Dec 31, 2007

Happy New Year's Eve

As the year winds to an end, it's always nice to step back and just reflect on the past year's high's and low's. This year has been wonderful in many ways- new challenges at work, lots of new friends made through stamping, my sons continuing progress in tennis and finding a great new set of coaches that click with his style.

Of course, there have also been low's- my father's continuing declining health, my daughter's own unique set of health issues and her taking time off from college, a crazy fall semester with two new computer systems that drove staff and students crazy....

Tonight I got the chance to stamp with my best buddy Kellie. We completed several sets of calendars- we didn't get to make any at the class on Saturday and just spend some time talking. Watch out- we've got lots of cool stuff planned for the next year!

Finally, I wanted to post some of the projects I made- alas, my camera has gone crazy. Hopefully tomorrow- new year- new camera??

What are your goals for the next year? What was your high point of the last year? Best memory?

Would love to hear your comments.

Dec 30, 2007

New Year's Challenge

I've been thinking about my blog a lot lately and reading several other stamping blogs. I'd like to make this site more exciting and useful to those who stop by. So my first goal for the new year is to offer a weekly challenge. The challenge will run from Sunday- Saturday. If you'd like me to post a sample of your work, just email me and I'll add it to the blog on Sunday when I recap the challenge. Of course, if no one plays, you will get to see my work :)

This week's challenge, since we are on the verge of a new year, is to create a card or layout using a new technique (new to you that is!).

The title of the Challenge is New Year- New Look.

Send a picture of your card to me and I'll post it for all to see. If I get enough participation each month, I'll also host a contest for the best from each challenge and share that on my SU website.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Do you like the idea of a weekly challenge? Is it something you would participate in? Would it be useful if I posed the whole month's worth of challenges at one time?

Dec 28, 2007

and Now for something completely different...

I decided to take a break from just about everything today--instead of stamping, working on the computer or cleaning, I took a day for "me". The big find of the day- an affordable massage. My friend Celeste recommended this to me and I had to check it out. Wow- it was worth the trip. I went to Massage Envy (turns out- this is a nationwide chain) and the massage was affordable and my therapist Michelle was wonderful.

Here's the cool part (and while it is a splurge for me, I figure it will be worth eating lunch at my desk a couple more times a month). They are a membership based program (kind of like a gym) - it's $49 a month but that also includes one massage a month - and if I want more, it's only $39 per hour.

I would recommend checking them out (and if you decide to become a member- if you mention my name- I get a free massage)- so I thank you in advance!!

Here's a link to their website - I had the relaxing massage but I believe the deep tissue will be better in the future.

Happy Relaxing!!

Dec 27, 2007

Calendar Class a Success

Just a quick post- the calendar class was a huge success. Everyone seemed to have a great time and we are already planning the Valentine's class and of course the new catty kickoff- more to come on that. I thought I'd share a couple of pictures from this evening. More tomorrow- time for bed now.

Poor Sharon, everytime she went to work on a page, we had already cleaned up the supplies! We finally got our act together :)

Mattie hard at work- that Crop-a-dile is too much fun

Here I'm showing Connie Sue how to do the Pearl Ex technique. We used paint brushes and Pearl Ex with Future Floor Wax to create beautiful butterflies and dragonflies for the month of April.

Clint won the "award" for best crab and quickest at assembling calendars

Dec 24, 2007

Straight No Chaser - 12 Days

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night!! This is really funny even if you don't celebrate Christmas. Enjoy!!!

And Now for Something Completely Different...

The cards have been finished, almost all the gifts have been completed and wrapped and the only thing left was to bake. Last night, my stamping table became the bake shop. My daughter (on the left) is a wonderful baker and made batches of Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip and Sugar Cookies. The sugar cookies turned out to be the most fun as we all ended up in a flour fight. You can see my two wonderful kids playing- wait til you see what they did to me! After we cleaned up, Andrea also made a pumpkin pie for my dad and tonight we'll have Oatmeal Raisin cookies.

Don't I look wonderful?

Here's the recipe for her Peanut Butter Cookies:

1/4 pound (1 stick butter)
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350 and grease cookie sheets Cream the butter and peanut butter together. Beat in the 2 sugars, then add the egg and the vanilla and mix well. Mix together the salt, baking soda, and flour and add to the first mixture. Combine thoroughly. Drop by spoonful on baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart. press each one flat with the bake of a fork. Bake about 7 minutes or until firm. Allow to cool slightly then move to cooling rack.

These are the best!

Dec 23, 2007

Calendar Class- December 27

All images copyright Stampin' Up 1997-2007

Just a quick reminder, Kellie and I will be hosting a Calendar class on Thursday Dec. 27. It's a drop in event- just a way to get everyone together after the holidays and craft with no pressure while also making a unique one of a kind calendar for yourself. We'll be providing all the supplies plus homemade soup, chili. dessert and drinks.

There's still time to RSVP- just leave a comment on the blog if you'd like to attend.

Doors open at 1:00 and everyone should be on their way home by 7:00.

Here's one of the pages we'll be making- I chose June to help you think warm thoughts...

12 Days of Christmas Days 7 and 8

This swap has been so much fun! I have not only been inspired by the talent and creativity, but I now have a list of new techniques I want to try in 2008! It's so good to want to learn new things and branch out of the everyday comfort zone.

Day 7 brought an adorable Christmas album with all the pages already created. One of my biggest complaints this year has been about my lack of time for scrapping- this will make that task easy. All I need to do is print my pictures and 2007 is in the book! I'll post the finished product after the holidays!

Day 8 was an altered CD ornament by Teresa. I really like how she used a variety of papers and textures to create a unique one of a kind holiday treasure. Notice the beading on the bottom? Very nice. I've already got this on display and think that Altered CD's will have to be a class very soon.

Dec 20, 2007

12 Days of Christmas Swap Days 5 and 6

I'm so glad that Teresa has been uploading pictures of all the great gifts on her blog, since I haven't had a chance to get a battery for my camera yet, I've been borrowing her pics. Two more great gifts in the last two days.

Yesterday was an adorable Christmas tree ornament. It looks like it is made from felt with decorations and a Lovely saying.

Todays was another domino pin (I have got to learn how to do these!). This pin was all done up in red with the cutest little Santa.

I'm so pleased to have been invited to play in this swap. A very talented bunch of ladies!

Now that we are half way through the 12 Days, I'd love to hear which item has been your favorite so far. Please leave a comment and I'll also pass it on to the items designer.

Dec 19, 2007

What's your Elf Name?

Your Elf Name Is...

Happy Helper

New Catty is HERE!

Just wanted to take a short break and let you know that the NEW spring/summer Idea book from SU arrived at my doorstop yesterday! Wow, you are going to love this one. I'm not sure what I want to play with first (when my preview order arrives). The new papers are awesome and the new stamp sets are right up my alley. Although I'm not a big flower fan- I can't wait to order the felt flowers - I see lots of possibilities with that.

Also, there are two specials in January- the first is for a Valentine bundle- (hint: we'll be using this at my Valentine's class at the end of Jan.) and the second is a great reason to host your own workshop (HINT HINT!)-- each $350 workshop in January not only gives the hostess regular hostess credit BUT you can also pick any one stamp set from the catalog for FREE!!! (why don't you look at your calendar and pick a date- we'll make a few cards, have some fun and...

12 Days of Christmas Swap - Day 4

Received the cutest little gift for Day 4 yesterday. Believe it or not, this is a post it note pad holder with a place for a pen (on top). Since I never have anything to write on when I'm at the computer and the cats always steal my pen. This will be perfect.

The holder is made out of fabric with gold trim across the top. The entire thing is closed by a strip of velcro across the top (hmmm, if I could only velcro my cat when he tries to steal my pen...). I'm already getting ideas for next year's gifts.

Dec 17, 2007

12 Days of Christmas Day 3

Here's a sample of one of the neat pins that was sent for the 12 Days of Christmas swap. I'll post mine as soon as I get new batteries for my camera.

If you would like to see more pictures, just wander over to the Altered Art blog.

I'm not sure of the exact technique, but the pin was made using a domino. Mine is gorgeous!

Dec 16, 2007

Holiday Project- Stamped Tile

Again, the picture doesn't do this justice. I was working on some last minute Christmas gifts and found some leftover ceramic tiles that I had used for a stamp camp earlier this year.

I pulled out my Flaky Friends set (so sorry to see them retiring!)- grabbed my black stazon and some sharpies and here's what I created.

After stamping and letting the ink dry, I popped the tiles in the oven at 200 F for about 7 minutes to set the ink.

Total time to complete the project was about 15 minutes (including coloring and baking).

Copyright Stampin' Up 1997-2007

12 Days of Christmas - Day 2

My picture does NOT do this beautiful notebook justice. It's a perfect mini notebook to keep in my purse to jot down random thoughts or capture the moment in words.

It is covered with a beautiful green paper, with LOVE in gold across the front and then assorted other papers added.

The creator was Pat Mills.

Dec 15, 2007

12 Days of Christmas Swap

I had the best time making the Santa Popcorn holders for the 12 Days of Christmas swap that I participated in. The swap was hosted by Teresa Pillow (another member of the TNStampers group). She was short a few players and asked for volunteers.

I won't include a picture of today's item (you can see it on this blog) but If you want to see all the great gifts from the 3 Swaps Teresa hosted, check out her Altered Art blog.

I'll be sure to share each of the treasures with you as I unwrap them.

Dec 14, 2007

December COTM

Things have finally started slowing down a bit and I've actually been busy stamping. With any luck, I'll even have my holiday cards in the mail by next weekend!

Here's a picture of the card I sent to my TNStampers COTM partner. All items are SU- this simple but elegant card started with the image embossed with Gold EP, layered on Bravo Burgundy with a Burgundy ribbon. This is layered on the wonderful Gold textured paper and finished by layering on white.

Hope you enjoy. Watch tomorrow for a sneak peek of one of the Calendar pages that Kellie and I will be doing for our Calendar class on Dec. 27.

Dec 13, 2007

Cookie Exchange

We had our 3rd annual Cookie Exchange today. Here's some of the group- if you look very closely, I'm the one hiding in the back next to Kellie.

We invited 3 of the "guys" to judge and they had fun. Cookies were judged in two categories, taste and display. Sadly, I didn't win either category. But it was still fun.

My container was created using a small take out box, then stamped with a retired SU set (one side had a wreath and the other a snowglobe). Here's the wreath side.

Dec 12, 2007

Brown and Orange Swap

Earlier this fall, before my dad got sick, I hosted a Brown/Orange swap. The only rules were Brown and Orange had to be incorporated into the card. Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures of all the cards received, however, I did remember to photograph 4 of them. The two cards showcased today were created by the extremely talented Susan Brandt. Be sure to visit her website to see samples of her watercolors. The top card has a paperpieced turkey as the focal point with hemp for emphasis. The bottom card also uses a paper piecing technique and matching fiber to highlight the colors. More cards tomorrow.

Dec 11, 2007

Cookie Time

Okay, so it's nearly 70 degree's outside and the middle of December. Now, I don't mind the fact that I'm not stuck in an ice storm like my friends back home in the Midwest but the thought of baking just isn't doing it for me right now LOL-- anyway, I've got to come up with cookies for a cookie swap at work on Thursday and thought these tempting little morsels would be just fine. No need to worry about how they look, no need to heat up the house with the oven and they are chocolate!!

Here's the recipe in case you want to try some, too.

  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

In a sauce pan placed over medium heat, combine the butter, milk and sugar. Stir well until the butter is melted and bring to a light boil.

Add the chocolate chips and rolled oats. Mix until the chocolate chips melt, combine with the sugar and coat the oats. Add the vanilla and stir.

Using a tablespoon, scoop up some of the batter and drop onto wax or parchment paper. Allow to cool. You can refrigerate to speed up the solidification.

Makes 2 1/2 to 3 dozen cookies

I found this copy of the recipe at The Accidental Hedonist site, although I have a copy of it in several cookbooks, too.

Dec 10, 2007

Winter Wonderland Card

All images copyright Stampin' Up 1997-2008

I apologize for the flash splotch in the middle of the card- I'll see if I can re-do this photo but I wnated to get something up for you in case you haven't started your holiday cards yet.

This is a simple card to make, but offers a touch of elegance for any occasion. All products are Stampin' Up. The images are from the "Lovely as a Tree" set. They are stamped on Glossy White (I used photo paper) using black Stazon. After allowing the Stazon to dry, I used a masking technique to cover the bottom portion of the card to retain the white "snow" bottom and then used my brayer to brayer the top of the card. Apply several layers of ink until you acheive the color you want. Then use a corner punch for two layers and mount the cards. For a finishing touch, I used a little 2 way glue and dazzling diamonds.

I think this is one of my favorites so far.

Dec 9, 2007

December COTM

I am a member of the TennesseeStampers online group (although lately- due to family circumstances, I haven't been very active). I wanted to share this delightful holiday card I received from my COTM partner for December. Don't you love the attitude!

Look at these Great Cards

Finally, I'm beginning to feel the holiday spirit. I wanted to share a few of my favorite cards from the Christmas swap I just finished hosting. While SU stamps were encouraged, participants could use any Christmas theme. This card looks even better in person, with the assorted shiny threads and the contrast of colors and textures. Susan B. was the designer of this one. You might want to check out her blog, too for more great art ideas.

The picture doesn't do this card justice either. Steph created a wonderful shaker card. When you have the card in your hand, it feels like you could be playing with a snow globe. For a tutorial on making shaker cards look here.

Kellie's card is a great sample for how to make a quick, easy card for those last minute, mass production nights. If you haven't started making your cards yet, you may want to consider this. Using the Letterpress stamp set from SU and some gold cord, you can make several of these in one night.

There is still time to order from Stampin' Up for those last minute holiday gifts and cards. And don't forget, the retired list is here, too.

Dec 7, 2007

New Update

Just a very quick update on my dad's condition. He has decided that surgery is not worth the risk and has decided to forgo the operation. This means that he will most likely die from the gangrene that is setting in. We are hoping that he will at least make it to Christmas --if you don't mind, please keep our family in your thoughts as we work through this.

Quick Holiday Idea- Make Your Own Wrapping Paper

Why spend lots of dollars on store bought wrapping paper when you have almost everything you need right at hand.

Here's a quick fun way to make your own wrapping paper-

  • Purchase a roll of plain paper
  • Use a jumbo wheel (some great options in the catalog) and with the retiring list out- get them now while you can
  • Use a basic ink
  • Roll the wheel over the paper
  • Finished!
This is also a great way to get little hands involved in the process- you could even let the roll their own paper and then color it in.

Dec 6, 2007

Quick Dad update

Just a quick update- I'll be scanning a few of the swap cards in tonight when I get home so watch for some fun ideas.

As for Dad, the saga continues. We met with the cardio/thoracic surgeon yesterday- the news was not promising. At the very least, Dad will have most of his right leg amputated. In addition, he may need to have additional by-pass surgery to open up the stent in his leg - right now he has almost 0% blood flow in either leg. The Gangrene seems to be stable at the moment but surgery needs to occur within the next few weeks.

I'll have more later.

Dec 3, 2007

Will I Ever Get to Stamp? Hmm...

Well, so much for stamping this weekend, although I was able to work on the Holiday Helper newsletter a bit more. Be sure to check your email for all kinds of fun projects. Hopefully tonight I will bet a chance to stamp!

This weekend turned into Sick Bay at our house- first the cat got sick (for those of you who have been over- it was Princess- the large calico)- she had a fever of 105 and may be diabetic. We've been joking that she and my dad can run around in wheelchairs together if she ever needs surgery!

Then Amadeus got really sick this weekend at his tournament- stomach bug and a nosebleed that wouldn't stop! He ended up mildlly dehydrated, no tennis for 3 days and the worst part was he had to default his match when he was 2 points from winning....sigh.. Oh well- tonight I shall stamp!

Six Flags- Cards for the Troops and a Chance to Earn Free tickets

Calling all stampers- this is a great way to show your appreciation to those serving our country and possibly win some free tickets to Six Flags, too.

Six Flags is doing a Salute to our Troops AND giving you a chance to win
tickets to Six Flags! How awesome is that?
"Holiday cards, letters and homemade notes are all welcome and creativity is
encouraged! Please be sure to keep your
messages positive and non-political. The letters should be uplifting and
express your appreciation for their service and
heartfelt wishes for a joyous holiday."

Mail all cards to the following address by December 19, 2007. Cards will
be delivered to the troops by December 25.

* Mailing Address:
* Salute To Our Troops
Six Flags, Inc.
1540 Broadway
15th Floor
NY, NY 10036

Complete info here: