Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodby 2011 - Hello 2012!

Today is the last day of a momentous year in the life of the Strong family. We experienced incredible happiness and intense sadness during the past twelve months.

In February we welcomed Max Macke into our family. Max and our daughter Amanda were married on a beautiful sunny day in our new home church, Our Lady of Grace. We are so happy for our newlyweds Mandy & Max.

On April 12 we waited all day (and part of the night) for our first grandchild to arrive. Little Lillian Margaret Strong was born to our son Colin and our Daughter In Law Kerry. We have been on cloud nine ever since! We have the privilege of  babysitting Lily Monday through Thursday. Carla is the best Grandma you could imagine and I get the side benefit of playing with Lily on the days I work from home.

In May we lost our beloved Pop. My step dad, Lee Salisbury was a very special man. He was patient and kind and a wonderful husband to my Mom, Patricia for nearly 40 years. We are thankful that he had a long and happy life with us and that he did not suffer a long illness. Thanks Pop for all you did for us!

In August Carla and I celebrated our 35 wedding anniversary. I am a lucky lucky guy to have such a special girl for my wife. Like all marriages we have experienced peaks and valleys along the way but I would not want to make the journey with anyone but my Carla. I love you sweetie.

I would like to finish by thanking all our wonderful friends for giving us so much love and support this year. We are humbled by the many expressions of kindness we received during this year of highs and lows. A special thank you goes to all my stamping pals around the world. I continue to be inspired by your talent and I look forward to seeing you in a workshop or convention in 2012!

Much love,


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Hanukkah!

I made this card this morning to celebrate the first day of Hanukkah. I used my triangle stamps to make the Star of David. The interwoven strips are meant to symbolize the lamp that stayed lit for eight days with only enough oil for one. I wish you all peace and love at this special time.
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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lilly & her stamps

Here's Bindy and Alicia from Crafters Companion. They manufacture our stamps for us. We picked up the Lily stamps today so they will be shipped tonight and tomorrow. Thanks to the whole team for making our stamps perfect!
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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Little Carolers

Remember bread dough ornaments? Made these little guys the year our daughter was born in 1979. Still goofy but holding up well - like me!
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Friday, December 9, 2011


Each catalog order this month includes a little thank you gift. Here's a selection of some of the stamps you might get in your
package. These vintage stamps are from my discontinued line of wood mounted stamps. These date back to 1996. If you would like a chance to win them, make a comment on this blog entry before midnight on December 12 and you could be the proud owner of this
collection of little wooden appliances. Good Luck!
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Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas treats

Industrious candy making elves came to our house yesterday. Here is the fruit of their labor - yum!
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Sunday, December 4, 2011

November card making challenge

Here are the winning entries in our monthly card making challenge at my Yahoo group. This month the theme was giving thanks. The winners also had to meet the oblong size requirement. Congratulations to Hetty, Birgit and Katje. Your cards are magnificent!
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Friday, December 2, 2011

December card making challenge

The December card making challenge at my Yahoo group is not a card at all. Print out the triangle template below and decorated it any way you wish. Make a Christmas tree ornament or a gift box. At the end of the month three winners will be chosen and each will receive a swell prize. Good luck!

Ornament Template

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Star of Wonder Star of Light

Thanks for hopping by to see my holiday tag! My inspiration was the the Christmas carol "We Three Kings", one of my favorites. It's a simple tag with the focus squarely on the star. I painted the wispy streaks in the black sky with white acrylic paint using a dry brush technique. I stamped my small cloisonne star twice on silver cardstock using silver embossing powder. I cut the stars out and glued them together before adding them to the tag. The text was printed on my computer. I added the S from my alphabet set to complete the title. A sprinkling of lesser stars using a silver pearl pen and some silver gray ribbon completes the composition. Now hop on over to Joanna's blog to see her beautiful tag!
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Monday, November 21, 2011

November in SoCal

Looking through the palms and giant Bird of Paradise at the Liquid Amber tree nextdoor.
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011


One of Lily's first "solid" foods is a hit!
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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Stare Down

Here's Lilly and Stella having their morning stare down. Stella is just getting used to the idea of a mobile baby around the house.
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Thursday, November 3, 2011

October Card Challenge Winners!

Here are the winners of the October Card Challenge at EnjoyMichaelStrongStamps Yahoo Group. They are top, Celeste Weber, bottom left, JenniferWillis, bottom right, Laura Holm. Congratulations ladies on you terrific cards! Thanks to all who entered a card this month. I loved them all!
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Sunday, October 30, 2011

November Classes

Come take a fun and relaxing card making class in November. Lots of SoCal locations to choose from!

Saturday, November 5
Card making classes at Debra’s Cottage, Costa Mesa
Call for reservation  949 362-0697
10:30-12:30 Mike’s Pot Party! Make five different cards using Mike’s Cloisonné Pot stamp.
2:00-4:00 Holiday Ribbons & Rubber Make five gorgeous holiday cards featuring Mike’s
stamps and beautiful ribbons. (Ribbon will be available to purchase)

Monday, November 7
Card making classes at The Stamp Addict, San Diego
Call for reservation 619 667-5060
9:30-12:00 Flight of the Cranes (5 cards - Japanese designs)
2:00-4:00 same
6:00-8:00 same

Saturday, November 12
Card making classes at Stampin’ From The Heart, Culver City
Call for reservation  310 391-0466
10:30-12:30 Holiday Ribbons & Rubber
2:00-4:00 Mike’s Pot Party!

Tuesday, November 15
Card making classes at The Fallbrook Women’s Club, Fallbrook
Email Jane Bongiovanni for reservations
10:00-12:00 Mike’s Pot Party!
1:30-3:30 Holiday Ribbons & Rubber

Wednesday, November 16
Card making classes at Stamping Details, Poway
Call for reservation  858 513-8024
10:30-12:30 Holiday Ribbons & Rubber
1:30-3:30 same
6:00-8:00 same

Saturday, November 19
Card making classes at Scrap & Yap, Monrovia
Call for reservation 626 357-2727
10:30-12:30 Mike’s Pot Party!
1:30-3:30 Holiday Ribbons & Rubber

Wednesday, November 30
Card making classes at The Stamp Addict, San Diego
Call for reservation 619 667-5060
 10:00-12:00 All new Holiday Ribbons & Rubber2
2:00-4:00 same
6:00-8:00 same

Monday, October 17, 2011


I recently turned 61. I did not know it was a milestone birthday. My friends Betty, Kiko, Joyce, Pat and Patty educated me about the 61st birthday in Japanese culture. When a man turns 61 a celebration called Kanreki takes place. According to Japanese culture, it takes 60 years for a man to finish a cycle on Earth. The 60th birthday is the midpoint between two eras of one's life (editorial comment:woohoo!)
The birthday person wears a red vest and a red hat to symbolize childhood. In japanese, red is akai, so the celebrant becomes an aka-chan or baby beginning life all over again.
I want to thank you ladies for the beautiful card and for giving me a really good excuse for acting like a kid again!
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Blog Candy!

This past weekend was our second annual Creation Destination paper crafting event. We had so much fun! I thought it would be cool to share my leftovers. My teaching partner SuzieQ Ingram and I had four projects each. You can see mine in the picture. There are two patterned folded cards (iris folding), a Craft Notes Notebook and a Tabletop Photo Gallery. Just make a comment on this blog post for a chance to win all the kits and instructions. I will choose a winner randomly after I receive 100 comments. Good Luck!
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Monday, October 3, 2011

Left ear

Here's a picture of the stamp I used for the October challenge card. The image has been reversed for you so you can
add a left ear to the little monster.
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October Card Challenge

Here's a little inspiration for our card making challenge for this month. I used the four required colors, black, orange, purple and green to make my dentally challenged monster. Can you guess what MSRS I used? For his hair I cut very thin strips of cardstock and crumpled them in my hand before attaching them to the back of his head with double sided tape. I used Pearl Pens for his pupils and warts! BOO!
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Sunday, October 2, 2011

October Card Making Challenge

This month I am challenging our Yahoo Group ( to use only four colors in their card entries, Black, Orange, Green and Purple. The card can be a halloween theme or not and there is no requirement to use a MSRS, An awesome prize will be awarded to three entries. Good luck and be creative!Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 25, 2011

StempelMekka Make&Take

Hello Stampers,

Hetty here with a video of Mike giving one of his workshops. A complete description will follow soon with more detailed pictures.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stempel Mekka 2011

Here is a collage of pictures from the stamp convention in Hagen Germany last week.
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Monday, September 5, 2011

German Flag Challenge Winners!

Here are the three cards chosen for the August card making challenge which was based on the colors of the flag of Germany. Congratulations to Carla van de Mei-Stolk, Barbara Breen & Herma Fichte. Well done ladies!
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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Inspired by Tiffany & Co.


Making samples today. This one was inspired by the Tiffany Blue gift boxes.
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Thank you Kathie!

My friend Kathie McGuire graciously agreed to make sample cards for my booth at Stempel Mecca in Germany next month. Not only did she send 25 astonishingly beautiful cards, she also sent this charming wall hanging - complete with flowers! Thank you Kathie, you are the best!
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