Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Country Living

Would you like to know how you can receive a subscription to Country Living Magazine for 75% off the retail price? That's only $10 for a year of fabulous design tips, recipes, arts and crafts ideas, and plenty of articles about some of your favorite subjects.

Starting January 5th, Stampin' Up! and Country Living Magazine are coming together to bring you this amazing deal! Email or call me to learn how you can take advantage of this offer!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Little Christmas Skirt

Here's another skirt I made with my tutorial - that's more ribbon by Stampin' Up! on the hem. This one is a gift for one of Chloe and Bradley's little friends. I used this same fabric to make Chloe a skirt a few weeks ago, but used bias tape around the hem and I much prefer the ribbon. Doesn't it match the polka dots perfectly?

I'd love to see your creations using this tutorial - send me a link to your blog post about it and I'll link to it. :)

Happy happy Christmas Eve!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Darling Skirt Tutorial

My friend, Stacey, says I use the word "adorable" too much - but I just can't help it. There are quite a great deal of cute things in the crafting world that must be discussed! But, this easy skirt IS adorable and I think Chloe will agree when she opens it on Christmas. I've made a bunch of these lately and I thought I'd share the directions because it's incredibly easy to make and you don't need a pattern!

Easy-Peasy Nap-Time Skirt a tutorial by me!

I'm making a matching shirt with my first attempt at applique - but it won't be done until next week. I'll post a picture with the whole outfit once it's done.

Happy sewing!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Origami Wreath Tutorial

I can't wait to make more of these little wreaths! I need to use up all my Christmas paper so that I can buy more next year! :)

Here's one made with 12 pieces instead of the 10. I think I like the smaller one better, but I do like the non-traditional colors on this one.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Not A Creature Was Stirring...

Psssttt - there are 10 days until Christmas.

To pass the time you can make this cute little mouse. I used the Coluzzle oval cutter to cut out his body, and various Stampin' Up! punches for his ears, eyes, and nose. I used my white gel pen to add the details. For the slit I just slid my cutting blade along a small section of the Coluzzle template and then again on the next closest oval. Add a candy cane and he is all set to bring someone some holiday cheer!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

5 little Christmas Cards

Here are a few little Christmas cards to get you in the holiday mood. Only 12 days left until Christmas! You still have time to make your cards and get them in the mail! :)

Everything is, of course, by Stampin' Up! (except for the blue organza ribbon and gold string, both of which are from JoAnn's).

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Jingle, Jingle

Well, my boy certainly isn't camera shy! He was all about the audience - smiling, waving, and singing loudly for his preschool Christmas concert. I think he'll do fine on Saturday - the kids are dancing in the Town Center Christmas performance in front of a ton of people. Isn't he adorable? :)

12 Days of Christmas Gifts - Day 8

Here's something everyone will love!

Day 8 - WOOT!

Have you been to It's an overstock-type website that usually has electronics and the like for sale. Usually there is a one-item-per-day deal (it's available until it's sold out and then you come back the next day for a new deal). But, today (and usually once a month or so) is a Woot-off! During a Woot-off, as soon as one item is sold out, another one takes its place. Some of the deals are amazing! Mike bought our Roombas and our Scooba from Woot! and we use them all the time. No where else can you buy pistatios, big screen tvs, and a vacuum all from one site in one day. :)

Bonus Stampin' Up! Gift Idea: The gift that keeps giving - become an SU! Demonstrator

With the introduction of My Digital Studio, Stampin' Up! is now offering an all-new business opportunity with the Digital+ Starter Kit. Priced at just $185, the Digital+ Starter Kit contains

  • My Digital Studio software
  • Party Hearty and Petal Pizzazz stamp sets
  • Whisper White card stock (8-1/2" x 11")
  • Earth Elements assorted card stock (8-1/2" x 11")
  • Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie, Real Red, and Tempting Turquoise Classic Stampin' Pads®
  • Chocolate Chip, Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie, and Real Red Stampin' Write® markers
  • Chocolate Chip 1/4" grosgrain ribbon
  • Real Red 1" double-stitched grosgrain ribbon
  • Button Latte Designer buttons
  • Stampin' Dimensionals®
  • Mini Glue Dots
  • SNAIL Adhesive®
  • Business supplies (product catalogs, order forms, training DVD, and other supplies)

Combining My Digital Studio with traditional embellishments and other Stampin' Up!® products allows you to not only effectively showcase hybrid projects, but also demonstrate projects using non-digital elements. Contact me today to get started!

Monday, December 7, 2009

12 Days of Christmas Gifts - Day 7

Continuing with the Toys for Boys today...

Day 7 - Mindflex Mind Control Game

No, this won't help you score that new tennis bracelet, but it would probably keep your man busy while you go out and get one for yourself! There are several toys like this out on the market this season. My nephew really wants the Star Wars Force Trainer because who wouldn't want to be a Jedi?? I think the Mindflex looks cooler because it is a customizable obstacle course and not just a vertical tunnel. I don't know anyone who has used either but it will interesting to see what people start saying once they are in use. Maybe it can teach kiddos with ADHD to maintain focus better? It could have some practical use!

Bonus Stampin' Up! Gift Idea: Stampin' Up! My Digital Studio

I know Mike wishes all of my crafts were digital - it would take up MUCH less space!! The SU! Digital Studio you can "use the same great artwork, colors, and accessory images found in our current product lines to create personalized cards, photo albums, scrapbooks, and other projects. Once you've created your personalized gift or heirloom, have it printed in our high-quality print facility and delivered to your door; or you can print your creation at home." What more could use ask for?! You can make your own holiday cards complete with family photo without ever having to go out into the cold! :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

12 Days of Christmas Gifts - Day 6

I haven't forgotten about the boys and men in your lives so the next couple of days will focus on toys for your boys. Because, let's face it, your man will pretty much enjoy anything your boy would.

Day 6 - Marshmallow Shooter

If you ask him about a marshmallow gun, he will probably claim he can make his own. But you know he won't, and you certainly don't want to make one for him! So, the nifty pump-action, LED red light "laser" sight Marshmallow Shooter that can hold up to 25 'mallows is the perfect gift for him! It combines the best of two things he loves - shooting stuff and sugary treats. (You can use the Microwave S'mores Maker with the expended bullets!) The website offers a few other shooters he would probably love, so it's one stop shopping for all the boys in your life.

Bonus Stampin' Up! Gift Idea: The SU! Big Shot machine

There is SO much you can do with the Big Shot
. From making your own die cuts, to dry embossing, to cutting 3-d boxes and bags... Use it for cards, scrapbooking, interior design. Having the Big Shot has certainly made things easier for me because I love to give homemade cookies and sweets to my neighbors for the holidays. With the Big Shot and the Fancy Favor Box die I was able to make a ton of boxes quickly without worrying about tracing and cutting carefully with scissors. The Big Shot even embosses on the fold lines!
Call or email me for your own in-home demonstration of everything the Big Shot can do!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

For the Birds

Today, I thought, would be a great day to make Pine cone Bird feeders. It was nice and chilly, too soggy from the melting snow to play outside. The kids were bored and I was tired of redirecting them over and over. So, we grabbed some quick supplies and got to work.

First, you'll need some pantry basics: oatmeal, vegetable shortening, and honey (or you can use peanut butter). You'll also need some seeds - you can buy bird seed, but we just grabbed some of the gerbil cuisine on hand. And you will, of course, need a pine cone. You need to find one that is open for it to hold all the yummy goo. You can use yarn, twine, string, fishing line - whatever you have handy for the string. I recommend tying the string on before you start smearing it with sticky stuffy.

The first step is to combine the vegetable shortening and the honey. We used about 1/2 cup of shortening and a couple of tablespoons of honey. Approximately. Add the oatmeal about 2 cups (maybe, work with me here) to that mixture and stirred until it was nice and gloppy.

After that is all mixed together, it's time to apply it to the pine cone. Since my kids are used to using them, they applied it with plastic knives. You could use your fingers, but it would be really messy. Be sure to get it into all the nooks and crannies.

After the pine cone is completely covered, roll it around in the bird (or gerbil) seeds. Bradley liked the "sprinkle" method.

Here they are all nice and covered and ready to hang outside!

I think they look pretty.

We made six of them and hung them in the front and back yards. Turns out the birds LOVE them because they are hanging out now. A lot. While my kids are having a great time seeing all the different kinds of birds, I'm kind of regretting the project. Do you know what happens when birds hang out a lot near your walkways, patio, and deck? Yes indeedy. So, be sure you are prepared to deal with bird poop. Because these pine cone bird feeders are like a smorgasbord of fine dining for every bird in your neighborhood, and they don't care where they potty. But, at least it kept the kids busy for an hour!

SU! on the Today Show!

EXCITING NEWS!! Stampin’ Up was on the Today Show, Friday, Dec 4

Shelli Gardner (CEO & Co-Founder of Stampin’ Up!) appeared on NBC’s TODAY Show on Friday, December 4, 2009!

One more reason why I love being a part of Stampin’ Up! Here’s why Shelli was on:

"At Stampin’ Up!, we believe in making a difference in the lives of others–whether they’re our demonstrators, our employees, the people who use our products, or children in need of a way to express their creativity.

Since 2005, Stampin’ Up! has been honored to participate in the TODAY Show’s Annual Holiday Toy & Gift Drive. This year, Stampin’ Up! will be donating over $150,000 worth of stamping and paper crafting products to the following organizations:

  • Child S.H.A.R.E.
  • A Place Called Home
  • Alliance for Children’s Rights
  • Children’s Hospital
  • El Concilio Del Condado de Ventura
  • St. Joseph Center
  • Yolo Wayfarer Center Christian Mission
  • Metro Atlanta Task Force on the Homeless
  • ARC of Bergen and Passaic Counties
  • Women in Need
  • ARMS
  • Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless
  • Housing Works
  • All Children’s House Family Center
  • Cathedral Community Cares
  • Catholic Big Brothers and Sisters
  • Dominican Women’s Development Center
  • Girls’ Vacation Fund (Girls’ Quest)
  • Partnership with Children
  • Project Sunshine
  • Little Flower Children’s Services of New York
  • Domestic Violence Intervention Services
  • Texas Head Start Association
  • First Place School
  • Friendship Project"

12 Days of Christmas Gifts - Day 5

Are you having fun shopping? I know I am!

Day 5 - Five Silver Rings!

Do you love jewelry (or know someone who does)? How would you love FREE jewelry? Free silver jewelry and silver with genuine gemstones? All you pay is the shipping which is usually around $5-$7. Interested? Check out this link:

Free Sterling Silver with real Gemstones, no catch, no gimmicks, no obligation

I was skeptical at first, too, until I ordered for the first time. That was 4 years ago and now I order from them ALL the time. It's so much fun to give such a high-end gift without spending high-end cash! The pieces really are lovely and I've never had any problems with them. Here's the deal, though...they only showcase 4 pieces at a time. Once their allotted time is up, they are gone. They do have another online store (you can see the links on the site) where they have more high-end pieces for normal prices. But, the showcase pieces are gorgeous and affordable. Can't go wrong there! Perfect gifts for babysitters!

Bonus Stampin' Up! Gift Idea: Chunky Sprinkles Stampin' Glitter

Bling a ding ding! Now your paper projects can shimmer as much as your
jewelry! The Chunky Sprinkles glitter is brilliant. You can apply it with heat-n-stick powder, Tombo Muli Purpose Adhesive, Mini Glue Dots (great for flower centers), or Sticky Strip. Looks especially cute when used over our Sticky Cuts Letters (die-cut letters made of the same material as Sticky Strip - so you can cover the entire letter with glitter or tiny beads).

Friday, December 4, 2009

12 Days of Christmas Gifts - Day 4

Time for a gift you didn't realize you need! (And one that you will really want!)

Day 4 - Microwave S'mores Maker

How have you ever lived without it, right?! I don't like getting burned, and I really don't like blackened marshmallows. Plus, I can't like Mike make a fire because it would totally get out of hand. So, I have made marshmallows in the microwave for a while (easy recipe for students to follow!). But, they tend to make a mess. And not a little mess. If you've ever tried to clean dried marshmallow off of the microwave door you know what I mean. But, with this amazing tool you can have perfect S'mores. I don't personally own one, but I totally want one, don't you?

Bonus Stampin' Up! Gift Idea: Eat Decor Elements artwork in Chocolate Brown

How cute would this be in that space right above your stove or on the wall behind your kitchen table? Stampin' Up's Decor Elements line of decorative vinyl art is easy to put up and remove and comes in a wide variety of colors and styles. Check out my complete catalog HERE. Let me know if you have any questions about how to apply it or if you need ideas on how to add some simple, but elegant decorations to your home. (I love that there are coordinating sizes, stamps, and other elements so you can get a fabulous look without the high cost of custom painting.)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

12 Days of Christmas Gifts - Day 3

I'm the kind of girl who loves to bake, cook, sew, stamp, craft, etc. I LOVE creating, but I also like saving time. If there is a tool or technique that will help me get more done in less time, I'm all over it. While all of those things can be relaxing, my time is incredibly valuable. The items featured today will help you save some time while still working your creative mojo!

Day 3 - The Tastefully Simple Cozy Comfort gift set

Have you tried Tastefully Simple yet? If not, you are really missing out! I use a lot of the spices for every day cooking and the dip mixes for entertaining. What you really have to try is the Bountiful Beer Bread. Warm, crusty, sweet, and savory - and crazy simple to make and bake. I like to start a loaf when I get home from work and it bakes while I deal with getting the things situated (back packs off, potty breaks, walk the dog, get dinner started, etc). Even if I'm just making some quick chicken breasts and salad, this bread compliments any meal and gives it a wonderful down home feel. The Cozy Comfort gift set comes with three great products - the Bountiful Beer Bread mix, For the Love of Cookies, and Creamy Wild Rice Soup mix (one of Mike's favorites). This would make a wonderful housewarming gift or hostess gift (and it comes already wrapped!). It costs less than a bottle of wine and, trust me, will be a lot better! If you are in my area, Zenda Howard is my consultant and she is fabulous and can answer any questions you have about the Tastefully Simple products.

Bonus Stampin' Up! Gift: It's All About You Simply Sent card kit

I love the Simply Sent kits because they come with everything you need to make a great selection of adorable cards. This kit comes with a stamp set, ink, cut card stock, designer paper, twill tape, brads, chipboard flowers, self-adhesive die cuts, and envelopes! All you need to add is some Snail Adhesive and you (or your friend) will have everything needed to make 8 cards (with your choice of 2 different sentiments). And after you've used all the materials, you still have a great stamp and ink to use for more projects! This is perfect for when you want to give a homemade gift, but you just don't have a lot of time to sit and create something on the spot. Perfect for someone who is just learning to stamp or for tweens and teens!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

12 Days of Christmas Gifts - Day 2

It's Day 2 of shopping, so you might think you have plenty of time before Christmas, but don't forget to calculate shipping time!

Day 2 - Lush Christmas Candy gift box

Sometimes Mike and I opt to just get a few things we really need (like the year we needed a refrigerator) and get each other little trinkets to fill the stockings. Whether you need a little gift for a co-worker or a bigger surprise for that special someone, Lush has the right gift. You might think you've enjoyed a nice shower or bath before, but until you've experienced Lush soap, you know nothing of squeaky clean relaxation! From bath bombs and bath salts to ultra smooth soaps to cosmetics to skin and hair care, Lush can provide the perfect bathing moment. Right now the shipping is free with every purchase over $75 and you get a free stocking stuffer with every $60 you spend. My kids like the "Honey I washed the kids" soap and I love the Butterball Bath Bombs.

Bonus Stampin' Up! Gift Idea: Sparkly & Bright Stamp Set

This too-cute set is easy on the eyes and on the wallet! Use it to decorate cards, gift tags, or make your own wrapping paper. There is a coordinating Jumbo Stampin' Round Wheel, too, that you can use to cover a large surface with a flurry of snowflakes in no time at all. Add some Dazzling Diamonds glitter and your friends and family will have to wear shades!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

12 Days of Christmas Gifts - Day 1

If you are like me, you have all your holiday shopping done already (well, almost!). But, if you are like everyone else in the world you might have a few little things left to pick up. For the next 12 days I'll have a post about something someone you love will need, want, or just have to have! Hopefully it will give you a little help and motivation to get that shopping done before it's too late. We'll talk about gift wrap later! :)

Day 1 - The Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker.

Oh. My. Gosh. I LOVE this thing! It is high quality Pampered Chef Stoneware that comes in either this great white (which I have) or a lovely Cranberry (which I bought for my mom). It is amazing and I cannot imagine my kitchen without it. You can cook an entire chicken in about 25 minutes! It's perfect for frozen chicken breasts - I buy them on sale, season them, and freeze individually. Then, when I want one I just pop it into the Baker, cover, and microwave for 20 minutes. They are freezer, microwave, and oven-safe so you can just put leftovers right in the fridge. It does casseroles beautifully and if you purchase from my consultant (Shannon Schlachter) she will even send you a TON of recipes (main courses, appetizers, casseroles, and even desserts) for the Baker. I made a crazy good Mexican Lasagna in the microwave in around 25 minutes and it tasted like it had been baked in the oven - crispy, cheesy top, oozing sauce and cheese in the middle.

Now, it IS stoneware, so you can't put it in the dishwasher - but it's really easy to clean. You just soak it in HOT water and scrape with a PC scraper. It takes more time than the dishwasher, but it's still worth it for the time you will save preparing delicious, healthy, home-cooked meals in the same amount of time it would take to bake a frozen pizza. I try to limit the amount of chemicals, preservatives, and salt my kids ingest so with this Baker I know exactly what they are eating and don't have to worry. The $69 price tag might seem a bit steep, but I assure you it is absolutely worth it! They make great gifts (I plan to give one to my sister. Shhh!) and you can shop online and not have to battle any traffic!

Bonus Stampin' Up! Gift Idea: Voila!

Use this adorable set to personalize your recipe cards. Giving the Deep Covered Baker as a gift? Include some pre-decorated recipe cards with it (just tie them with a festive ribbon and place inside Baker before wrapping) so that your recipient can start keeping track of her favorite Deep Baker recipes!

Have fun shopping! Be sure to stop back for the next 11 days to see the rest of the Must Haves of 2009. Remember, it is more blessed to GIVE than receive (but you can always leave this list under someone's pillow to remind them to give, too!). Happy Holidays!
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