Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Spark Sisters!
I am so excited to share with all of you an on-line class featuring so many of the fun decor ideas we did at Spark!
One of my favorite things about doing Spark for the last 3 years has been all of the handmade decorations. Using as little money and as much creativity as we could to create beautiful decor. Spark your Christmas is an on-line class filled with Spark inspired projects, gift ideas and decor with a Christmas twist!
Class Description:
Spark your Christmas is a five day on-line video course starting Monday December 5th.
Each Video will be chuck full of ideas and project instruction.
Gift ideas
Table decor
Gift Wrap
Cost: $24.95
Register here:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

dear lizzie

Dear Lizzie has been an integral part of Spark since the beginning.  The concept of Spark was born in the Dear Lizzie Bistro.  Each year Dear Lizzie has catered a fun box lunch and had items for sale in the market.

This year will be no different. Laura will be at Spark with all her girls. There will be a special Dear Lizzie shop in Noah's with all the goodness of the store in Highland.

After Spark comes to an end on Saturday night, the party will continue at the Dear Lizzie store in Highland.  There will be door prizes and snacks and lots of fun to be had. Laura will be keeping the store open until midnight just for Spark girls.


Weather! It's going to be gorgeous. You will need to bring a jacket for the evenings and maybe a light sweater or two, but the days are going to be sunny and clear.

Friday, October 14, 2011

What sparks you? Nancy Wyatt

When April asked me to share what Sparks me I heard crickets chirping. I kid you not! Ha!
Then I asked myself what does Spark my creativity?

For me it’s many things, its colors, photographs, pretty papers, digital designs and Pinterest of course! These days most if not all of my projects start out with digital kits, my printer and I are having a mad love affair these days! I love creating hybrid projects and I must say it’s helped me keep down the clutter in my studio. Incase you didn’t know, I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the cReative Design Team members for Rhonna Designs. If you’ve been to prior Spark events then you’ll know Rhonna Farrer in fact she will be at Spark this year so keep an eye out for her.

While I am here I also wanted to share with you one of my other passions. Making friends! Yes, I am one of those whom never meets a stranger! Just ask my husband, who by the way is the total opposite of me! I crave making friends and so it was only natural that I wanted to put together a pre-Spark dinner gathering last year for Spark No. 2 and again this year for No. 3!

This is not meant to take away from the actual Spark the Event, it was simply put together to allow for some of those traveling to Spark for the first time to get to know a friendly face. This is especially great for those coming to Spark solo, which by the way I think Rocks! We will be doing a small Swap at our pre-Spark dinner, nothing too complicated. I simply asked those attending the meet & greet dinner to bring something homemade or even store bought that makes their heart happy. Something that their new Spark Sister will enjoy, something that will bring back special memories of a new found friendship at Spark No. 3.

I hope to meet you at Spark; it truly is a special event! The amount of handmade d├ęcor that goes into the event is simply amazing and will leave you feeling so special! So, if you see me at Spark, please say Hi! And I may or may not be wearing my paper mustache, ha!

In the meantime, I'd love for you to stop on by for visit...www.lovestocreate.com!

**Frame and digital art used on photos are from www.rhonnadesigns.com

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

sooooo close!

Dearest Sparksters-

We are getting so very very close! Now is the time to get your supplies and start to think about what you need to pack. The weather in Utah has been chilly! We will post a forecast next week so you know exactly what it will be like.

If you have any last minute concerns, please jump over to the Spark Facebook page. There are many conversations going on and your questions will most likely be answered.

It's not too late to submit your questions for the blog panel! Please send your questions to me (April at secondsisterjewelry@yahoo.com).


Don't forget to bring your own business cards if you have some! This makes it easy to stay in touch with other girls after the event.

Monday, October 10, 2011

what sparks you? Danielle Donaldson

creatively anal.
an awkward yet amazingly accurate description of danielle’s art (and mind). it’s amazing how two words that are so vastly different can be paired together to create such a vivid picture. a true balance of coloring outside of the lines and making sure the lines are exactly the same width. 

danielle donaldson balances a bunch of stuff. the stuff that most people balance. significant other of 20 years, a college-aged daughter, a high-school senior son, a couple of dogs, a cat, a FULL time job and oh, her art.

she was just recently brave enough to transform her daughters room into a cute and oh-so visually stimulating “dorm room”. a bitty little corner of the house that she claims as her own. a space to make girly, a space to be brave (or not), a place to work and play.
it is filled with bits and pieces that make up her story. her version of it, anyway.

and her favorite thing to do is to just sit and stir the pot in her own noggin and dream up ways to capture her thoughts and feelings and put them on a canvas.

she uses paper from HomeGoods (you know the kind they wrap your stuff in – the newsprint kind) to sketch out her vision. then, with a flurry of mod-podge, paints, paper, frustration, giggles and a lot of nifty (and really anal, pen and graphite work) she sits back and smiles.

each mixed-media piece tells a story that she has trouble putting into words. with the hope that someone will look at it and tilt their head to the side and say, “Oh, I get this.”

and then danielle feels like she has told her story. kind of a hidden secret, “where’s waldo” kind of thing. and she smiles.

sometimes she even shares her words and process. check her out at www.danielledonaldson.com. and, you can see a fab original that was created just for Margie and Spark#3. prints will be there for sale so be sure to stop by the shop and see her work!
danielle donaldson
Contact information: danielledonaldson@surewest.net |www.danielledonaldson.com


The winners of Margies Halloween jewelry pieces are:

The Necklace goes to:
Cmad said...
I can't stop looking at this ADORABLE necklace. I swear I have gone back to Margie's blog a million times. I couldn't even read the entry, I could only look at the picture of the necklace and drool. I finally was able to read the blog entry on Spark's blog and realized the necklace is a giveaway. :)

And the earrings go to:
Barbara said...
Fabulous! I love that it's so easy to put together. Counting the days until Spark!

Please send Margie your address!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Schedule

Here it is! 
We may need to make some minor changes here and there, but basically, this is what we will be doing!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Spooktacular Jewelry Giveaway

Last week Margie made an appearance on Studio 5. Margie is a regular contributor to Studio 5 and she always comes up with super fun projects to share. This time she was challanged to use vintage bingo chips in some sort of crafting project.
As she said on the show, Margie is giving away the jewelry she made here on the Spark blog. Just leave a comment and Margie will pick a winner on Friday. There will be a necklace and a pair of earrings given away.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

giveaway sneak peek

Our very own Cathe Holden has some good friends that own ScrapBox, makers of beautiful and quality craft storage systems. And they just happen to be headquartered down the road from Spark. They have generously offered to GIVE AWAY one gorgeous EZ View Craft Desk in white or black bead board to one super-lucky SPARK attendee! AND they’ll even ship it straight to the winner’s door! How awesome is THAT?! 

The EZ View Craft Desk – Store your Stuff in Style and see it at a glance. The EZ View acrylic glass desktop allows a clear view of the divided drawers below. The EZ View desktop comes fully assembled. You construct the base with a simple cam lock system (instructions included). Dimensions: 50″W x 25″D x 31″H

See the 3D video of the amazing EZ View Craft Desk! An EZ View Craft Desk desk will be on display at SPARK!
We want to send out a BIG thanks to ScrapBox!
This and many other amazing prizes will be given away during the event. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Halloween Jump Start!

With Spark only a month away, I decided to get ready for Halloween early so that I can concentrate solely on Spark for the next few weeks.

I created a set of printables to use to decorate my house.  I am sharing them today on my blog. Feel free to pop on over and download them if you like!

Have a fun and creative weekend!



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One month to go!!!

We are excited. 

Are you?

Monday, September 19, 2011

one more thing...

Well girls, September is more than half over. Is it just me? Where is the time going?

I always love September. I love the back to business feeling. I love buying school supplies. I love apple season and crisper weather. And I love getting back on a solid schedule.

Speaking of schedules- we should have the Spark schedule ready to post this week!

We hope you are starting to gather up the supplies you will need to bring. Please don't stress over any one item! If you can't fit it in your suitcase, there will be someone willing to share. That's how we roll at Spark! 

One more thing we will need you to bring: an open mind and heart.

Please start to prepare yourself to push past your insecurities and embrace the projects and other students without judgement.

My mother-in-law gave me some awesome advice a few years back. She is a seasoned artist and she has taken many classes over the years. I had taken a class and I wasn't happy with how my project turned out. She chuckled and said that the class wasn't about creating a masterpiece. It was about learning new techniques, gaining inspiration, and enjoying the process.

You may find a new passion at Spark. Or you may find a new friend. 

Whatever your experience, we promise to send you home with a new treasure.

Friday, September 16, 2011

class supply list

Okay girls! Here is a list of items that you will need to bring with you to Spark. There are many items that you can share with a friend if you are coming together. If you have questions, please feel free to email Margie or I and we will do our best to get back to you quickly. Please watch this list over the next few weeks in case we add something.  We will let you know when the list is absoluetly complete.

Collage classes:

Black Stazon
workable fixatif (Krylon)
paper towel
gel medium
favorite word stamps and/or large alphabets (optional)

paint brushes:  (All paint brushes available through Scarletlime website)
· 1" Flat brush, or Foam Brush
· 1/2" Flat brush
· liner brush

black permanent pen (fine tip)- Faber Castell or PermaBall Pilot or fine tip sharpie works great!

DecoPauge or Mod Podge

wet wipes (IMPORTANT)

any personal ephemera you want to use- copied if you don't want to use the original (i.e.- letters, papers, receipts, postcards, etc) this isn't nessciary.. there will be some on hand.. but in case you want to use their own.

Stamping and reverse applique classes:

a ball point pen (it's important that it's ball point)

an image to carve: must fit in a 3X4 inch square, less intricut images are better for beginners...there will be some on hand if you don't want to come up with your own.

a shirt, apron or other item of clothing to applique

Jewelry class:

Junk Journal class:

vintage book (as close to 9" tall by at least 6" wide) not too shabby, you will want pages and spine in decent condition.

$1 photo brag book (necessary for inside photo page protectors)
around 12 -15 photos ( horizontal & vertical) (subject:metamorphosis) 4X6
stapler (I prefer Tim Holtz tiny attacher)
distressing or sanding block if you would like to rough up the edges a little.
metal straight edge

That should cover it for now. If we do add to this list we will make note of it in future posts so stay tuned!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Margie!!!

Happy Birthday to one of my very favorite people in the world!

Margie broke the mold when she was born. She's one of a kind and to know her is to love her.

You can wish her a happy day on her facebook page!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

what sparks you? Liz Eaton


I was asked the question:

    A creative space where I can create for 5 minutes here & 5 minutes there is the type of studio that I have tried to create in my home. I always have music playing, from the time we wake up, until we all go to bed, usually something on pandora one. or on iTunes. My studio is very little people friendly. I keep all things that little hands shouldn't get into out of reach & everything else is with in reach & free for them to "get into" whenever they choose. We, meaning me & my boys, spend most of our days in the studio. It's right off the kitchen & the backyard, so the boys can come & go & get me when they need me, but I usually am plucking away at some project...it might be jewelry, art journaling, a mixed media wall hanging, sewing a quilt, making a frame or sign, working on a photo project,  or doing shrinky dinks with Dax. I love that we have this space in our home that everyone has full access to, that we LOVE to be. It is for sure the heart of our home.
& that is exactly how I want to keep it.

Oh & if I ever need to get some fresh vibes going, the best thing I have found is to do some inspiration window shopping on the computer, through blogs or pinterest, or by going out to my favorite stores, like anthropology, the central phoenix area shops, downtown mesa or anywhere else I can escape for a few (hopefully) kid free hours. The best inspiration, though, always comes when I can get away for a few days for a girls trip. I am heading up to Utah for one next month & I can't wait!

If you need some help sparking your creativity, check out this spark the event, I know it is going to help get my creative juices flowing. Until then, I hope these photos spark something in you.


Diptic copy 2
Diptic copy 3
Diptic copy
Diptic copy 4
Diptic copy 5

Liz will be part of our Handmade market this year! You can see more of her work on her blog and in her Etsy shop.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

welcome september

1. Walnut, 2. dove, 3. blocked, 4. Papaya, 5. artisan.bread, 6. Shiro Plum Dream, 7. locavore, 8. Brown Tree Leaves!, 9. color inspiration


The goldenrod is yellow,
The corn is turning brown,
The trees in apple orchards
 With fruit are bending down;

The gentian’s bluest fringes
Are curling in the sun;
In dusty pods the milkweed
Its hidden silk has spun;

The sedges flaunt their harvest
In every meadow nook,
And asters by the brookside
Make asters in the brook; 

From dewy lanes at morning
The grapes’ sweet odors rise; 
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies–

By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.

-Helen Hunt Jackson

We only have very few days of Summer left.  Fall is coming. And so is Spark!

Stay tuned this week for information regarding what you will need to bring with you.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Devoted is the word of the day. Maybe you didn't know that. It is.

You may be asking why devoted is the word. 

As Spark gets closer Margie and I talk on the phone almost everyday. We go over details. We talk logistics. And we mess around and laugh a lot. We think we are pretty funny. We crack ourselves up.

Today when I hung up the phone after talking to Margie I thought about what it is we are doing.  Putting on an event like Spark, where everything is handmade and attention is paid to every single detail, is no small feat. 

And yet we love every single minute. We are totally 110% devoted to the reason we do Spark in the first place. That reason is to inspire women to use their creativity to better their life. Every single person involved in this event shares our same philosophy. We are all working for the same purpose.

It is simply amazing to see what can be accomplished when a group of devoted people pull together to create something. The result is astounding.

Happy Labor Day Weekend! We hope you do something creative.

Elements used to embellish the above graphics are made my our very own Rhonna Farrer who just had the grand opening of her new online store. Click on over and check it out!

Monday, August 29, 2011

class preview: nesting

To be honest, we had kind of a hard time nailing down what class Cathe was going to teach. 

We originally suggested to her that we might like a jewelry class of some sort. She sent an idea, and another idea and another and another.  This Cathe, well, ideas just pour out of her.

We had a hard time picking exactly what we loved the most, but we finally agreed on the nest necklace.

This year, we want Spark to feel like coming home.  We want everyone to feel like they just stepped into their grandma's house. And everyone they know and love are there. And grandma has been baking.

We feel that the nest necklace is a perfect symbol for home.

The nests Cathe will be making in her class may vary a little from the above photo, but the concept will be the same.  This will be a great intoduction into wiring for beginners and a fun free form project for seasoned jewelry makers. 

We can't say enough how happy we are to have Cathe on our Spark team this year.  She amazes us at each turn.  We can't wait to spend some time with her, and you.

Friday, August 26, 2011

happy birthday j.mills

I call him J.Mills.

Megan calls him Babe.

And Margie calls him..... Babe. Because she is funny.

Jeremy Miller is Megan's boyfriend and the mastermind behind all of the Spark films.

Here's why we love Babe:

 This is what he does in his real life.

Pretty manly huh?

This is what he did for us.

Babe gets the Spark vision.

Even if there aren't motor cross bikes involved.

We love Babe.

Happy Birthday to the greatest cinematographer around.

Love, April & Margie

why handmade?

Oh girls Spark is getting ever so close!

We are keeping very busy these days, getting ready for the big event.  

As you know, everything at Spark is handmade. And why is that? Well, let me tell ya.

Creativity is like a muscle. When you use it a lot, it gets bigger and stronger and you find that other parts of your life get better as well. Your balance gets better. You seem to have more energy and enthusiam.

Putting Spark together is a huge workout for our creativity muscles. When the event finally rolls around we are all pumped up and super ready to share our spark.

And when something is handmade, you know that a little love has gone into it.  It's like the difference between getting an email and getting a letter in your mailbox.  We are truly grateful for each person that comes to share their inspriation at Spark. We want you to know that each person makes the event different and special every year.

And that is why we are working away in our studios and planning and scheming. 

And we can't wait to share it all with you.

If you have questions, regarding the event or otherwise, please feel free to contact us.  We will do our best to respond quickly.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Spark Artisan Market 2011

Open to the Public October 21st-22nd 

We have put together an amazing handmade market this year. We are super excited to see what everyone brings! Many of our vendors have signed up as students so we will get to meet the girl behind the products.

This year, for the first time, we are opening the market to the public. We are hoping that girls who are unable to attend as students can still stop by and find a creative spark from the wonderful artisan handicrafts.

Here's is a list of all the vendors.

Olio Aprons 

Come prepared to shop! 

Friday, August 19, 2011

class preview: mixed media

Donna Downey is bringing her amazing artistic talent to Spark this year. We are super excited to have Donna on our teaching team and we are in love with the class she has created.

Her class is called "From the Heart".

"Art is a measure of passion and creativity. Expressing yourself through color and design comes from the heart. Opening yourself up to the creative process can be a bit intimidating, but could very well change your life.

This workshop is designed as an introduction for beginners as well as to challenge the seasoned artist. As students, you will explore and enjoy creating visual depth; adding bold color and texture to your mixed-media art pieces.

We will create an original piece of 11 x 14” art using PanPastels, Sofft tools applicators, stamps, and stencils." -Donna


In the next few weeks, we will be posting a list of items that students will need to bring with them to Spark. This will not be an extensive list and most things you will already have in your home.

Please watch for this post and start getting ready to share your spark! We are only a couple months away!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


There are a couple things certain about SPARK!! There will be over-the-top outrageous decor and such treasured details that make this event stand out above others. There will also be so many creative teachers and other influential ladies that will knock your socks off... so bring an extra pair. 

And the one aspect that always blows me away are the brilliant ladies that attend. Yes, you! Each year the students are what make the event what it is. Everyone brings there own glowing spark and by the end it is a full blown firework show with how much our friendship grows, how much creativity is shared & how much fun was had! Whether you come alone or with your girlfriends by the end you'll have new Spark sisters!

The first year we hung up all the students pictures on each side of our gathering room. For the second event we had everyones' photos in a jar on one of the days and each time seeing all our Sparkette's smiles really moves us! 
I am so excited to see your glowing faces this Fall!!

Number three is going to be brilliant!! Margie and her amazing team are orchestrating each moment to be magical!

Can't wait! You don't want to miss it!

xo, Lizzy

Lizzy was one of the founders of Spark along with Rhonna Farrer , Jefra Starr Linn and Margie Romney! Right now she is a blogger over at Dear Lizzy. She has a craft line with American Crafts "Dear Lizzy." She also recently launched Something Splendid: inspiring online workshops ranging from Felt Cupcakes to creative mini albums. She also loves chocolate, in case you were wondering.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

paper coterie

One of major sponsors for Spark #3 is Paper Coterie. If you haven't checked them out before, stop reading this and click over. Right now.

Paper Coterie is a company that I believe in whole heartedly. They are doing things the right way. Their products are the best quality on the market. I've toured the building where they make their products and I've seen how much of the work is still done by hand because they are unwilling to compromise quality. 

Paper Coterie is in the business of helping people save memories, and celebrate friends and family. 

And they have a passion for creativity. 


They want to sponsor someone who needs a little "spark" of creativity in their life to come and be part of Spark this year.  

This person could be you. Is it?

Here's what you need to do:

Create a one minute video telling us why you really need to spark your creative spirit.
Upload it to YouTube and send the link to me. 

We will be posting the top videos and picking a winner on September 5th. 
Entries are due by August 31st.

*Paper Coterie will sponsor the registration fee for the winning entry. Please note that travel expenses will not be included.

Start filming! We want to hear from you!!!


Monday, August 8, 2011

remembering last year

Look at this adorable video Nancy Wyatt put together! Nancy is helping us out so much this year! We love her!

Spark the Event 2010 from Nancy Wyatt on Vimeo.

Friday, August 5, 2011

welcome cathe!

Sometimes serendipity works it's magic in such a way that you can only stand back and scratch your head. 
This is what happened:

We unexpectedly had one last class to fill and we were a little worried and stressed. I had been emailing creative women to ask them to write a post for us on what sparks your creativity. I have been following Cathe Holden's work, like, forever, but I didn't know her personally.  So I sent her an email through Flickr asking if she would be interested in doing a blog post.  She answered that, yes she would be happy do the the post but she was hoping that I had contacted her to teach at Spark because she loves what we are all about.

And there you have it. Serendipity. Cathe is a dream teacher. She can do just about anything. I mean, have you seen her blog? Really? It's amazing.

And she's a delight to work with. We are over the moon excited to have her as part of our team.

After successful careers as an agency art director, design firm owner, graphic artist & illustrator, Cathe gravitated toward creative blogging and all sorts of crafting with an emphasis on repurposing and a passion for vintage style. Inspiring others through her blog, JustSomethingIMade.com, she has had projects featured in and is a regular collaborator with Country Living magazine. Her blog was recognized as Flea Market Style magazine’s Best Vintage Artist’s blog to follow. She is a weekly creative blogger for SC Johnson’s Family Economics since 2008. She lives in beautiful Petaluma, California among the dairies and vineyards with her husband, Jeff, and three teenage children.

Stay tuned because we will be introducing Cathe's and Donna's classes in the next couple of weeks and, belive me, they are super fun!

Cathe is taking Alisa's spot as one of our teachers. Alisa has some health issues going on in her family right now and she needs to focus on being there for the people she loves. We hope she will still be able to come to Spark and meet everyone and most of all we hope and pray for good health for her family.

Don't forget, we just offered split payments, so register today!