Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Good Bye 2008

We're having a very quiet NYE - watching the celebrations on TV, reading books and making thank you cards.

For nearly 20+ years we had an open house every New Year's Day. Blackeyed peas, pork, saurkrauat and cornbread - with 40-60 people coming and going during the day. Last year we ended the tradition as Bill was out of town up to the last minute. We enjoyed our day so much we decided to put the open house on h old for at least a few more years. Maybe we will do it again, but for right now it's nice to just sit back and contemplate the upcoming year.

I will be going to Michael's too! There's a 20% off all purchases tomorrow only and I might as well see if there's something I can't live without and, of course, what would it be without a mocha from Starbucks. I will be cooking a pork tenderlooin with veggies, blackeyed peas ( a must ) and cole slaw = but it will be in small amounts compared to years past!

Hopefully, I will talk to my daughter and friends on the phone during the day wishing everyone a happy New Year and then Friday, it's back to normal! We begin another year for real. I have often made resolutions, usually about losing weight or some other self improvement thing - those still need to be made, but mostly I want to just be a nicer person - I want to be a little more thoughtful, a little more kind and hopefully bless every path I cross - loving everyone a little bit more including myself.

Good night and Happy New Year - See you in 2009

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008

It's two days after Christmas and as I reflect on this holiday I find it was quite different from those past.

The differences began with our tree. I used all Stampin' Up decorations. Ones I made from the holiday kits. I also made lots of fabulous snow flakes with the Big Shot and the snowflake die. As I said in an earlier blog, I loved the old time feeling it gave me. I really didn't miss all the glitter and glitz and will keep these ornaments and add to them next year.

I finally discovered a great way to display my Christmas cards - a Christmas card tree and added to it every day. Finally, a way we could enjoy every card that arrived.

On the not so good side, my sweet Bill (husband) was not feeling at all well. We did go to his mother's house a couple of days before Christmas, but no hugs were allowed so we didn't chance sharing the "gift" of the flu. That's one gift no one seems to want. We did get to see our niece and nephew play with the gifts we gave them and had a short but nice visit.

We went to church Christmas Eve, but it was to the 5:00 pm service with my mom. Bill and I always go back for the 11:00 service, but this year he felt to bad so we stayed home and went to bed early. We slept late Christmas Day, opened gifts late, ate breakfast and spent the rest of the day laying around. I didn't even cook a special dinner. As I said this was quite different from years past!

Our daughter and granddaughter came for Thanksgiving as is their tradition, so we didn't see them and because I left my phone on silent from church on Wednesday we didn't talk to them on Christmas Day. We made up for it on Friday and had a great visit via phone. It was nearly 80 degrees here and probably 28 degrees for them in northern Indiana! I wish we lived closer so we could spend every holiday together, but that's not the way it's to be. I made special cards for them - cased from some very talented ladies at SCS. What would I do without the talent that is shared? Make pitiful cards for sure. lol

On a very good note, our dear Megan (stamp club member) who has been "diagnosed" with an unknown blood disorder/autoimmune disorder was home from the hospital and able to open presents with her family! That was a major blessing - prayers continue for her healing.

On a very sad note, Puppy Cropper, my dogs best friend passed away suddenly on Christmas day. What a terrible loss for the Cropper family and for all who knew Puppy. He will be greatly missed for a very, very long time.

It's been quite a year, but I'll reflect more on that as it draws closer to the end. Good night for now.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fun with friends

Thursday night was a fun time - two of the young women from stamp club came over and we made calendars for Christmas gifts. We sorted through papers, punches, and had a blast. We, or they, accomplished a lot. One made 8 and one made 9 calendars - hate to admit it but I made two! Just couldn't concentrate - it was much more fun to watch them and visit. Footnote: a few days later I made eight myself to give as gifts. Here are a few pictures.

My stamping was just for me, then I became a Stampin' Up demonstrator for the discount and now I'm so thankful for the new friends I'm making. Seven of our members have come from either the Stampin' Up website or bumping into someone at Michaels and then bringing their friends. Stamping has helped me grow closer to women I've known from church for years, but now with a common interest our friendships have grown and developed. Who would have thought so much would come from rubber stamping?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

December Stamp Club & Christmas Tag Class

We had two fun nights last week. On Tuesday night we had our regular club night making two cards and a small calendar. We took a break from the holiday cards and just made two that would be appropriate for friends during the cold winter months. The calendar has magnets on the back so it can hang on refrigerator or a file cabinet. They make great small gifts or stocking stuffers.

Our gifts tags were the idea of SU demonstrator Mercedes Weber and used punches and scraps of paper. It's always good to have a way to use those scraps and anyone who knows me, knows I love punches! So this was a great fit for me. A picture of a few are below. These were mine, some the others made were much, much better! The best part is we all had fun -
Now just in case I'm not back here before the new year - I want to wish everyone a very MERRY CHRISTMAS or HAPPY HANUKKAH. I pray that everyone's holiday will be safe and happy .

Holiday Rush

Wow - can you believe it's nearly Christmas! I can't - even though I've done most of my shopping, mailed most of my cards, decorated my tree and hung my wreaths it still doesn't feel like Christmas. Some years I would say that's because it's 80 degress outside, but it's 43 and that's cold for here so that's not the problem. I wonder if others are feeling this same way?

I had a blast doing my tree this year - I made the ornaments from Stampin' Up kits and big snowflakes using my Big Shot and the snowflake die. The tree is so simple it gives me a sense of
relaxation and it makes me feel like I've gone back in time - to a time when life was so much more simple. This is my mom by the tree and this is another special year - she's 98! Can't believe it can you? Every Christmas with her is another very special blessing. My mom was 36 when I was born and it's amazing to think we've had so many wonderful years and so many Christmas trees! lol

I made my cards too. I had so many cool stamps that I ended up with four different designs I actually mailed out and others I made and hung on my own tree! In an earlier post I mentioned that I had always wanted the perfect way to display cards we received and it occurred to me to hang them on a tree like ornaments and that's just what I've done. Love it! I even decorated my envelopes because I had a stamp set I loved and didn't want to use it for cards - my husband says I look for work, but in this case I love what I do.

Happy Stamping,

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fun Day

Today was my day. All week I've had something I needed to do. Mom had doctor appts., I cooked chili at my church for close to 60 people yesterday. Thanks to some of the greatest friends in the world, Kathy, Brenda, Siok and Julia it was a success! But today was my day and was well deserved!

I read blogs I hadn't had a chance to catch up on recently. Looked at lots of fabulous cards etc. and settled down to make some thank you cards for my cooking buddies. I just love the stained glass technique that Split Coast Stampers featured a few weeks ago. I'm doing everything I can with it and loving them all. The cards today were done with Stampin' Up "Morning Soft" stamp set. The only difference in the cards in the Purely Plum background - I trimmed the corners of one with the curly label punch. Just discovered today I could do that and like the design.

I need to finish up my Thanksgiving cards and make a decision on which Christmas card I'm going to do in mass, but today was a day for me so I did these thank yous and just relaxed. Hope they and you enjoy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Christmas Cards 2008

Wow, I am over whelmed! I love every Christmas set in Stampin' Ups catalog this year and then they added the mini. I now have about five specific Christmas sets, plus the sets like Sock Monkey and the hostess set Window Dressing that have stamps that could be for Christmas. Every time I think I've decided on my cards for this year I get a new inspiration and change. I began my preparation with Christ Is Born and tried it in about five different ways now I think I've settled on the round one shown in the previous post. But, then I saw Beatte's tutorial on Split Coast Stampers for the stained glass window technique using A Cardinal Christmas ordered the set that day and am doing some of those too. As you can see I even have two different styles of that and of course, when I now have this technique in my head I want to use it as much as possible, so I used it with the Holy family from the Holy Triptych set. My problem is that I want to do Sock Monkeys, Window Dressings, and so many many more. A few years ago I ordered cards or bought them, addressed them and mailed them. Now that I'm making them I want every possible design. lol

This is my three way fold card so I could use all of the stamps in Holy Triptych. This is the only one I will be making!

This one with just the Holy Family using the stained glass technique is more likely to have more than one completed in time to mail out in time for Christmas.

I love the A Cardinal Christmas set and the Christ is Born set and so I think these three cards will end of being my primary cards for this year, but who knows what will show up tomorrow.
More on this saga later!

November Stamp Club

Nine of us gathered together on a stormy November evening to make cards and get in the holiday spirit. We learned all about the Big Shot and the wonderful "Stampin' Up exclusive Top Note Bigz die and the Sizzix scallop circle dies available through Stampin' Up (see F/W mini catalog.) Don't know about the rest of you, but I think the Top Note is just that tops! There are so many ways to use this die and wow the ease of cutting out so many pieces at once. Sure makes prep for a class or club a breeze.

Besides the card above using the Holy Triptych stamp set and the top note die, members were given a choice of the three circle style cards (below)with stamp sets Sock Monkey and accessories, A Cardinal Christmas or Christ is Born.

These three cards make great decorations for the receiver's tree. I wish everyone would send me cards like this - I always have a hard time displaying my cards - still haven't found the perfect way, but now that I think of it I may actually punch a small hole in all the cards that arrive this year and do just this! I'm always excited when an answer comes to me when I least exect it. LOL Another problem solved.

We also wrapped Kit Kat bars for small holiday gifts. This makes a great gift for all occassions, but especially around the holidays. I even heard that they do a white chocolate Kit Kat for Christmas - I'm looking for it now! lol This also works for many other size candy bars, of course, I cased this - no orginal ideas in my brain.

The end result is that we had a great evening, learned a lot and laughed a lot - what more can you ask for than good friends and a good time, uless it's chocolate.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Today's Musings

I did my civic duty today and voted. Living in a large city it seemed like the prudent thing to do - vote early and beat the crowds. Not working during the day was a big help - I went to a poll around 2:00 and walked in, voted and walked out. Voting is such a privilege. We really can have a say if we pay attention and vote with our minds not our emotions. There are so many people in the world that would give anything to have the freedom we have and so I hope this is a record breaking year of voting. After all, you can't complain ifyou don't vote! Now we wait to see the results - I pray for our country and all of it's leaders. My mom is 98 and she's seen so many presidents, so many crisis, wars etc. and she agrees that this is definately a difficult time for our country. I would hate to think I had the responsibility of President!

On to other things, I'm getting more excited every day about my trip to San Antonio for the Stampin' Up regional seminar. I mentioned yesterday that this is my first one so I really don't know what will take place, but I hope I learn a lot, make some new friends and come home filled with enthusiasm and new ideas. I'm actully a late bloomer in the stamping/scrapbook world so I have much to learn. I love stamping and I love learning new ways of doing things. I'm still timid about trying things, but am getting past that slowly but surely. I know Saturday will be a fun filled day.

The disappointment of the day is that my daughter was going to fly in and spend the weekend with us had her trip canceled and so now we wait until Thanksgiving.

I thought for today's picture I would add one I made when the With Gratitude set first came out. I love the leaves in this set and use it so often - you'll recogonize the leaf from yesterdays cards.
Thats enough rambling tonight, got lots of things to get done. More later.

Stampin" Up Regional Seminar

I am so excited! I am attending my first regional seminar with Stampin' Up this Saturday - the 25th. It's being held in San Antonio, TX and since I live in the Houston area, this is an easy drive and so I signed up. I don't really know what to expect, but I'm preparing the best I can. I've been busy making cards to swap. I look forward to learning many new techniques and meeting lots of other demonstrators. I really want to grow my business and I look forward to the encouragement and enthusiasm.

Here are examples of some of the cards I've made for swapping. All materials are Stampin' Up , of course.

I learned about 3Ds at the very last minute. I made these pillow boxes so I will have something to trade - hope everyone likes candy corn.

World Card Making Day

I created two different sample cards for World Card Making Day! Yes, there really is such a day. Two of our club members joined me for a fun afternoon of experiementing with new techniques and materials and we made the following cards. You see that we did different variations of the same cards. The possibilities are endless. One other card I did was cased from Split Coast Stampers - the cutest little turkey - but way too time consuming to make many - but this one was fun. I wish I had written down the name of the artist - such a cute idea using all different Stampin' Up punches.

October Stamp Club

What a great time we had this month. Twelve of us worked on three different projects - we did some watercoloring, some stamping, some cutting and had lots of fun! Here are the projects - enjoy. All materials are from Stampin' Up.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

September Stamp Club

Oops, I just looked at the last post date and saw it was September 4th - well, now it's the 10th and I have not kept up with my three cards per day. I have, however, completed four, three of which I used for Stamp Club last night. We had twelve had club last night including five new faces. I promised to have these cards up today and the day just flew by, but here they are and I hope everyone enjoys them. They were fun to make and once again we used the Stampin' Up Pick a Petal stamp set and made still another totally different card! I just love this set. The cards are all 4.25 x 5.5 finished size. If anyone needs measurements please let me know and I'll get them to you - tonight all I can get done is get the cards up online. So here they are and I'm off to bed - will try to post more tomorrow. By the way all cards were cased from the Stampin' Up! gallery. Thanks to all of the wonderfully creative designers who share their work.

Happy stamping,

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Today's cards!

Here are my two cards for today. I'm trying for three a day, but so far haven't made it on a daily basis. At least I'm working on my goal and I almost made it today. I love both of these cards, one I cased from Stampin' Up! gallery and one was a practice card on a tutorial from Michelle Zindorf. I'm still not quite understanding the brayer thing, but I' m practicing and hopefully someday I'll get it. At least I can send this card to someone, but it's far from the one Michelle posted. I love the "friend card" made from small oval punches. I think using punches is so much fun. The next few days I must concentrate on what we'll be doing at club on 9/9 - I try to have three cards using different techniques - so must get busy looking at ideas. Will write more tomorrow and hopefully have a few more cards to share.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Wedding Reception

Wow, time flies! I just lost yesterday and failed to get my wedding reception card up for all to see. I had lots of fun making this card. I mostly use Stampin' Up! stamps, but occasionally I branch out and I love this flowers stamp. I hope you enjoy my creation.

It's hard for me to stop "talking", but I must get to work on some new scrapbook pages - so hopefully I'll have new cards and pages for my next post.
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