Tuesday, January 31, 2012

CHA Live Coverage part 2! :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

CHA Winter 2012 - Live Coverage

If you are reading this in a reader - please click over for live coverage of CHA winter in sunny SoCal! :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Little Sunshine

Whew! After a crazy storm this week with five inches of rain, we are back to glorious sunshiny days. I can't wait to get back to my walking routine after CHA this week. 

Speaking of sunny we made the CUTEST sunny card for the Ronald McDonald House project at Leadership. This was simple, but may have been my favorite stamping project because I just loved the bold & bright look. 

They taught us a little trick with the Scalloped Border punch to make that little wiggly strip of Poppy Parade - you punch one side, and then just offset it when you punch the other side. So cute and such a different look with that punch!

The stamps are from Mixed Bunch, which we got at Leadership. I love that bold flower. All the flowers match the Blossom Punch.

The little center of that flower is from the Blossom Builders Designer Printed Kit - SQUEE! We got this at Leadership and it comes with PINK RHINESTONES!! EEEP! You know you want to order that. :)

Tomorrow come back here for my live CHA coverage!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

In Summary - Human Pretzels and Lee Greenwood

I finally downloaded my pics from my camera today from Leadership. A lot of my live coverage pics were with my Iphone, so I know they won't be hitting National Geographic any time soon. I thought I'd share a few you haven't seen yet that are a little better quality.

First, Manager's reception. This is only the second time I've been, and it was wonderful. Don't worry if you didn't come to Leadership or qualify for this or anything else. I've been having fun for ten years - this is just a bonus, really. So keep having fun - it pays off :).

We got to see some incredible acrobats from China. I held my breath nearly the whole time because I truly couldn't believe what I was seeing. Here are some of the crazy antics. (I'm translating from Chinese.)

Oh hi - please bring me a chair - this tower I built out of chairs isn't tall enough to scare these demonstrators!
 I am not scary enough standing on a wobbly tower of chairs, I must do a handstand.
 Please, bend yourself into a pretzel so that I may balance teacups on your feet and chin. 
Next, we really had an adventure, thanks to our friend Sue Farrant. She happened to get us tickets to the filming of the Extreme Home Makeover Christmas Special honoring the military. It was an incredible experience. We got to meet the veterans on the show, many of whom had terrible injuries. Very humbling. To begin the event, we had the privilege of having Lee Greenwood sing God Bless the USA 15 feet from us.  I can't even really describe how amazing that was.

He was very kind and gracious, too. What an amazing moment.

Then we got an absolutely unbelievable performance from these Australian tenors and got to see Paige and Ty.

 Here we are teaching them how to say y'all.
 Roger Clements spoke and signed a few baseballs for the auction benefiting Helping a Hero.
 If you want to do something charitable, this is a great organization, so be sure and check out their site. These brave young men and women deserve a roof over their heads.

Then we were off to stamp and be stamped! Here are some of the cute projects from main stage. I think most of the ones I picked are from Shelli's demo.

I didn't even want this set until I saw this cutie.
 Um. Adorable. I love zig zags. I love this paper. I love these colors together. I love this. Is that clear?
 CUTE feathers made from leaves.
 Thank goodness the edgelits are on their way to me as we speak. I need to make exactly this card!
 Love the rhinestone on the typewriter key.
 Framelits make the 3D hearts on this CAS number - LOVE it.

I will be posting from CHA in a few days and then I'll finally get to come home and STAMP!! I miss it! :)


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The White Peony and Pink Catnip

I went to New York a few years ago for a trade show. Trade shows can be crazy, and you're with people all the time, most of whom are selling you something, so it can be a bit overwhelming. I was also the only girl, which has its own disadvantages.

On the last day in town I was determined to do something without the herd of Y chromosomes, so I snuck off to the Russian Tea room for lunch. It was great, because aside from two extremely rich and somewhat drunk older ladies, the place was completely empty.

I couldn't pass up tea in the tea room, so I ordered something I've never had before - white peony tea. When it came, it was in a glass teacup, like those crazy Russians do :) and it had dark cherries at the bottom of the cup.

It was incredible. I wish I had thought to ask them what brand it was.

I guess they're not the only ones with white peony tea though, because imagine my surprise when it showed up in our Tea Shoppe set in the mini catalog!

I made this card with that set for the Leadership art contest. I didn't win. :( But I had so much fun making it!

I actually sprayed the stamp itself with Blushing Bride Smooch and then stamped it before it dried. So in the second picture you can see how shimmery it is.

I used other fun mini catalog goodies like the Doily Sizzlit, the Blushing Bride pleated ribbon, the striped embossing folder.

What a fun set. I saw an UBER cute tea gift set with this set that we are going to make at my February stamp class if you want to come!

Now speaking of pink - one of the most hilarious things in this AWESOME book I'm reading (Recommended in Carrie Cudney's Why Women Buy class) is the statement that "pink is not a strategy" in marketing.

She says that male ad executives view pink as "female catnip" and think that if they turn a product pink, that that is a new gender based marketing strategy. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Oh I love this book.

There are actually two books, so here they are again - one didn't show up in the reader version of my feed, so here is the one I'm reading now:

And here is the other one Carrie referenced - Marketing to Women.

I can't wait to read that one.

Female catnip!!


Hope you're having a great week! :)


Monday, January 23, 2012

Why She Buys

I'm baaaackkkk......

Leadership was a BLAST! We had some amazing classes in addition to all the stampy inspiration.

I think my favorite class was Carrie Cudney's "Why Women Buy." It was a really cool exploration of how marketing messages are tuned to men or to women successfully. She pulled a ton of information from this book, which I will be buying today:

It had these great stories in it about the differences between men and women when it comes to shopping - including a HILARIOUS map of a man's trip to the mall to buy a shirt at the Gap and that same trip with a woman. The woman goes into every store - the last one is the Gap. She spends $800. He walks in, goes to the Gap, buys the shirt, and leaves.

But all the information about the psychology of a female buyer is AMAZING and I highly recommend it. I can't wait to get it on my Kindle.

I thought that I would share a real picture of one of my Make & Takes at Regionals instead of an Iphone pic. This card was SO easy and fun to make!!

To make the flower, we used the largest of the shapes from the Triple Blossom punch - I adhered the first one flat, and then curved the second one with my bone folder. The center was stamped in Calypso Coral - it's the polka dotted kite from Send me Soaring, then we punched hearts from it with the itty bitty heart punch. The DSP is from the Sweet Shop suite.

Cute, eh?

I'll be back with more tomorrow! :)

Thanks for hanging out with me during Leadership. I had so much fun meeting and hanging out with a lot of you. Can't wait to see you again!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2012 Leadership Live Coverage begins NOW

If you came here for live Leadership coverage, you're in the right place! Watch as our adventures in South Central Texas unfold!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

With Apologies To Lionel Richie...

But today it's ...


 Three times a thank you....
I needed to make a bunch of thank you cards for some very special peeps this week and I wanted to keep them simple and pretty flat for mailing. I was falling asleep one night and came up with this simple punch design. I used the Welcome Neighbor Designer Series Paper Pad, the Full Heart Punch, the Small Heart Punch and the greeting from All Holidays

Now, in addition to 80 thank you cards, I have 80 teeny hearts ready to use on something else!


Saturday, January 7, 2012

BC (Before Cedar) and AC (After Cedar)

It's cedar season.

For those of you not living in Central Texas, I will translate.

We are all dying.

Go on without us. Encase our state in cement so that these trees can't follow you out. Refer to time as BC (Before Cedar) and AC (After Cedar) in the history books.

Tell stories about us so people will know how we lived during the non cedar infested months.

Show them this video and let them know we did our best, but no one could defeat this monster.

We gave our all. Every last sneeze was sneezed bravely.

We all have little survival tricks to get us through February and this madness. I alternate between fizzy water, things with hot chiles in them and hot tea to try to keep my throat from closing completely.

Who doesn't love tea, even if they can't taste it?? This is my favorite tea.

And this is my favorite tea stamp!! This set is from the new Occasions Mini and it's gorgeous! Everything a sneezing tea lover could want in a stamp set! I paired it with some lace trim to give that doily feel and made a teabag tag with the tag punch - cute, eh?
Stamps: Tea Shoppe  
Ink: Whisper White, Island Indigo, Basic Black  
Paper: Everyday Enchantment DSP (Sale-a-Bration), Crumb Cake, Island Indigo  
Accessories: Victoria Lace, Tag Punch, Pool Party Twine, White Embossing Powder, Dimensionals

Now in the fizzy water part of my remedy, I prefer LaCroix - the grapefruit is my fave. I got hooked on this when I did the 3Day walk in Dallas and they were a sponsor. No calories, no sweetener, just fizz and a faint grapefruit flavor. It's my fave water.

For the hot chile part, I like soup the best. I made the most fantastic soup last night - and I know I say that every time I make soup, but seriously - this was Soup Nazi quality soup. I promised I would blog the recipe, so here it is:

Pumpkin Peanut Soup     

  • 1 tablespoon corn oil
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 medium orange or yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp-ish salt - more to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (optional - I didn’t add any)
  • 1 TBS peeled and grated fresh ginger (I like to grate mine after it’s frozen)
  • 1 can Libby’s pumpkin - 15-ish oz can
  • 6 cups chicken broth (I used CM Organics)
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can Hunts tomato puree
  • 2/3 cup Peter Pan peanut butter
Heat the oil and butter in a large soup pot over a medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers and and cook, stirring until the vegetables soften and the onions are translucent and squishy. Add the cayenne, black pepper, garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the pumpkin broth, and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, about 20 minutes.
Blend the soup in the pot with a stick blender. Then add peanut butter, stirring until blended, and heat on low until the peanut butter is blended and melted. Garnish with crushed honey roasted peanuts or salted peanuts.
This was insanely delicious - and even better left over. If you don't like spicy food - leave out the jalapeno and the cayenne.

Completely amazing.

If you need me, just walk towards the sound of the sneezing.

Loveyameanitbye. Achoo. Bless me.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Like Peas and Carrots

I'm always making fun of all the Y chromosome types in my life for incessantly memorizing and reciting every single line from every single movie they've ever seen.

It's maddening. You'll be going along having a normal conversation, and suddenly, someone will say something a little odd, a little too enthusiastically, in their "I'm quoting a movie now" voice.

Then they smirk at each other and the assembled crowd. Unless it's one of six movies, I don't know the movie, I don't care what movie it is, and odds are I either fell asleep, started stamping or playing Angry Birds about ten minutes into said movie. I certainly have not memorized any dialogue. And I don't feel like less of a human because I don't recognize a line from Hot Tub Time Machine or the Goonies.

However, this ability comes with the chromosome, so they can't help it. We have to just empathize with their struggle with their genetic disorders.

There are only six movies worth quoting. Actually, if you can't quote these movies, there might be something wrong with your chromosomes!

They are, in no particular order:

  • Gone With The Wind
  • The Cowboys
  • Die Hard
  • Christmas Vacation
  • Elf
  • Forrest Gump

Of these, Forrest Gump is one of the most fun, because it comes with a VOICE. There's no one who can't do this voice.

My two favorite lines from the movie are: "Sometimes, I guess, there just aren't enough rocks." That one always knocks the wind out of me.

The other is "Me and Jenn-ay goes together like peas and carrots."

I don't know where that saying came from, but despite the fact that no one really likes peas, carrots or peas and carrots, it stands tall as one of the most charming phrases on EARTH.

Things like peas and carrots find their spiritual home on stamps I think! Suddenly, they are as sweet as they sound....

I rustled up some peas and carrots for the Sweet 'n Sassy blog hop going on today!

 They were kind enough to let me play along with the big girls today - their Design Divas, and so I whipped up a yummy treat.

Stamps: You & Me Ink: Memento Paper: Bazzill, SU Crumb Cake  
Accessories: SU Ribbon, ShinHan Touch Twin Markers: GY48, GY47, YR23, YR24, Fancy Favor Die, Tasteful Trim Die

I used the adorable You & Me stamp set for a little treat bag I cut with the Fancy Favor die and Crumb Cake cardstock. I stamped the veggies on a Crumb Cake tag, and then stamped them again on white, colored and paper pieced it. Before I stamped, I actually cut the greeting off the stamp so I could use it anywhere or stamp just the images by themselves.

This little bag is perfect for treats you tie in a bag, like, say... CHOCOLATE CARROTS! For "peas" I used green (mint) Hershey Kisses.

I used the Tasteful Trim die to dress up the side

Now look at those cuties and try to tell me you don't love peas and carrots!!! I double dog dare you.

Ready to hop along and see some other goodies?

Take a look at the rest of the Design Divas fun creations for some serious wow-age.

Thanks for coming by! Feel free to leave your favorite movie quote in the comments!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Forget the Groundhog - Does Your Bunny Cast a Shadow?

Can you BELIEVE it's almost time for the groundhog?

Also, don't you think it's funny that little cranky Phil is one of our country's most unifying events? It's really sweet and simple and charming.

It's also a little crazy.

That's really the perfect combination of things, if you think about it. Unifying, simple, sweet, charming and crazy. Actually, if you have children, you should tell them those are the things they should look for in a spouse!!

Well, in honor of the upcoming groundhog event, I thought I should do a little tutorial on creating realistic shadows for those of us who don't consider ourselves illustrators.

Basically, it's a tutorial on cheating. Heh.

I used my FAVE bunneh stamp ever - an ancient retired set - Hello Spring. I think this was on my very first ever Stampin' Up! order way back in 2001. Sheesh. I am old. Anyway, I used it with the no line coloring method to make him fuzzier. Because who doesn't love a fuzzy bunny?

Then, I used my cheaty method to make his shadow. I'm pretty sure his shadow means six years of sunshine. Or that's what I hope, anyway.
Stamps: Hello Spring (retired) Ink: None Paper: Whisper White, Retired SU DSP Accessories: ShinHan Touch Twin Markers: BR134, BR107, WG 0.5, Very Vanilla Taffeta Ribbon (retired)

Want to see it on video? I thought so! :) 

This is now part of my Shadows & Reflections Master Class!

How about that? Easy, eh?

I decided to do a new thing with the blue list too just to share my fun finds every week - check it out below! :)

Oh - and are you ready for my live Leadership coverage? Just two weeks till it starts! Be sure and stay tuned!

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