Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Velvet sitting on the settee in the back yard.  She looks a lot like Grumpy Cat, doesn't she?  Notice the one white whisker on the right?

I had a Friend request the other day from an old school mate of mine from University of Phoenix  (hi Katrina!).  What a pleasant surprise!

Now, that's probably an every day occurrence for you, if you're on Facebook.  And while I get a number of Friend requests, this one was special.

First of all, Katrina lives (I think!) in the UK.  She lived here in the U.S. when I met her, and we spent many an hour in classes and study groups, so I had the opportunity to get to know her fairly well.

But the best part of getting to know Katrina was that she had a purebred black Persian cat.  If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know my cats are my Kidz.

Katrina's cat got out one day when she was in heat, and as a result, there was a litter of 6 or 7 kittens born.  All but one were black, like Mom.  The outlier was gray. 

I had just lost my black Persian cat of 22 years, Dusto, so when the kittens were born, I told Katrina I'd take one of them, as long as they didn't have the smished in face that's indicative of purebred Persians.  As it turned out, they didn't.

So, for my birthday that year (1998), I got Velvet!

I don't have any digital photos of her when she was that small, but over the years, I've taken a number of them.  After cats get to the age of about 2, they're pretty boring photo ops...  They tend to just sit still, OR, move at such high rates of speed that it's difficult to get a good picture.

So, just for you, Katrina, here are some photos of Velvet in the past 5-6 years!

On the patio.
Sitting in the backyard - must be spring - there's green grass growing!
Another one where she looks like Grumpy Cat.  Must be winter - she's got a LOT of fur!

Out in my Stampin' Garage.
Another in the Stampin' Garage. Another Grumpy Cat look.
Out on the patio, enjoying herself.

Checking out the patio furniture pads, just before they were replaced with some newer, prettier ones.

In the hallway, with her younger brother (Smedley - gray) and sister (Smudge - black).  A rare photo when I can get them all to sit still at the same time!

 Velvet's still my favorite (but don't tell the other two!) and the smallest of the lot.  She weighs about 6 pounds...  Her sister, Smudge, on the other hand weighs about 13 pounds!

One of these days, I'll feature Smedley (AKA Melie) and Smudge (AKA Mudge) with their own posts, but for today, Velvet gets to be the star!

Thanks for indulging me in my trip down memory lane with Velvet.  She's been a joy to have in my life!

Come back soon!

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Stampin' Up!'s convention this year celebrated 25 years of FUN!  I've been a demonstrator since 1991, so I've been able to celebrate over 23 years with them.  And it's been FUN, FUN, FUN!

In my last post, I shared the beginnings of my SU journey with you - I still have more pix from my This & That "Stampin' Up! Journey" to share with you, but in today's posts I wanted to bring back memories that MANY of you can share with me - some of our STAMPS!

There was a display at convention that showed ALL the covers from our 25 catalogs, along with photos of Shelli & Family, AND, STAMPS!  I did not take the time to photo the covers, since I have most of them - but I WISH I'd photographed the first catalog - it's the only one I don't still have.  I threw it away!  NOOOOOOO --- yes.  Still kicking myself for that one!

So, here are the stamps that they had in the display. What do you think?  How many of these stamps do YOU remember?

Bow Wow - my favorite dog stamp EVER!

BUTTON BEAR!  We had him around for a very long time...

Don't remember the name of the set, but I do remember the gecko!

Another one I don't remember the name of, but I did love this stamp!

Think this one was called Prancer.  He was a very cool stamp to use on Christmas cards, since he was so simple!

We had three different sets in this style, and I still have all three of them! Most of the sets featured women.

Stella Stamper!  Still have her and her accompanying pieces and parts.  I have one DL who asks me EVERY YEAR if I'm going to sell her - NO WAY! She's going with me when I leave this earth! Ha ha.

This one's fairly recent, but I still love it!

This was Dee Greunig in caricature.  She demonstrated at our first conventions.  What a creative soul!  I learned a LOT about stamping from her.

The TRUCK!  I was amazed at how many of my customers purchased this, who I'd have NEVER thought would be interested in it.
Loved this gardening image - you could color or just leave as it is.

Another favorite Christmas image - but it was also good for later in the winter.

The HEDGEHOGS!  Always loved them - they were so cute!  We need them back, don't you think?

Another garden vignette - this one was fun to color!  I think it was one of our first single stamps after we went exclusive.

Our stained glass set.  This was my favorite from the set.  So pretty when stamped on vellum and colored on the reverse side, then added as a window to the card.

Another garden image.  I used this one quite a bit, as well.

So - what did you think of our trip down Memory Lane?  How many of these stamps did YOU have?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

Thanks for stopping by - come back soon!

Monday, June 3, 2013

My Stampin' Up! Journey

If you've followed me for any length of time, you know I've been a Stampin' Up! demonstrator for a LOOOONNNGGG time - I started on January 31, 1991!

Over the years, as I've sorted thru the "stuff" I've accummulated,  I've saved a few things (ahem!), with the idea of making a scrapbook for all of it at some point in time...

When I got my This & That Bundle in April, (it came with the Designer Series Paper, the die cut adhesives, the MDS download, and the date stamp)  I decided THIS would be my scrap book, documenting my Stampin' Up! Journey.

Here's the cover... I used quite a few of the elements from  MDS for it.  The cool thing about MDS is that you can CHANGE THE SIZE of the item, and then print it out on your computer.  

I struggled with the "JOURNEY" portion - I originally had it the size it prints and filled in the letters in a size 12 font.  After I adhered it to the front, I decided it was way too small!  So, back to the drawing board...  This time I enlarged the pennants and used something like a 24 font.  I'm happier with it now.

I also covered some of the cover with DSP,  then added the "True Story" and the "Rewind" items printed out much larger than the sticker versions.

Then I used the Top Note punch from MDS, enlarged it, and filled it with Calypso Coral CS.   I added some verbiage, printed it and hand cut it.  It was too large to use the matching framelit...

I have, at this point, left the inside two pages blank, choosing instead to go to the page AFTER the pocket (love those pockets!  They'll be stuffed soon!).

A few years ago, I sat down and wrote out "my story" for another event, so I just copied and pasted it into a page in MDS.  I used the Calypso Coral CS as the background, lightening the opacity of it, since I knew it would readily match all the pages in the smash book, which meant I could plop it down on any of the pages with little worry... 

Notice the difference in hue between Calypso Coral on this page versus how it looked on my cover?  That's another cool thing about MDS  - you can lighten almost everything to give it a somewhat "washed out" look, if you're of a mind to...


These two pages are photos of one of the first Conventions I attended as a demonstrator.  If you look closely, there's Shelli on the left side of the lefthand photo, with LaVonne right beside her.  There are several people in this picture that are still SU demonstrators, as well! I can pick out Carol Bartle, and Denise Jorgenson for sure.  I guess we could consider ourselves "lifers"!  LOL

Shelli's also on the left of the the topmost photo on the right, along with LaVonne and someone I don't know. And in the bottom photo, there are Shelli & LaVonne again. 

While there's always a theme for convention, back in those days the themes were geared more to fantasy - the theme for this convention was "At The Hop".  We were all encouraged to dress up to fit the theme - and a lot of people did.  Made it a lot of fun.

Of course, there were a lot FEWER people at convention in those days!  I think there might have been 100-150 people at the first one I attended in 1991.  And I knew none of them!  "At The Hop" was held in 1994, so I'm sure we had about 300 people there by then. 

In the beginning of my journey, all conventions were held in Las Vegas, since Shelli & LaVonne lived in Boulder City, NV at the time.  I sure do miss going to Vegas for convention every year these days!  Maybe one year soon, we'll get to return...

Have you gotten the This & That smash books and all the goodies?  If you have, what are you doing with yours?  Inquiring minds want to know...

I'll show you more of My SU Journey next time, so be sure to come back and visit!

Thanks for stopping by...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

SPRING in Salt Lake...

Aren't they beautiful!!?  In Pennsylvania, we call this bush Forsythia.  Apparently, in North Carolina, however, they're called yellow bell bushes.  At least according to Sharon and Karen...

Patti, Sharon, Karen and I attended the Regional in Salt Lake last weekend.  We got to see the new catalog AND purchase items from the Sneak Peek!

The Regional was great, as always - and was held in the picking area of Stampin' Up!s Distribution center - what fun!

We had Shelli all to ourselves!  All 375 of us...

And what are we celebrating thoughout 2013?

Yep, making a difference for 25 years!

I can vouch for Stampin' Up!'s having made a difference in MY life!  It's been a creative journey I would never have imagined for myself 23 years ago - but what FUN!

But I'm getting away from the title of today's blog entry - SPRING!

Most of the plants I took photos of do not do well in Southern California - but they are plants I grew up with in PA, so I had a blast taking pictures and trying to remember what their names are...

First of all - snow in the mountains!  It was beautiful all around us, since Salt Lake is in a valley between two mountain ranges...

Can't forget trees with blossoms - I THINK this is a flowering plum...

And tulips!


This is one of my favorite bushes and they just don't do well where I live in San Diego...  We had three or four lilacs in our yard when I grew up and I STILL love the smell of them...

The gals at the hotel told us this was a flowering plum.  Quite beautiful in person!

And I can't forget the fun we had while we ate and gabbed! 

The REQUIRED visit to Olive Garden!  Sharon and Patti here...

And our step out of our normal box - T G I Fridays...

We had a BLAST!  Thanks Stampin' Up! for giving us a "getaway weekend" to do something we love!

What?  OH - new product?  Yep, we got some...  New catalog?  Yep, we got one...

BUT - I can't show it to you just yet!  I know - what a tease, huh?

You're just going to have to be satisfied with SPRING in Salt Lake for this blog post...   I'm working on my This And That journal and making it "My Stampin' Up! Journey" - so next time, I'll show you some of what I've been doing with that...

Thanks for stopping by - come back soon!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Around the first of the year, I saw several people posting on Facebook that, instead of choosing to make a resolution this year, they were, instead, going to select a word for the year that meant something to them and which they could use all year.

The idea appealed to me!

I spent an hour or so talking to my friend Susan about what word to select...  I am, and always have been, a procrastinator.  There, I said it out loud!

Many of my friends will attest to this (yes, I know you're laughing!)... 

So, my thought was that I needed to tackle this habit and see what, if anything I could do to change it.

As Susan and I putzed around on the Internet, we found there really ISN'T an antonym for the word "procrastination".

So, what to do, what to do?

We ran across an article that, among other things, suggested the word ALACRITY.

OK, but what does it mean?  Well, here's the definition I found that was the most succinct:

liveliness; promptness
Synonyms: alertness, avidity, briskness, cheerfulness, dispatch, eagerness, enthusiasm, expedition, fervor, gaiety, hilarity, joyousness, promptitude, quickness, readiness, speed, sprightliness, willingness, zeal

So, I decided that will be my word for the year...

Now, remember, this is something I'm WORKING on, OK - not something I've yet accomplished!

So, I decided I needed to make a banner with this word on it and hang it in my Stampin' Garage as a reminder that I'm still a Work In Progress (WIP)...

I finally finished it about 2 weeks ago and hung it above the door going from the Stampin' Garage into the house.

Wanna see it?

Yeh, I know you can see all my laundry products as well, but, hey, they've been there for 25 years, so they must work there!

Here are individual pictures of each of the letters in the banner.  I spent a lot of time creating this, investing myself into it, in hopes some of its meaning would rub off on me!  And I'm very pleased with the outcome!

Something else we learned as we surfed the Web - (Susan and I are both very alike in our procrastination habit!) - some people, rather than being procrastinators are INCUBATORS...

Meaning, they THINK about what they want to do and how to do it, but never put "pen to paper" (if you will) until the last minute because they're creating it in their mind, first...  And, at the last minute, because they've created it in their mind, it's no big deal to finish and be very happy with the results!

We both decided we liked that word instead of procrastinator!  LOL 

So - are you a procrastinator?  Or are you one of those people who pack in January for a trip in July?  I have at least one friend who is like that (Hi Roxy!) and she just doesn't "get it" that Susan and I wait til the last minute to do things like pack bags and make swaps and make plane reservations...

But, even though we wait til the last minute, somehow we get 'er done!  And sometimes, because we've waited, we get better prices on things than if we'd done it several months before!

Taking a vote here - do you procrastinate?  Leave me a comment!

Thanks for stopping by - come back soon!