Saturday, October 22, 2011

Welcome to another Llama Blog Hop!

We llamas are celebrating the holidays with a fun Holiday Blog Hop! I'm sure by now you have gotten several fabulous ideas. Did you enjoy what Martha showcased? These gals are amazing, aren't they?!
 My projects for this hop are 2 luminaries using the Fancy Favor die, a Christmas card and a Christmas tree. Yes, a tree. ;) The luminaries are pretty simple, cut your Fancy Favor using your preferred cardstock. Choose any punch that fits the front of the favor. I used the 1 3/4" Scallop Circle punch and the Decorative Label punch. Yes, I know, you can not tell I used the scallop circle. I punched the hole before I knew what I wanted to do to decorate the front. I covered the punched opening with a piece of our paper vellum. Be sure you cut the vellum a tad bigger than your opening so you have room for adhesive. I punched the wreath from Warmest Wishes twice. I inked over the image very lightly with Soft Suede using a sponge. I then cut both wreaths out. The bottom wreath is cut apart to spread the leaves out more. I glued that over the scallop circle whole. I used just the "Be Thankful" phrase from the turkey stamp in the Gift Givers set. I cut that like a banner and glued it to the top.

The Christmas tree luminary is stamped using Holiday Happiness. I stamped the tree using Staz On since I was stamping on vellum. I stamped after I glued the vellum on and before I folded the Fancy Favor. I cut out the ornaments and attached them to the tree using our Tombow Multipurpose Liquid Glue. LOVE that stuff!
I found battery operated LED flameless tea lights at Sam's Club. They were in a pack of 24 for around $12. What a great price!

Now the tree. You've probably seen this done before. I just wanted to do one featuring SU's gorgeous printed papers! This beauty took me a few days. My muse seemed to keep wandering off. I started with a styrofoam tree. I cut Paisley Petals Designer Series Paper (DSP) into 1 1/2" strips. I ended up using 1 1/2 sheets of 12x12 paper. I inked the edges of each strip, front and back. I then cut each piece about every 1/4" to make fringe. Next, I curled the edges up over a chopstick. Yes, a chopstick. A marker was way too big, a pencil a tad to big but the chopstick was just right. Next was the tedious part. I hot glued each strip to the tree. You have to manipulate the paper to get it to go around the tree. It takes a bit of patience. Yes, I did burn my fingers a few times. That's what I get for only having a high temp hot glue gun around. I know I have a low temp somewhere. For some reason, it didn't get packed with my craft goodies. That's another reason to finish unpacking after our big move. lol I'm not one for exact measurements. I just kept gluing the strips around the tree. I put the next layer on top of the previous one wherever it looked good. Once I got to the top, I covered the top of the tree with a square of paper. I slit the edges so they would glue down flat. (I might do another blog post with step by step instructions for this tree later.) The topper is made with 15 scallop circles. Punch them out, fold them in half, glue together but only at the top half of each circle. I stretched that over the top of the cone and glued it down with hot glue. I then decorated the entire tree with glitter glue. Did you know you can make your own colored Dazzling Details? If you are a llama follower than you knew this already! Our gals showed previously how to use reinkers to add color to your DD.

Finally, my hop Christmas card. I had so many things in my head for this one. I like to use non-traditional colors in holiday cards. This one features Marina Mist, Perfect Plum and Old Olive. Cool combo if I must say so myself. ;) I ran a piece of paper vellum through the Snow Burst Embossing Folder. Next, I cut out 2 top note die cuts. One in Old Olive, the other in white. I trimmed the edge off the white so I could layer the pieces. I stamped the trees from Lovely as a Tree, Christmas Lodge and Scenic Season on the white for my background. (Do this before you attach the white to the olive.) I used post it notes to keep the trees from stamping where I did not want them. I added old olive and marina mist ink to the background using a sponge. Next I stamped my lodge from Christmas Lodge onto white using Staz On. I colored the lodge using old olive ink on a sponge and watercolor pencils. Dazzling Details makes gorgeous snow.  After the lodge dried, I cut it out. I glued together the stamped top not and the olive top note base. Next, I added the lodge using Stampin' Dimensionals. Curling the edges of the piece adds even more dimension. I embossed the "Merry Christmas" from Christmas Lodge using our Pewter Embossing Powder. After cutting it out, I glued it to my card. All done! A lot of work but well worth it. I hope you have enjoyed your stop here on the Llama Blog Hop. Now, head on over to Stacey's blog and see what she's got in store for you today. :) I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, no matter what or how you celebrate. Be sure and stop back often.

Here's a recap of all the llama blogs in case you missed one along the way.
Home hop page

April -

Buffy -

Christine G –

Darrah -

Debbie M -

Diane -

Heather -

Holly -

Jackers -

Jean -

Kathe D -

Kathryn R -

Linda W -

Marsha -

Martha -

My stop here on the hop! ;)

Stacey -

Stephanie O -

Friday, October 7, 2011

Join me in Fiji

 Yes, that's right. I said join me in Fiji. What better way to catch someone's attention and tell them about a free trip to a tropical location than with this adorable bikini card! I found the template at this blog. Yes, its years old but it is still adorable! I used Very Vanilla cardstock for the base. The pattern paper is from Sale A Bration. Sorry, its no longer available. I inked the edges of the bikini in Melon Mambo. I used the Scallop Edge Border Punch. The bling is Stampin' Up! Jewel Basic Rhinestones. A girl can never have too much bling, right?!

If you have been on the fence about joining Stampin' Up! then now is the time to hop over that fence! During the month of October you will receive a FREE Big Shot or $100 shopping spree in addition to all the other fabulous goodies in your paid kit. I would LOVE to have you on my team. The info is posted on my Stampin' Up! site. Contact me today for more details on this wonderful promotion and the trip to Fiji.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hello Friend

I wish you could see this card in person. It is so much cuter than the picture shows!!! I used the new, adorable Gift Givers set from page 39 in the Holiday Mini Catalog. I first stamped in Black Staz On ink. I then used the Aqua Painter (empty, no water just the dry brush) to paint this little girl's outift. The colors I chose were Melon Mambo and Tangerine Tango. Her face is Crumb Cake with Blushing Bride for the cheeks. The hill she is standing on is painted first with Moonlight Smooch Ink. I then covered the hill and the snowflakes with glitter glue. The "thinking of you" banner is hand cut. The sentiment is from Three Little Words.  The cut out on the envelope is made with the 1 3/4" Scallop Circle Punch. I tied a pice of Melon Mambo Scallop Dots Ribbon around the envelope for the finishing touch. :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Do the Llama Hop

Welcome to my little stop along the llama hop! If you just came to my blog and have no idea what I am talking about, hop on over to the llama home blog.
My projects for this hop showcase the Ribbon of Hope stamp and Elizabeth stamp, both from a la carte page 20 in the Idea Book & Catalog.

The first card, I kept clean and crisp. I embossed the ribbon in white, then inked over it using a sponge and  Melon Mambo ink. Supplies used: Basic Black cardstock, Heat Tool, White Embossing powder, Versamark ink, White Craft ink, Melon Mambo cardstock, Whisper White cardstock, Occassions Alphabet, Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border Punch and Basic Rhinestones.
The second card, featuring Elizabeth is very grungy and distressed. I wrinkled the pattern paper until it felt like fabric. I used the wheel to stamp flowers onto the ribbon. I frayed the edge of the card using the side of my scissors. Supplies used: Early Espresso paper and ink, Very Vanilla paper, Elizabeth stamp, white ribbon, Brights DSP. (designer series paper)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What a busy busy week!

I'm busy getting ready for the 2nd Annual Midtown Street Fair. I can't wait! Today, I made a few Halloween items. Yes, I know, its 54 days away. However, if I want to show people the fabulous holiday goodies they can make, I have to get started! Tomorrow, I will finish Halloween and move on the Christmas. wwooohhoooo One of the goodies I made today is a treat cone. I will put candy in these and give them out to my daughter's friends on Halloween. Supplies used are Basic Black cardstock, Whisper White Craft ink, Big Shot, Petal Cone Bigz Die and Sticky Strip.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Another year on Blogger!

Wow, I can't believe its my blogoversary again. :) I had planned on a give away but just havent had time to gather everything. Stay tuned for the news later.  My goal for my blog is to update more often now. Of course, we all know life gets in the way sometimes. I took time off yesterday to spend quality time with my daughter. Today, I have been dealing with a migraine. Its eased a bit. I thought I would post real quick while I can. :) I made this card last week. I will have a artist booth at the Midtown Street Fair so I've been busy making samples.
This card's base is Pear Pizzazz. I made the background using the dots stamp from For All You Do and Wild Wasabi Ink. I stamped the flower image from the same set, in Wild Wasabi onto Whisper White. I then stamped over the image using clear Versamark ink. I sprinkled clear embossing powder on the image and heat set the powder using my heating tool. I colored in the flowers with my markers. I inked around the Whisper White using the Wild Wasabi, applying it directly to the paper from the ink pad.
I will have to add the links to the products later. If you are interested in the items for this, or any of my products, let me know or head to my Stampin' Up! site. Now to figure out why Blogger is dating my posts in the future. I hope you all have a safe and happy Labor Day!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Time to get really inky!

I love love love to make things really inky. I decided today to make a tag. I love working with tags. The size makes it easier for me to just let loose. This one didnt quite turn out the way I planned. I still think its not bad. I used Bravo Burgundy and Always Artichoke inks. The base stamp on the tag is Christmas Collage.  I used Black Staz On ink to add the crown stamps from Artistic Etchings and Clearly for You. I painted Gold Lame Smooch ink on the bird from Noteably Ornate using a Stampin Sponge. I then stamped that onto Very Vanilla cardstock. I cut the bird out and layered it onto the tag using Stampin' Dimensionals. I don't have any ribbon to match so I decided to make my own "ribbon" for the top. I inked Bravo Burgundy and Always Artichoke onto Very Vanilla cardstock. I tore that into strips and inked again. I threaded those through the hole in the tag and attached with a staple. The entire tag has been edged in Gold Lame Smooch Ink. I hope your weekend is off to a fun start! Have a safe & happy Labor Day Weekend! My blogoversary is in 2 days so be on the lookout. There just might be something fun happening around here. :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wooohhoooo Holiday Mini time!!!

First I want to say welcome to everyone from
I don't have a sample to post today. I had migraine & shoulder muscle issues. So, on to the goodies.....
Christmas is my favorite time of year! I am so excited that the Holiday Mini Catalog sale has started. You can either shop through that link or download your mini  here. I will be posting examples from this new catalog next week.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Only a few more hours left!!!!

What?? You haven't shopped the Buy 3 get 1 FREE DSP sale at Stampin' Up!? Well, you had better hurry on over there! The sale ends today!! While you are over there, don't forget today is also the last day to buy from the Summer Mini Catalog!
Now, on to the craftiness. :) Remember I said I would show you projects with our fabu Designer Series Paper? Well this is just the beginning! This planner is made with a file folder (just snag one out of your filing cabinet, this is a much better use! lol), Paisley Petals DSP, Always Artichoke cardstock and ink, Bravo Burgundy cardstock and ink, Christmas Collage stamp, Stamping Sponges, Petals a Plenty Embossing Folder and Whisper White cardstock.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Get them while you can!

You have just 2 days left to order from the Stampin' Up! Summer Mini catalog!!! My favorite set from the Summer Mini is Strength & Hope. Yes, I used this one in my post yesterday. I want to share as many ideas with y'all about this fabulous set while I can. Don't forget, $2 goes to BCRF from the sale of this set as well as the digi set. I was inspired by a card on another blog for this one. For the life of me I can't find it in my saved links. (note to self, organize favorites) I used Early Espresso cardstock and ink, Blushing Bride cardstock and ink, Very Vanilla cardstock, Stampin' Dimensionals, 1 3/8" Circle Punch and 1 3/4" Scallop Punch. I inked all over this one using one of our Stamping Sponges. LOVE the way those sponges help with the distressed look.
A little hint about the sponges.....Cut them into wedges! I have wedges of different sizes. I use one per color family. Cut the sponge in half, then in half again, then in half, etc, until you get the size wedge you prefer. I hope your week is off to a fabulous start! Its a gorgeous day today here in Virginia! I will be in my studio most of the day creating for an upcoming fair. Of course I will have the windows open to enjoy the sunny day, the fabulous view and light breeze.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hello Blog World! I'm back!!!!!

Yes, yes, its been a long time! However, I am back and ready to keep blogging! So many things happened since my last post. We had hundreds, yes hundreds of aftershocks in Japan following the big quake in March. I helped my friend Tammy with her program sending backpacks of much needed supplies to Sendai and other areas affected by the tsunami.
My hubby retired from the Air Force after 24+ years and we have moved to Virginia! It is GORGEOUS here. I love it. We are far enough inland that Irene did not bother us. We had light rain and a breeze. There was a bigger thunderstorm that went through the week prior that was worse! I am sure you are wondering if I felt the quake in Virginia. Why yes I did! (and NO, I did not bring it with me! lol) We are about 30 miles from the epicenter. We still feel aftershocks occassionally but NOTHING like what we felt in Japan! This is easy breezy! I can handle this. :)
OK, enought with the update on me and on to the craftiness....... You have until August 31st to receive FREE printed paper from Stampin' Up! Yes, our DSP, Designer Series Paper, is on sale! Buy 3, get 1 free. This is a fabulous time to stock up on those fabulous 12x12 patterned papers. I made this lovely set last week. For the composition notebook, I used the Paisley Petals DSP, Melon Mambo and Crumb Cake cardstock, Crumb Cake from the Neutrals Collection Paper Stack, Melon Mambo and Crumb Cake inks, Very Vanilla cardstock (for the butterfly), Stampin' Dimensionals and the Strength and Hope stamp set. That stamp set is also only available unil the 31st! Get it while you can. Stampin' Up! is donating $2 from the purchase of this set to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.®
I will be back later with more projects. I hope you have a wonderful craft filled week!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mickey Adorned

I was so excited when Dawn sent me the Simply Adorned charm and chain. I have waited and waited for inspiration to strike. It finally did....while I was at The Disney Store! The Japanese are CRAZY about phone charms. I saw several Mickey icon charms and knew they would look adorable on my necklace. I used Love Letter paper for the background inside the charm. The Mickey head on the front (the side with the gold heart) is punched out of black paper from the Neutrals DSP stack. The Mickey on the other side is punched from the Love Letter paper. I can't wait to make more Simply Adorned projects. These would make fabulous gifts! I am planning to use the charms to make Christmas ornaments. Have you taken time to get crafty lately? I hope so! Crafty time is good for your soul! I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I will be spending time this afternoon under the cherry blossoms with our Japanese friends & neighbors.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Its been 4 weeks/1 month.....

What a long sad month this has been. A major earthquake, a tsunami, threat of nuclear fallout, thousands (yes over 1000) aftershocks including the 7.1 last night..... So much to deal with. So many emotions. So many lives lost. So many people with nothing left. Japan still has a long road to recovery. The people here are amazing. They WILL pull through this. Military and volunteers from around the world have come together to help this great nation. If you have helped by donating money or supplies, thank you! If you have volunteered your time, thank you! If you have prayed for everyone involved, thank you! Tomorrow I will be gathering with over 20 people to help put together backpacks for the children of Japan. They will include things like toothpaste, toothbrush, underwear, small toys, coloring books, crayons, water and snacks. Its not much but every little bit helps. It has been stressful enough for me dealing with all the aftershocks. Last night's big quake/aftershock was especially rattling for me. Then I thought of all those in this country with no home, no belongings, no family. That made me remember how blessed I truly am.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Thanks Kath!

I feel so honored! Kath has chosen me for the Stylish Blogger Award! When you are given this award...there are (4) things you must do...
1. Thank the person that gave you the award and link back to their blog (above). Thanks again Kath!!!!
2. Share (8) things about yourself:
(1) We will be moving from Japan this summer. (more details to be posted later on my blog)
(2) I love to watch Disney movies, even when the kids aren't around.
(3) I am still a Disney nut. (Always will be.) I will never grow up!
(4) I am participating in Brave Girls Soul Restoration.
(5) I rarely watch the news. All that negativity, over reacting and exagerating annoys me.
(6) Things here in Japan are not as bad as everyone in the US thinks it is. I am fine. The water here on base is fine. The air is fine. (well other than the pollen lol)
(7) I am VERY allergic to the cherry blossom trees. :(
(8) I LOVE teaching others how to get crafty.

3. Pass this award on to (8) other Stylish Bloggers:
Bootybella Designs
Debby's Stuff
There's glitter on the dogs
Kindred Gypsy Soul
Cards, scrapbooking and musings!
Stipple Shapes
kareN stampZ
Viv's Visuals

Sping is Blossoming

Stampin' Up has some GORGEOUS papers for their Spring is Blossoming promotion. I created this cake card using: Peach Parfait, Pear Pizzazz and Concord Crush cardstocks, Peach Parfait and Pear Pizzazz inks, Four Frames and Strength & Hope Stamps, Pop-up Three Tier Cake die and the gorgeous new Paisley Petals DSP (Designer Series Paper). You may be asking, "What is this Strength & Hope stamp set you speak of?" Well, thats a little sneak peek for you. It will be available May 1st. There will be much more from me with this set in the near future. Stampin' Up will be donating $2 from the sale of each set to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Patriotic Vintage Canvas

Hello blog world! Yes, its been a few days. I'll try not to let that happen again. Well, until we start the big move. lol Anyway....Remember the canvas I mentioned the other day? Well, this is how it turned out. :) I started with a blank canvas, a calendar with reprints of these old war posters, the Bands 4 Arms photo, mod podge and plenty of ink. I used Crumb Cake, Soft Suede and Early Espresso to ink up the canvas. I tore the poster prints from the calendar and inked the edges using a sponge. I tried several different arrangements before I came up with this final design. I covered everything but the B4A photo with the matte mod podge. I have to say..... I LOVE the end result. Oh and to fill you in on the B4A photo....Bands for Arms is a fabulous site started by Nick, an active duty guy in the Navy. Go check out the site. I have purchased MANY of these bracelets for my family and plan to purchase many many more.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Taylor!

Today was my daughter's 12th birthday party. I thought I would take a break while the girls are upstairs singing and dancing to post. I bought the Stampin' Up Pirate Party Kit from the clearance rack. When Taylor saw it, she decided she wanted a pink pirate theme. It came with the supplies to make a flag banner but the colors just didn't work for our color theme. I gathered my supplies and changed the colors to match the pink and brown theme we decided to use. Taylor and I sat down together and made the flags. We used Chocolate Chip and Melon Mambo cardstock, Versamark ink and Beware Pirates stamp set. The pink embossing powder is from my stash. It was a lot of fun to do something crafty with my creative kiddo. The banner has been hanging up since her birthday earlier in the week.
Taylor wanted her cake to be covered with gold sprinkles, "like a huge bar of gold with gold coins around it." I wanted to cover the cake with fondant and dust it in gold. She insisted that the sprinkles were what she wanted. So, I gave her the cake she envisioned in her head. When I was finished, she said it was perfect. I love making my kiddo happy by little things like that. With all the decorations in place, we were ready for her guests to arrive. The Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack was playing on the radio. Her friends walked in and said, "This is going to be the best party ever!" They each got their own eye patch and treasure chest. Later tonight they will be back downstairs for a Pirates movie marathon. I wonder who will fall asleep first and how long they will all be able to stay awake. May your weekend be full of smiles and fun times. Mine sure has been so far. :)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Imagine the Possibilities

As soon as I saw Valita's blog on making this gorgeous corner fold dress, I KNEW I just HAD to make it! I have made three different dress cards but this one is by far my favorite. I love the Stampin' Up red glitter paper combined with the black pattern paper from the Neutrals stack. I'll have to try and play around with the lighting to get a good photo of this beauty. For now, this scan will have to do. :) Tomorrow is Friday and the start to a very busy weekend. I hope you all are doing well.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wish Big!

I decided that I would make this 3d cake for my daughter's birthday instead of a card. Her actual cake will be made Saturday before her party. :) This cutie is made using the Pop-up Three Tier Cake die, Melon Mambo cardstock and printed paper, Chocolate Chip cardstock, Crumb Cake ink, Versamark ink, White Embossing Powder, Melon Mambo Pompom Trim and Pearls. A bit of advice......add the pearls and pompom trim BEFORE you assemble the cake. Trust me. It is MUCH easier! :) My trim would have been all even if I had thought of that first. I hope you are getting some crafty time this week. It feels FANTASTIC to be creating again. I might just end up with two blog posts today! :)

Peaceful Bird Card

This card is the one I chose for my Mystery Hostess Party. I saw the idea on someone's blog but can't find it now. I know the inking over embossed images is in several places though. :) I stamped the Always Elegant swirly heart in Early Espresso onto Whisper White cardstock. I then stamped it again in Versamark and embossed it in clear embossing powder. I inked the entire card front in Early Espresso and Crumb Cake. The base is Perfect Plum that has Perfect Plum ink sponged on the edges. The bird is stamped using Perfect Plum ink and the Punch Potpourri bird stamp. I punched it out then with the bird punch. I also punched the branch again in the Early Espresso cardstock. I decided I wanted the branch double so I inked the white branch in Crumb Cake. I used Stampin Dimensionals to attach the bird but it doesn't show much in this scan. One day I will make a photo booth for capturing the photos of my cards better.I hope your week is going well. Today is my daughter's birthday. Her party is this weekend so I will post pics of everything after everything is finished. Tonight was the family dinner at Chili's.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The latest from our area of Japan

We are still safe & sound here in our little corner of Japan. As Col. Feather says, "The water is tasty and the chow is hot!" OK, only my gals & guys here at Yokota will "get" that one. lol Really though....we are fine. They monitor the air and water numerous times a day here. Our water does not come from Tokyo so it does not affect us when they say the water in Tokyo is unsafe for babies. Yokota is the airlift hub for the military rescue efforts. Things are busy to say the least. Several friends & their kiddos have taken part in the voluntary departure. My friend Kate is helping with the relief efforts. I've been gathering supplies to bring to her. I believe the last count for aftershocks since the 9.0 was somewhere over 700. We havent felt them all in our area. However, there have been some decent ones. I won't lie.....sometimes it DOES rattle your nerves. I often wonder "What if" with each shake. What if this is another big one....what if I can't get to my kids....what if it happens when we are sleeping. Then I remind myself of something. Its just like one of our DJs on Eagle810 here said, "You can't keep playing the what if game."
I'm trying to stay busy myself. I've been baking cookies to donate to the relief workers. I'm plan to do something crafty every day. Now I need to make sure that I set aside blog time too! I hope to try a different technique each day. Some of them are new to me and others are not. Today, I plan to work on a canvas. Not sure what it will turn into. I just want to CREATE. Since I am watching or rather listening to Jeff Dunham who knows what it will look like. lol
Taylor's 12th birthday is tomorrow. Her party will be this weekend. Im not sure yet how many kids will make it. So many are gone with the voluntary departure. We will make it fun no matter what. Its a pink pirate theme. She wants a cake that looks like a bar of gold. Should be easy...right?? I'll post pics along the way.

Friday, March 11, 2011

We're safe here in Japan!

I just wanted to post real quick to let y'all know we are ok here. We are about 270 miles from the epicenter. We felt all the rocking and rolling. We are not near any of the tsunami affected areas. I will be back later with a more detailed report of everything. Please continue to keep the people of Japan in your prayers during this difficult time.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

We're going to Disneyland! Thanks SU!

No, I didn't earn the trip that Stampin' Up is offering. However, I DID receive my first paycheck from Stampin' Up! I decided to use that to take my family to Tokyo Disneyland. Its so nice to actually have a paycheck that supports one of my "addictions". lol My SU business is off to a fantastic start. I have a Chics n Chocolate night scheduled for this Friday. We will be making adorable chocolate themed projects. One of which is the card you see posted here. Supplies used: Melon Mambo, Pink Pirouette, Crumb Cake and Early Espresso cardstocks, Crumb Cake & Early Espresso inks, Vintage Wallpaper Embossing Folder, Pearls and Eat Chocolate stamp set. I will be adding more projects soon. I hope you are all having a crafty day! Remember to take the time to do something for yourself. For those back in the US stuck in snow, stay safe! We are having our first snow of the season here where we are in Japan.