Birds & Words

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Walking Around the Lake

I have discovered and become addicted to walking around Lake Estes. I've done this for a few years now. It used to be strictly a summer addiction, but I find that more and more I watch for days that are sunny and calm so that I can take advantage of the lake trail year round.

Its good for me physically, but much more it is healing to my soul and mind to get outdoors and enjoy the trees, birds, the river that feads it, and other walkers. I hope you enjoy these pictures and that they give you a sense of being there.

Ducks Landing

Canopies of River Birch

Mount Olympus

Our Lady of the Mountains

Stanley Hotel along Lumpy Ridge

Headed back toward the Contenental Divide.

Oh, I wish you could be here!

No sleep, up early.....

.....but I can't do much! The house is quiet, others are sleeping, so blogging is a pretty good activity, I guess! I'm getting out today and getting some pics working on a plan for next year to make the blog more dynamic. So many ideas, they need organization and prioritation to make them fun and achievable and not overwhelming.

I hope everyone has a meaningful Christmas. You are loved. Find someone who needs to know they are loved and tell them. Helping someone else is a sure cure for holiday blues. And cut back on the sugar. :-)

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Yeah! Yesterday we started working with the company that goes in, does the inventory and cleaning out the store. We've had so many offers for help (for which we humbly thank you!!), but forces greater than ourselves are in control.

But clean up has begun, which is awesome. We'll work very hard over the next couple of days getting the inventory done and getting that to the insurance company.

Hang in and stay tuned. Other than the stores that reopened right away, we think we'll be the first store to come back after the fire. The fire was awful, but new beginnings are hopeful and exciting. Yeah!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

One Week Later

A week ago today things changed. Our lovely store sustained damage, our friends & merchant neighbors sustained far greater damage.

So where are we today?

I haven't updated much, because there hasn't been a lot to update. We really had to wait for the investigations to be completed for us to make much progress. The ATF ruled that the cause of the fire was accidental, due to several things converging. They believe it began by a natural gas water heater in a small enclosure in the music box store in the mall.

We have been able to get in the store for brief periods to get computer, files & irreplaceable items out. The site has now been released by investigative authorities to the reconstruction guys. We expect a professional team to go in and do clean up.

We've got a small space behind the store near the post office as a staging area to bring what we can out of the store and to take delivery on new inventory.

Thanks again so much for all who have offered prayer, love and care for us. We've had dozens and dozens who have offered to help, and have had no way to accept help until now. We could use someone to just sweep and spiff up our staging area before we move stuff in if anyone has some time to do that. Its empty and pretty small. Call me or send an email if you can help.

Thanks again to everyone (I'll have to say that a lot; hope you don't get tired of hearing it). I'll post again soon!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Well. Where to begin?

At the beginning.
At about 6:45 Monday morning I got a call saying there was a fire at the Park Theatre Mall. I jumped up and threw on some clothes, not knowing if there was a fire in a trash can or something much bigger.

It was much bigger.

When I got there, there was smoke billowing out of the upper windows and around the edge of the roof. Within an a hour, flames were 60 feet in the air. The Park Theatre Mall is destroyed. My little shop shares a common cinderblock wall with the mall. Rocky Mountain Memories didn't burn down, but sustained significant water & smoke damage.

So for the time being our doors are closed. Its very early; we are still talking to our insurance representatives and the ATF is doing an investigation. As soon as I have some idea what our near future holds, I'll update here.

Today my biggest fear is that I won't remember every single person who has contacted me and expressed love and support and have offered prayer for us. I thank you all so very much. I can't tell you how much it means to me. As I read the all the emails, answer phone calls (or return voicemails!) I know that I am a rich woman. Its true: Love never fails. Believe it!

I'll be putting up some pictures tonight and in the coming days. Thanks and bless you.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Memory Tree

Here's my memory tree. :-)

Memory Tree Ornaments - Production!

A little germ of an idea gone wild! I created "memory trees" by using photos of my kids and making them into embellished ornaments and decorating small trees at our front door one Christmas. Because my children are so beautiful, I could never take them down. So I left them up.

When we opened the store, I brought the trees and put them in the window. I've had literally hundreds of people stop and ask about them this summer, many of whom wanted to buy them or a kit to recreate them with their own photos. Thus.....

I Had a Dream

I had a dream last night. I dreamed I went to my friend's house. One of my best friends in high school, Gloria. In my dream we cried and hugged and then began to just catch up. Several times in the midst of our conversation, I'd start to cry again because I was so happy to see her.

Its been years, more than 20, since I've seen Gloria. I live in Colorado and Gloria still lives in Texas. We've reconnected recently on Facebook and I'm so thankful. I love this girl very, very much. I'm working on a plan to get home soon and I will definitely get my hug.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A class this Saturday

I'm doing sort of an impromtu class, sort of. Because it was and then it wasn't and now it is.

So its this Saturday, September 19 from 9-noon. We'll do three each of three designs and I'm not sure exactly what they'll be. I'm playing with a lot of things. Maybe one for Christmas, I'm not sure.

Call the store & sign up, its not on the web. Hope to see you then!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I have always, always, titled classes and tried to follow a theme, a technique, something that unifies all the cards or projects we do. Not this time. Whether its because I've got so many things to choose from or I'm just plain scattered, I couldn't find a theme that tied it all together. So there it is. Themeless.

And here they are. I hope you like them.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

NEW stuff!

I've just placed a (gulp) rather large order with Stamper's Anonymous. This is a favorite company for me, which just so happens to produce Tim Holtz stamps. TH just released a whole new batch of images that are very exciting and some of those are included, so stay tuned.

Its been an exciting summer and its not over! This is short post, but gotta go and get creating.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Then Sings My Soul (reprise).....

Here are the close ups. For those of you who are begging for them. Which no one is. But here they are. :-)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Then Sings My Soul....

I've always loved that phrase from the song "How Great Thou Art". The lyrics to the song are so elegant, timeless & classic. I decided to let that phrase be the inspiration for the next series of classes. This is a Card Builders class, creating cards that use nature and Scripture as inspiration.

I started designing and felt myself going in circles, making no progress. And then (I love this part) things began to click. The colors worked and everything I added was right. So here's the result:

I'll try to get seperate close ups tomorrow so you can see more detail. All in all, a good day. I remain a thankful girl.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Paper Flowers

July in Colorado puts my in the mood for flowers. They are everywhere in nature now, but I want to MAKE some more. :-)

Here are some examples of paper flowers we'll be making in workshops this week (Thursday, Saturday & Monday, 9-noon).

Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July

Its all sunshine now, hope it holds up all day. Well, maybe a small shower in the afternoon would be nice.

The town is full of people who have come to celebrate the holiday, the store is ready, I'm rested (sort of) and excited to greet the weekend. Hope everyone has a nice, fun, and safe 4th of July!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Traveling at breakneck speed, but enjoying the journey!

I've got an appointment to get a cut & color July 8. When I schedule a follow up appointment, just a few short weeks later (days, really) I am amazed at the date. This follow up will be late September or early October. The summer gone! Seems to speed up the calendar, somehow.

And time marches on with Rocky Mountain Memories and the workshop calendar. The next class is Birds & Words. I don't have pics of the projects because I'm expecting stamps from B-Line Designs to be here Wednesday. I'll pull an all nighter and get projects and packets ready for class Thursday morning.

I'll put up pics ASAP. Call the store (970.577.1415) or email me ( if you want to sign up. You know me, Birds & Words, two of my favorite things!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Coaster Mini-book

Here are pics of the projects we'll do for this class. Paper and embellishments may vary for the class you attend. The square mini book is the one we'll decorate & complete.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


I FINALLY have workshops planned for the summer. I'll post them here, but you can always check the website and can even sign up there! (You can also sign up by calling or coming to the store or by email; 970-577-1415 and I've planned a full schedule. Can we do it? Of course we can!!

This is where you'll see the "paper arts" element of the store. Card classes are included at least once a month. Other weeks are other kinds of paper arts projects that stand alone or teach projects that create embellishments for your cards and scrapbook pages.

We start next week with:

Coaster Mini Books
Thursday, June 25
Saturday, June 27
Monday, June 29
(All classes will be from 9 am to noon)
Make 2 mini-books with two different bindings; one book will be embellished, the other will be for you to finish at home. BRING: Scissors, bone folder & glue stick (I recommend UHU). I'll have a bone folder & scissors to share if you are here on vacation or don't have yours with you.

Birds & Words
Thursday, July 2
Monday, July 6
(All classes will be from 9 am to noon)
This one is mainly because I really like that phrase. :-) And also really like birds and really, really like words.
This is our traditional 3 designs, 3 cards & envelopes each. Designs using birds & text. Our options are wide open because there are so many choices for stamps & paper. I personally can't wait for this one! Because of July 4, I'm just doing two sesssion for this, so don't delay in signing up. I'll try to repeat this later for you Saturday only students.
BRING: Double stick adhesive & scissors.

Tag Booklet
Thursday, July 9
Saturday, July 11
Monday, July 13
(All classes will be from 9 am to noon)
Make 2 booklets that accomodate tags; the tags can be used for words, quotes, as a birthday greeting for a best friend, or someone you want to do something special for; you can make it a little memory book with pictures tucked inside. Sweet! BRING: Four empty toliet paper rolls, scissors, glue stick. Start saving those TP rolls now! I'll be saving them, too, but I don't promise to have extras for everyone, so do your best. If you have less than three, you can still do the project, just with fewer pages.

There are more workshops listed on the website, so check it out there. Remember, most parking downtown is 3 hours, so park behind the five & dime if you can.

Okay, that's it for now. I'll get pics of the Coaster Mini-books posted this afternoon. Yippee!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Stuff I Need to Do....

1. Plan summer schedule for classes & workshops.
2. Make progress on the website.
3. Get logo finalized and signs ordered and applied to windows.
4. Order Bazzill cardstock.
5. Go to Jen Lowe's for an AWESOME creative day; learning happens if you just sit next to her at lunch. :-)
6. Make cookies for my AWESOMER son who is home for the summer (YeaHH!!).
7. Go see school with my EXCEEDINGLY AWESOME daughter whom I love completely.
8. Clean out & organize back room @ store.
9. Are you bored yet? I could go on.

Every day I get more done and every Monday I'm happy knowing that Friday a number of things will be clicked off this list.

Oh, and stop and smell the wild mountain irises. Gotta do that, too. :-)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturdays in Summer in EP....

I love early mornings and I love Saturdays. Headed to a G-sale this morning for a couple of items I need (does anyone else actually have a shopping list when you go to garage sales???) and then to the shop where we've got a 9 am workshop.

We got some more product in yesterday, so I'll be in early to get that out. The store is really taking shape and looking sharp. I'll get some updated pics this morning and get them posted in a day or two.

Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day......

Thursday, June 11, 2009

And we're off!

Workshops have begun at the new Rocky Mountain Memories location (140 Moraine Avenue, 3 doors east of the historic Park Theater, downtown Estes, on the river!!). We had a lot of fun, learned a lot; I learned a lot! It was a bit crowded with the big group, but we've got some new tables, new configuration that will make workshops for comfortable for you.

A note to students: be aware that many of the parking spaces downtown are marked 3 hour spaces and they will ticket you. If you park behind the "five & dime" (don't you love it that we live in a town that has a five & dime??), you'll be fine.
New Wordsworth rubber stamps came in yesterday. So beautiful, I can't stand it. Love those flowy fonts!

Come see me!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Aren't those windows sparkly???

I was out front to take a picture of the store and a nice lady asked me, "do you want me to take a shot with you in front?" and I said "Yes!"

Isn't it lovely? We are cleaning away years of dust and bringing out the shine. We had to take a shot from a long view on the sidewalk because the RIVER is on the left side of the frame, just over that stone wall. It roars away, day and night, especially this time of year. I've always loved rivers; there's no sound like it in the world. And now a have a little piece of one, at least for a little while.

I'm a thankful girl.
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Rocky Mountian Memories logo will use a pine green color accented with sepia text, so we're using those colors in the store. Flow, baby, flow, its all gotta flow together!
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Humble Beginnings!

Well, this is it! Rick and I are cleaning, painting and freshening up the space at 140 Moraine Avenue in Estes Park. It was awful when we started, I thought, but in literally just a few hours, it started to look better. My husband is a DETAIL guy and loves to take things that are a bit worn and "draw them out" as he says, clean & polish them and make them beautiful. That's what he's doing with my store!
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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Grunge Work has begun

REAL grunge, not artsy grunge. But its great, so cool to see the space starting to be.....better. I'm taking some pics so I'll post them soon. Thanks so much for all the good wishes and encouragement you guys have given me. I'm excited.

Its going to be a great summer, I'm going to work very hard, but that's okay. I'm a thankful girl.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I've found my voice!!

I've been very quiet on this blog for a bit, but LOTS going on behind the scenes. I can finally speak!

I just signed a lease to open a store downtown in Estes Park, Colorado. Rocky Mountain Memories. A dream I've had and I'm seeing it realized. Or beginning to be realized.

I've prayed and asked for God's direction and that I not be guided by fear. I've discovered that's a huge prayer. I don't know if I realized how much I am guided by fear. Whenever I felt afraid, I can hear God say, don't listen to that. Caution is different from fear, and caution should be heeded. But I think, maybe, just maybe, I'm growing a little.

I'll be updating and posting pics regularly now. Stay tuned. Check back often.

I'm a thankful girl.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Maybe next year...

Well, I did not get chosen to attend Ranger U this year, but I'm not discouraged. I knew I was aiming high. But when you shoot for nothing in particular, that's what you hit. So I'll be working & creating and applying again next year!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ranger U Application

Hi T!m! Here are some samples of my work for my Ranger U application. I've used Ranger and other products for these cards. These are all my original designs. Enjoy and I hope to see you in New Jersey in June! ~cheryl~

Monday, March 30, 2009

22 reasons I love Tim Holtzie stuff

1. Its so grungie-fied.
2. He gives ordinary stuff character.
3. The techniques.
4. Lots of ways to use Distress Inks so achieve an amazing array of effects.
5. He makes it look SO easy.
6. It IS so easy!
7. It seems all the times I've wished I had a tool that would ....., he comes up with just that tool.
8. All the jazz he throws on projects.
9. The clocks.
10. The keys.
11. 50 different shades of brown.
12. The richness of his other colors.
13. Books & journals.
14. He's a great teacher.
15. Birds.
16. Branches.
17. Flourish & whimsey.
18. He puts crowns on almost everything.
19. He puts wings on the rest.
20. Grungeboard.
21. Masks, VERY cool masks.
22. He makes me happy and I really like being happy.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

New Background

What do you think? I like it, but its really hard to get everything to match. Text color choices are limited, I am limited. I shared with a SBC yesterday, I get an idea or an image in my head and then try to go and find or achieve that image. Its not easy. This is a small problem. I'll stop complaining now.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tea with Mrs. T

A friend sent me an email and asked "Do you know the proper way to make tea?" Of course I think I do, but actually don't. But I have a friend that does. So I called Mrs. Joan Thomas and asked her how to make proper English tea and, being a proper English lady, she invited me to come and share a cup of tea with her. And even though I'm a rather clumsy Texan, I knew enough to feel honored and accept.

So here's what I needed to know:

You start with a kettle (not a saucepan) of boiling water. It must be boiling! You pour a little into a teapot that will hold enough water for the number of cups of tea you're preparing. This is to temper or heat the teapot. Pour it out.
Add your tea to the teapot. Mrs. Thomas used Twinings loose leaf tea, about 1 1/2 teaspoons for us to share 4 cups of tea. She said that Tetley also made good strong tea. There is one other brand that I can't remember, but I think its Taylor's of Horrogate. I'll call her tomorrow and edit this blog with that name. You can use tea bags if you prefer, and Mrs. Thomas prefers English Breakfast. I think I do, too. :-)
If you like, you can keep an extra teapot with hot water to dilute your tea if it become too strong. This is your "jug of water".
Pour boiling water into your teapot. Cover and let it steep for about 5 minutes. You can cover with a tea cozy while it steeps if you like to keep it hot.
Pour a little milk into your teacup. Use whole milk and not half and half.
Then pour your tea into your cup and enjoy. Serve with scones, bisquits (cookies), crackers, with butter, jam and cream.

It was lovely and Mrs. Thomas is a treasure.