Sunday, August 8, 2010

After Photos - Kitchen!

I forgot I'd promised to show you the kitchen after I'd personalized it!

I'm SO HAPPY with my new kitchen. NOW - don't think just because I got a new kitchen that I'm going to turn into a Julia Childs! While she was one of my mom's heros, I've never been that drawn to cooking.

Not that I can't, but it's not on the top of my "I want to do that" list. My mom loved to experiment in the kitchen. As kids, my brother and I were FORCED to try new foods almost every day. And we HAD to eat at least three bites of everything on our plates. There were times when I sat at that table for a LONG TIME after everyone else got to leave. It was pure torture, living at our house, I tell ya!

Anyway, I digress. Here are some photos for your entertainment.

Here's the "sterile" version...

And here's the more personalized kitchen that we're living in these days.

Oh, and I can't forget to share with you a couple photos of The Kidz as I unpacked the cherry items for the tops of the cabinets! They couldn't figure out WHAT was going on, but, of course, they had to check it out!

One of these days I'll remember to take photos of both bathrooms, now that they're finished, so I can share those with you as well.

Hope you've been using those stamps. I promise, I'll get some stampin' samples posted on here soon!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Temple

The Temple was a busy place for weddings while we were there. We saw at least two different brides making their way to the door while we strolled around.

While we were there, Utahns (?) were getting ready to celebrate Pioneer Days - the day they became a state. There is a parade each year, and I took photos of some of the floats, which I will share with you soon.

I'm assuming it's considered good luck to get married around Pioneer Days, and that's why there was a "rush" of weddings - but I could be wrong!

Anyway, I watched this couple getting ready to pose for their photographer and their precious wedding photos, and I just KNEW the bride was going to fall into the pool. What do you think? Did she get that beautiful dress wet?

I don't really know the answer to my question - I was on the other side of the pool, using my telephoto lens, and was just happy I got a half-way decent photo!

The sun was setting, so lighting was a bit of a problem. I've touched up this photo below (and maybe I shouldn't have! Not the best photo of me I've ever had taken) because it was past sunset when Susan took it. I'm sure her camera captured a much better one, but I forgot to ask her to email it to me, so this one will have to do.

That's the temple in the background. Quite a striking building, isn't it?

I'm glad we took the time to see some of Salt Lake while there this year. We had to give up some Convention time in order to do it, but it was a nice break for us.

Want to go to Stampin' Up! annual Convention? Join my 'we StAMp everything' team and you'l be invited!

We have so much fun while we're there!

Thanks for stoppin' by...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Salt Lake City

Our Stampin' Up! conventions are held most years in Salt Lake City, UT. I've been there numerous times, and most of the time, we're so busy with swaps, and classes and just chit-chatting, that I don't even go anywhere except our hotel and the convention center.

But this year, after a particularly excellent (but very filling) meal, Susan and I decided we needed to walk some of it off. Our hotel is right across the street from the Temple, and someone told us the gardens there were very lovely.

So, we decided to take a stroll and check it out. And they were correct!

This little guy was having a wonderful time running around and ran for this pool as I stood there taking pix of the flowers - so I asked his mom to pose with him for me.

And here's a closer view of the pool itself

Isn't it lovely, too?

More photos of the Temple grounds to follow - wait til you see the hollyhocks they grow there!

Hope you're stampin'! Call me if you want a stampin' buddy!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

More Sweet Shoppe Photos

I still have lots of photos of The Sweet Shoppe display to share with you, so without further ado...

Aren't these cookies yummy looking?

And how about these strawberries!!?

They look good enough to eat, too!

Candy! All made with dowel rods, card stock and ribbon!

In the background, you can see that they've also filled little dessert dishes with brads, buttons and other bling - all color coordinated!

There was a display for each of our Core Colors - that's FORTY different displays!

And, finally (for tonight at least) some candy bars -- there actually WERE candy bars inside these lovely items!

I would love to teach you how to make some of these beautiful things - think of how lovely they'd be as a centerpiece for a Thanksgiving or Christmas party!

Call me to book a workshop, and I'll be happy to show you those that I've figured out (or SU has given us directions for).

In the meantime, STAMP SOMETHING! And have fun while you're doin' it!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

WOW Great Hostess Bennies During August!

Stampin' Up! has announced some awesome Hostess benefits for $350 (or greater!) workshops that close by August 31, 2010!


So, dig out that catalog (you don't HAVE one, you say? Well, give me a holler and I'd be happy to get you one!) and gather your friends - and get enough orders for that $350 workshop!

Or better yet, give me a call and let me come to your house with my goodies and we can PLAY! You, as Hostess, will earn those freebies for that $350 workshop and we'll all have fun in the meantime!


Convention has come and gone. I always get so pumped while there and want to try EVERYTHING I hear about - but then I get home and reality sets in, and I realize I need to focus on one or two items and not try to do it all!

I'd love to get back in touch with you again, if you've been a customer in the past - give me a call! I'll be trying to reach you, too, so if you get a voice mail from me, I hope you'll take the time to get back with me so we can catch up.

I'll be sending out some RAK cards, too. What's an RAK card, you ask? It's a Random Act of Kindness card. I've been busily creating some with new stamp sets and inks and papers and will be mailing some out soon. Watch your mailbox - maybe you'll be one of the lucky ones!

How about a few photos from convention?

There was one exhibit this year that just knocked my sox off! It was called "The Sweet Shoppe" and it was GORGEOUS!

I know my photos aren't going to do it justice, but here are just a few to whet your appetite...

This is one of the displays - there were about 10 of them and each and every one of them was just breathtaking!

I happened to be there during a class (shh - don't tell anyone, but it was right after lunch and I just couldn't sit in that chair and stay awake anymore! LOL)

So, Susan and I stopped by The Sweet Shoppe when it wasn't so crowded.

Here are a few of the items in a closer view. Remember, EVERYTHING was made with Stampin' Up! products!

Don't these look good enough to eat?

I'll show a few of the trays in a closer view, so you can get a better idea of how the items were made.

I'm hoping SU will post some directions for us on specifically how they made some of the items - helps me not have to think so hard! he he

Don't these look good enough to eat?

The tray of brown 'candies' actually consists of boxes made with cardstock and decorated with buttons, ribbons, and other bling. Notice the ribbon roses on the top of one of the boxes? I do know how to make those...

And those cupcakes are VERY sparkly! Lots of glitter used on those!

There was so much detail to each and every one of these displays. I asked one of the Helpers how long it had taken to get this display ready and she told me a couple of months... There must have been a TON of people working on it for that length of time. Everywhere you turned, there was something more beautiful than the place you'd turned from!

These boxes were some of my favorites:

Aren't they gorgeous? Wish I'd been able to get closer. They, too, were very sparkly - lots of glitter - and used the new Elegant Lines embossing folder. Mine's on it's way - I hope to have it in my grubby little paws by Friday!

Then I'll try to duplicate these - and I'm sure my attempt will fall short of the magnificence of these.

I'll post more photos of the items from The Sweet Shoppe soon...

I haven't been WOWWED by much at convention in a long time (I've gone to 21, so it takes some doing!), but this display certainly did it this year!

What have YOU been stamping lately? When would you like me to come do a workshop for you? Let me know!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cutest Owls!

One of my down line, Maura, showed me the cutest diorama card she's made using our new owl punch! I thought I would share these while I get all my photos from Convention uploaded, polished up, and sorted before starting to post them.

This is the card closed so you can mail it.

This is card opened up all the way.

This is the card sitting in a diorama position.

Isn't this cute! Want to make one yourself?

If you'd like instructions for making this card, leave me a comment and I'll be happy to oblige!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Yeh, I Know...

...that I haven't posted here in FOREVER! I apologize! Been busy pulling the kitchen back together, getting ready for my 21st (!) Annual Stampin' Up! Open House (it was Saturday - you missed it! Sorry!), and getting ready to go to Convention in Salt Lake.

I'll be back on Sunday, hopefully with a lot of enthusiasm, and LOTS of swap cards to share with you going forward.

And, HOPEFULLY, I'll find my stampin' MOJO while I'm there, too...

It's been a very non-creative three months since the house remodeling started - didn't think it would affect my stampin', but by the end of the day I was exhausted from having to make all those decisions!

If you know me, you know making decisions is not my forte! I'm a Libra, and I can always come up with a "yeh, BUT..." for any situation! LOL

Anyway, thanks for stopping by to see what I've been up to - and please come back in a couple of days! I'll be working on getting this blog cleaned up as soon as I get back from Convention - heck, I might even have the new catalog posted soon! LOL

Dig out those stamps and get to stampin' something' while I'm gone ! Then post a link to it in the Comments section... I LOVE COMMENTS!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

You Want to see something NEW, you say?

OK - here are a few cards we made at our Team meeting last month. The requirement was for anything that wasn't being discontinued! I think you'll see we all got some Sneak Peek items and couldn't WAIT to share them with each other!

Lynette's card:

It's Bright and Cheery, isn't it! She used flowers from Vintage Vogue, and Mambo Melon, Tempting Turquoise, and So Saffron CS. Scallop Border and circle punches added some dimension, as did the Bling.


The card base is Sahara Sand. She used the Square Lattice Embossing folder on the Espresso back ground piece, then layered Sahara Sand and Very Vanilla pieces. The stamp set is Studio Sketches. A little color ( Cherry Cobbler and Daffodil Delight) was daubed onto the pear to give it some contrast.

The greeting is from Teeny Tiny Wishes.

Natalie's card:

Early Espresso CS forms the base. After stamping Artistic Etchings stamp set on to Crumb Cake (formerly Kraft) CS with Rich Razzleberry and Early Espresso inks, it was run through the Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder.

The Eiffel Tower and crown combination was stamped on Very Vanilla paper, then embellished with stamps using Crumb Cake ink.

After everything was layered, the card was sprayed with the Log Cabin Smoosh.

And finally, my contribution:

I've fallen in love with Peach Parfait and Pear Pizazz "In" colors!

I used the Peach Parfait for card base, stamping the pineapple stamp with Versamark for a tone on tone effect.

I layered Greenhouse Gala DSP over Pear Pizazz and tricked it out with some of the new 1/8" taffeta in Marina Mist.

Then I stamped the pineapple image from Studio Sketches set and punched it out using the new 2-3/8 Scallop Circle punch. Sponged the edges with Chocolate Chip.

The greeting was made with a scrap of Pear Pizazz, run thru the scallop border punch, and stamped with "because I care" from the Hostess set of the same name.


I'm also LOVIN' the new catalog! Don't have yours yet? Come to my OPEN HOUSE next Saturday, July 17th between 11 AM and 3 PM and pick one up!

I'll have some Make & Takes using new product, new catalogs, door prizes, and munchies!

If you'd like to join my Stamp Clubs this year, that will be the first meeting for the year 2010-2011, as well. If you'd like to get a LOT of stuff, but have a budget to spend, try joining Stamp Club!

Minimum order is $25/month and you'll get to be Hostess one month out of the next 12 and receive all the benefits!

Meetings are the Third Saturday of each month at 10 AM here at my place.

Want to join, but can't attend the Open House? No problem! Get me at least a $25 order AND the commitment to belong to the club all year, and your name will be thrown in the hat to be the Mystery Hostess for July!

Thanks for stopping by - don't forget to put my Open House on your calendar. RSVP's encouraged!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

It's me - I'm Back!

Hey everyone - long time no post, huh?

Been a busy month around the ole homestead - remodeling!

If you remember, Dr. Destructo has, to date, remodeled the guest bath, replaced the patio and its cover.

During the past month, he's also totally gutted the master bath, due to massive mold, and rebuilt it! Here are some photos:

Here's the guts - down to the studs.

And here are the end results. I LOVE my new shower - the decorative strip is quite beautiful and the showerhead is amazing!

I never seem to remember to take photos once everything's back in place, so you never get to see the finished results - meaning AFTER the shower curtain and other curtains are in place!

I'll try to do that one of these days and let you see both bathrooms - finished!

After destroying (and rebuilding!) the master bath, it was time to move on to the kitchen.

So, Dr. Destructo struck again - pretty much took this room down to the studs, too - especially behind the cabinets, since he had to re-route water lines and electrical fixtures.

Here are some Before photos:

I'd already started taking things down and washing them before thinking thinking to take these photos.

Notice the overflowing cupboards, shelves, and other flat spaces!

Lots to clear out before Dr. Destructo could even begin, wouldn't you say?

And here's my friend, Karen. She came over and helped me unpack all those cupboards and cabinets and box everything up to be stored in the POD out in the driveway until the reconstruction could be accomplished.

She did a great job, too - marked the boxes well, so that during the whole thing, I was able to find the few things I needed.

The whole process took an amazing three weeks!

That's wonderful! I've known folks (my parents included) who've slaved over remodeling a single room for YEARS!

Dr. Destructo can tear it apart quickly - but he's pretty awesome at putting it all back together pretty quickly, too!

Everything in cabinets/cupboards came from IKEA. They were great to work with, considering we forgot cabinets, didn't get piece parts, had to go back for replacement pieces, etc. Normal remodeling woes, I'm sure, but since I've never done such a thing before, got to be a little frustrating and draining for me. Thank goodness Dr. Destructo was more calm, cool, and collected...

And Home Depot - another place that saved my bacon more than once... In many ways, it's good they're so close to the house - and in many ways, it's not - made it almost too easy to run over there for something or other at least once a day!

One day I went back five times and commented to the clerk that it was trip #5. He told me I wasn't even close to the record! When I asked what that was, he told me EIGHT TIMES! I'd have had to really control myself if I'd had to go that many times in one day.

In the middle of the master bathroom and kitchen constructions, Dr. Destructo also got to deal with replacing the hot water tank (not on his list of things to do!) and fix a water leak in the attic (also not on his list!). But he never lost his cool, even though both events threw his self imposed schedule of by at least two days.

He had a reason to get the jobs done by July 1st - he was starting a "real" job that day, and didn't want to leave me hanging re: getting everything pulled back together again.

But let's move on to the "AFTER" photos, shall we?

So, without further ado, here are the construction photos:

The poor cats' food and water dishes got moved twice a day. During the day, they all hid in the garage, so I'd take everything out there for them.

And then at night, I'd try to make us a "home" in the kitchen, no matter where it was in the process - so their dishes were in a different place every day it seemed. They were OK with it, though. And they got to do "inspection duty" every evening, making sure things were going as planned.

And here's the finished product - minus the things that will make it personal, of course. It's turned out to be BEAUTIFUL! And I've even still got two empty drawers to fill! And trust me, I'll have no problem doing that!

Isn't it GORGEOUS?!!? I particularly like the big country kitchen sink. It's huge and deep!

I decided we'd (Karen helped me unpack everything, too) bring in the essentials and find places for them before bringing back the cherry items that used to sit on the various shelves. So,the rest of the personalizing items will be put up slowly. And the back splash still needs to be done.

Found something I REALLY liked for that, but it wasn't going to fit, so I'm working on Plan B. That will get done later - probably August some time, assuming I can get my idea to the stage where it's ready to be installed. I'll tell you more about that as I work thru it.

Anyway, I hope you didn't all give up on me - I just didn't have the time nor energy to post while all this activity was going on. But I'm back now, and have some card ideas to share with you in my next post!

Thanks for dropping by to share my giddiness with me! Leave me a comment - what do you think?

Friday, May 28, 2010


This is the cattelaya orchid that is the ONLY orchid I've ever been able to grow in the house.

It blooms once a year these days, but when I first bought it about 10 years ago, it was blooming when I bought it and then didn't bloom for about 5 years.

Turned out, it wasn't getting enough light! I had a big ole ash tree in the backyard, directly behind the kitchen that was blocking enough light that this poor thing never bloomed.

I ALMOST threw it away. Then I had to have the tree removed (it was HUGE, and the roots were cracking the patio slab). And wouldn't you know it - the orchid bloomed that year!

I learned, after some research, that one of the reasons people think orchids are hard to grow (they're not) is because you have to figure out the light level and humidity --- well, this one sits right above the kitchen sink, so obviously, it's happy with the humidity.

The other advantage it has is that it IS right above the kitchen sink, and because it's right there in front of me, it gets more attention (i.e., water!).

I have a couple other cattelaya orchids on the patio - they bloom intermittently. This year the brown/red one bloomed, but the other one never did..

I also have some cymbidium orchids - you know, the ones they use tons of for the Rose Parade floats. They, too are pretty easy - but I found out they don't like direct sun.

Another instance where it didn't bloom until I put it in filtered shade - gee, just like where they live naturally! Whoda thunk?

Here's another plant that I have above my kitchen sink. It's a hoya, and is being grown hydroponically.

This is a cutting from a friend's mother's plant - it's about 20 years old.

It doesn't bloom all the time either. But this year, I happened to notice the bloom and took some pix.

Notice the "dew" dripping from the flowers? I'm told that attracts bees and hummingbirds out in the wild.

I really don't have anything stamped to show you tonight. I've been making the Thank You ATCs that I put in the Stamp Club orders each month, but that's ALL the stamping I've done lately.

This weekend I'll be going to my friend Roxy's in Nevada so I spent a little time tonight gathering up supplies so I can show her (if she hasn't already seen them) both the Black Magic and burnishing techniques.

She's a stamper, too, so we always try to have something to share with each other when we get together. I'll be sure to show you what I learn from her, OK?

The master bathroom is coming along nicely.

"Dr Destructo", as I call him, has completely gutted the bathroom, and has pretty much put it back together this week.

Tomorrow he starts mudding the new dry wall. Then on to installing the tile, painting, putting down the floor, etc.

Stay tuned for before and after photos, hopefully next week!

Have yourselves a happy and SAFE Memorial Day weekend!

Stamp a little!