight
make sure and tune in! :)

This just in.... Creating with Cattle-ist Workshop is coming up soon! Cheryl Darrow, owner and creative director at Ten Seconds Studios will be in the HouSe....
Wed. Feb. 18th 10am-1pm or 6pm-9pm
Her leather book is now on display at the LBH
Come by and Check it out & Sign Up for this Lovely Leather Workshop!!


Thursday, January 29, 2015

MORE Designer Spotlights: Susan Tidwell & Lynette Chiles

We are back for more Designer Spotlights!!! Meet two of our most talented designers and instructors, Susan Tidwell and Lynette Chiles.
These two gals teach and designer several of the beautiful creations you see at The Little Blue House.
If their not in the studio... they are probably off spoiling their grandkids! hehehe :)
Get to know these 2 lovely ladies better today on our Designer Spotlight!

Designer Spotlight: Susan Tidwell
Hi LBH friends, this is Susan Tidwell. Many of you know me as a designer and instructor at The Little Blue House since we first opened our doors over 4 years ago. Before that, I worked with Tracy at Anthologies, Create Joy and Recollections. I love teaching and am so excited to now join the new LBH Media Team!
I have been married to my husband, Bill, for 42 years and we have five grown children living all over the US, two darling little grand boys and two more on the way! Since two of our daughters are flight attendants for Southwest, we are fortunate to have non-rev flight benefits and we take advantage of them often to visit our kids and grand boys.
I have crafted all my life, dabbling in everything from sewing to pottery to needlepoint before finally settling into the paper arts. It started with rubber stamping and card-making about 15 years ago and has developed into an obsession for mixed media since that encompasses it all! I love to create using just about anything, love texture and color and repurposing things that might otherwise be thrown away. (I’ve been known to retrieve things from the trash can!) I’m also a technique junkie and a day for me isn’t quite complete without getting painty and messy.

It’s hard to choose my favorite projects as usually whatever I’m working on at that moment is my favorite. This altered cigar box was fun to make using lots of “junque” and painty layers. 
I love to create mixed media canvases and this one was one of my first so this holds a special place in my heart.
  I also enjoy making books - this last project  (“Summer Journey”) is a favorite travel book and box I made and taught several years ago. It was featured as one of Maya Road’s Project Recipes and you can download instructions from their website. 
Products that I can’t live without would be: 1) gesso, 2) paints (my favs at the moment are Dina Wakley’s new Media acrylics); and 3) texture paste (I love Ranger’s for great texture and Faber Castell’s Whipped Spackle for great detail). I mostly use old book pages or music papers but I do love the paper lines of Authentique, Graphic 45 and Webster’s Pages. 
If I’m not at the LBH, you can find me on my blog:
Designer Spotlight: Lynette Chiles

I began creating ART at the young age of four. Inspired and taught by my paternal grandmother, an artist, my maternal grandmother, a florist, and my mother, a seamtress. I also had two aunts that taught me to knit. I studied ART in high school and college.
My first art work age 4, framed in my craft room

I taught macramé in the 70’s, did cross stitch, needlepoint, crochet, knitting, ceramics, and many other crafts over the years. I have even done 4” of tatting, (required for college course).  I started quilting and it became my passion and “addiction”. I met Joan Elizabeth Lewis and together we started a quilt pattern publishing business, Tomorrow’s Heirlooms. For a short time, we owned and operated a retail quilting store, Spools Gold. Our greatest accomplishment was co-authoring a book for Better Homes and Gardens, 501 Quilt Blocks. Joan lost her courageous battle with cancer and I gracefully left the Quilt Industry, after spending twenty years in that industry.
And then……I began scrapbooking. I am a prolific scrapbooker, having created over one hundred albums. I am detailed and precise. I still use a ruler OFTEN. I have learned to spend time creating mixed media, even though “getting messy” isn’t my strong suit. I do love the outcome.

My favorite product to use is.... Glossy Accents!! I use glossy for just about everything, I like to use it to add a pretty gloss finish to a project or just using it as a glue to attach pieces together.
My other favorite product is... PAPER, PAPER, and more PAPER... If I had to choose my favorite paper companies I would say Simple Stories, Bella Blvd, October Afternoon and all the NEW Websters Pages.

I am married to my high school sweetheart, 45 years and counting. We have three children, one son and two daughters. They are all married so I inherited three other children. My four grandchildren, three boys and one girl bring me much joy and many blessings.

I do blog occasionally for our Front Porch Kit releases so please check out my blog:
Thanks for sharing Susan and Lynette!
Stop by the Little Blue House and see more of their beautiful creations!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Designer Spotlight: Susan Liles & Rhonda Merry

Welcome friends!!!
I hope you have enjoyed following our Blog and getting to know more about all our great LBH Gals! Today, we are shining the Spotlight on two awesome team members... Susan Liles and Rhonda Merry. These gals do so much for the LBH!  If you don't find them behind the counter,then they are working like busy bees designing projects for Workshops or creations for our Media Team and our Front Porch Kits!
 Designer Spotlight: Susan Liles

Hi, Susan Liles here! I'm a lifelong crafter who started with drawing and painting, entering projects into the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (and winning) back when I was just a kid.  I've tried just about everything when it comes to crafting--sketching, drawing, watercolor, tole painting, leather crafting, beadwork, sewing (doll clothes and home decor to an expensive wedding gown), embroidery, calligraphy, and oh my gosh, who remembers latch-hooking?!?!  Well, today I find myself pretty content in the "papery" world of stamping, cardmaking, Copic coloring, scrapbooking and DIY home decorating/repurposing projects (which I hope to do even more of this year). 

I'm thrilled to be on the Media Team for The Little Blue House.  Not only am I on this team, but if you come to the store, you'll also find my design work in the Front Porch and some Buffet Kits, I teach the Reverse Confetti ('Fetti Fans) Card Workshops, and you'll also find me behind the register, making sure y'all get your crafty supplies all bought and ready to take home to love! 

I was born in Houston and have lived in the North Texas area for most of my life, making my way through the banking industry for 18 years.  My family and I took a leap of faith 11 years ago and I became a stay-at-home mom, taking care of our 3 girls.  During that time, I kept busy with them and did design work for several companies over the years, including several of the major online stamp companies, some in-house design work for Michael's, and a few other little side jobs along the way.  I'm beyond blessed to say that I've finally found my "crafty home" with The Little Blue House and I couldn't be happier about it!
My style tends to be graphic, and layer-y, but I also love to dabble with a scrubby vintage look or even shabby-chic with a "more is more" attitude.  I love bright colors, too!  I think the one thing I've heard from others over and over about my work is that it always looks fun and happy, so if that's a must be mine!

Right now, I'm loving all my Reverse Confetti stamps and dies (of course).  I think everyone will agree that "foam boosters" are my product of choice. I really love the dimension it gives to my projects.  I have to have back up to my back up supply with them! I'm also a collector of anything Heidi Swapp, and am always on the lookout for anything dog related, paper or stamp-wise (We have a puggle named Sage that I dearly love.  I'm sure you'll see her on my layouts in the near future).  
I truly look forward to not only inspiring you, but also hearing from you!  Find me on my blog,, and I'd love for you to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and on as well (susiestampalot).   


Designer Spotlight: Rhonda Merry

Hello LBH friends.  Rhonda Merry here. It’s my turn to be featured here on the Little Blue House Blog and for those who know me, know that I’m a “behind the scenes” kind of person in that I help manage the daily happenings at the Little Blue House; check out, reservations, paperwork, inventories and the like.  But I also venture out with my creativity and design for Front Porch Kits and LBH Bundle Kits.  I have worked at the LBH since opening in September 2010 and have watched our little business grow to the amazing place that it is today.
 I am the wife of a great guy, Chet, who allows me my creative outlet without with little ridicule. I am Mom to three young adults. One with his own career in California and two living the college life.  I’m not sure if I can officially be called an empty nester, yet, since I “custody  share” the care of my Mom, who is at an age of needed assistance but not quite at the stage of needing full time professional care. So my sister and I have made room for her in our homes for this season. 
I have been a scrapbooker since high school, but only realized what that meant about 14 years ago when I went to my first Creative Memories party. Now I dabble in everything paper related, I still mainly Scrapbook. 12x12 layouts and pocket pages, you will find both in my personal albums.

My style varies.  I will create vintage, modern, linear, mixed media, layered, whatever moves me at the moment.  My personal scrapbooks have everything from simple to detailed, minimal to festive.  I love trying new techniques, although if there are too many steps or too many supplies needed, I will usually not repeat it.  But I love that I know how it works and that helps in knowing my product and the Little Blue House. I also enjoy making mini albums.  Smash books or from scratch.  I seem to have a growing collection…

My favorite crafty item is buttons.  The love of buttons started when I was a kid. My family would go to my Aunt Helen’s who had this bowl of trinket toys and buttons setting on her kitchen bar. I can remember us kids digging through that bowl every visit.  That along with my mom being the family seamstress, set me up for my love of buttons. Getting to pick out the ones that would go on whatever new outfit she would make for us, that was the best.  My favorite are the mother of Pearl or crystal buttons from the 30’s and 40’s. Even when shopping for clothes, if there are interesting buttons on it, I will usually buy the item. 
Here is where I create.  After my 2nd kid left for college, I took a room for myself.  Most of the time I will have paper clippings and unused embellishments, stamps and inks, and multiple scissors scattering the tabletops while creating. Once complete everything gets put away. I call it setting back to ZERO. I have set to Zero for this blog post because the insanity of clutter is disturbing to too many for that to ever be seen on the web. LOL
I know only few can appreciate the fullness of this space, but
It makes me happy to be in here.  I can see potential in every tool and paper
 I have. But even if the walls were blank, I could see the potential in that as well.
You can follow my blog at ; my Instagram under rmerry1 or on search Rhonda Merry on Pinterest. There I post my creations for the current kits and bundles for the LBH, along with a new venture for me, Faith Journaling.  A recent workshop at the LBH with Shanna Noel on what Faith Journaling is all about has me reading my bible more frequently.  Keeping my mom on the weekends sometimes means I miss going to church and this is a way to encourage myself to bible study time.  Faithfulness and art, it’s all good!
Thanks for stopping by and reading what I write and creating with me
I hope to see you at the Little Blue House.
Make it a creative day!Rhonda

Thanks to Susan and Rhonda for sharing with us! We love them so much and the LBH wouldn't be the same without them. Thanks for reading and we hope to see you in the HouSe this week! 

So much going on...Come get inspired at the Little Blue House!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

REVEAL DAY!!! Introducing "the Greatest of these is LOVE" Front Porch Kit!!!

Oh Happy Day!!!
It's finally here...Reveal Day!!!

I'm thrilled to share with you our NEW Front Porch Kit brought to you by the Little Blue House...
 "the Greatest of these is LOVE"...

Introducing “the Greatest of these is LOVE”…This is a wonderful paper-crafting assortment of “love”ly goodies…Hand-selected just for YOU! It is overflowing with a variety of beautiful papers, charming embellies, an adorable chipboard coaster book, and so much more! 

You will fall in “LOVE” with all the glam gold accents in this kit…metallic foil paper, fun sequin heart trim, a cute gold bow, and more sparkling goodies to create with! This kit also includes an exclusive, custom-designed stamp set by Reverse Confetti…great quality and such a fabulous addition to our “love”ly kit! Prepare to swoon over the pretty color palette, unique alterables, and great assortment of ribbons & trims!

Design Board
By: Tracy Pounds

“the Greatest of these is LOVE” will be perfect for your faith-based projects, gift-giving, and preserving memories of all the people and things you LOVE!!!

You are WONDERFULLY Made Layout
Designed by: Susan Liles

Here's a closer look at some of the delightful details and gorgeous goodies in this "love"ly Front Porch Kit...Filled with wonderful products from some of your favorite companies...Crate Paper, Reverse Confetti, Maya Road, Authentique, Pebbles, American Crafts, Pink Paislee, SRM Press, May Arts, etc.

You can see a full content list here.

There are "No Strings" attached with our Front Porch Kits and no contract or monthly commitment is required. When you purchase your kit you will also receive a BluePrint Guide. This Guide will include step-by-step instructions on how to create 8 unique projects from your kit... 
...If you are still seeking even more inspiration!!!!...Look no further than our Inspiration Gallery and prepare to be AmAzeD and InSpiReD!!! Our Front Porch Design Team is super talented…be sure to check it out! I was blown away by their creations!

Our Love Adventure Layout
Designed by: Valerie Bishop

You can visit the Inspiration Gallery HERE
You can also check out their Reveal Posts today...
Our Front Porch Kit is available NOW! You can purchase at the Little Blue House, over the phone (817) 431-7930, or online at

"the Greatest of these is LOVE"
Front Porch Kit: $41.95
Limited number of kits are available...
Place your order today!  
**The BluePrint Guide will be ready this Saturday, Feb. 1st. It will be emailed to all purchasers at that time. 

I want to thank all of you for posting comments on our Sneak Peek posts!!! We loved reading each of them. All commenters were entered into a drawing and a WINNER has been selected....drumroll please....

Congratulations to...

Congrats Becky! Please contact the Little Blue House to claim your "the Greatest of these is LOVE" Front Porch Kit!

Mini Canvas and Faith Hope Love Minibook
Designed by: Rhonda Merry

Stop by the LBH to see all of our "love"ly projects and Design Board...It's all on display NOW!!! 

Remember gals...
Stay true to your passion--Keep Creating!

Miss Tracy and the Front Porch Team