Sunday, April 29, 2007

Kathy's birthday

So my Sister-in-law will be celebrating her 40th birthday on Friday and I need to get my card in the mail (they live in Florida). This is what I came up with. I didn't buy the Office Accoutrement set in the Spring Mini at first, but I have to say it is growing on me and I'm glad I got it. I don't have many sets like this and I'm trying to breakout of that comfort zone, ya know?



This is a little different layout for me. I started with a piece of Cool Caribbean that I cut to 41/4 x 9. I then scored it at 5 1/2. I layered a piece of Old Olive on the inside at 4 x 5 1/4. I used a leftover square of Designer Series paper (Polka Dots & Paisley) from my club meeting the other night and trimmed it to 3 1/4 x 4 and adhered it to the front fold. I then cut a piece of Whisper White to 3 5/8 x 2 7/8 and stamped it with the large and small flowers in the Office Accoutrement set. I used the one of the sayings in the It's Your Birthday set and glittered the centers of my small flowers. I added the button last. The ribbon is from May Arts. I really, really, really hope Stampin' Up! starts carrying some polka-dotted organdy- it is so cute! So, that is that. It was nice to sit quietly in my stamp room and stamp tonight. Joe laid down after dinner since he didn't get a whole lot of sleep today (baseball game and flag football) and the boys were asleep.


On another note - Preston re-injured his broken toe at the baseball game today, so I'm hoping that it doesn't need to be x-rayed again this week. I think it just really *smarted*, ya know? He's a catcher and was making a play at the plate and and the runner slid right into his broken toe- OUCH! He dropped like a sack of potatoes and I took off for the snack stand for some ice- he was out for the rest of the game- what a bummer! Let's hope he's ready to go by Thursday. It wasn't swollen or anything so I think he's gonna be okay. What's worse- my brother was taking continuous photos and actually got a pic of it. Here it is, but I cropped out everything but the kids' feet- I don't have permission to put pictures of anyone else's kids on my blog so I cropped it down. O.U.C.H.! It's his left baby-toe...........


Chipboard Coasters

Are these things addictive or what?! My first stamp club made a tri-fold frame on Friday night and I decided they would make great teacher gifts for the end of the year- so I made TEN of them yesterday afternoon ( no baseball since the fields are under-water). Here are some pics of them:





These are 4X4 thin chipboard coasters- I bought them from my upline, who had to buy something like 1000 of them! Another member of our Downline group, Monica (she's WONDERFUL!) found the hinges and the best price on those, so I then purchased them from her. I cut my Designer Series paper into 4x4 squares and adhered it using the Anywhere Glue Stick. Sure, you could use Modpodge, but why? It's a little messy and takes a bit of time to dry- the Anywhere Glue Stick works GREAT- you just need to be liberal about it. I embossed the sentiment using Craft inks and clear embossing powder- worked like a charm!

When the club made them we didn't cover the back of the chipboard with anything- so you could see ribbon and the back of the brads. I don't think it makes much difference since they really are meant for a shelf and you won't really be seeing the backs of them, ya know what I mean? However, for the teacher ones I did cover the back with additional designer paper- just in case they wanted to display it on their desks or something- I'm one of those anal people that is bothered by the backs of brads showing - I never put them on a card-front unless there is a layer behind them- it's just wanna of those things for me.


I even made one for the male principal at the other school that Ryan goes to twice a week for the Kindergarten After-care program- minus the frill. I couldn't help myself- I still tied a piece of ribbon around the hodgepodge piece, but it's a stitched grosgrain and I think it's a tad more masculine. Whatta ya think?




Here are the ones the Stamp Club made:





Monday, April 23, 2007

Not enough time........................EVER!

I don't know about you, but lately I just feel like I can't get caught up. I am forever chasing my tail in circles.............
Last week was no exception. As most of you know, I am a manicurist (my real job) and I work two mornings a week and two evenings a week- most weeks. I am off on Fridays and the weekends. Since I started going to the gym in January, it has seriously cut into my "me" time in the mornings (when I usually do my stamping) when both boys are in school. I don't mind so much, though, since I am seeing results, S-L-O-W-L-Y, but I am seeing results. I've lost almost 20 pounds so far- which pales in comparison to my husband's 40lbs!!! Nobody even notices me because I probably seem bigger now since he's lost so much- LOL!!! He looks like a Rockstar, though, and I'm super proud of him!!! Anyway, I digress...................last Wednesday night Preston was running from the family room into the kitchen and banged his foot on the corner of the wall- OUCH!! Thursday morning when he woke up it was really swollen and bruised, but he wasn't complaining a whole lot so I buddy-taped his toes together and sent him off to school without another thought. When he came home he informed me about his day with the nurse. Apparently, he spent most of the day in her office with ice on it- why she didn't call me, I DON"T KNOW. I live across the street from the school for crying out loud! Anyway, he took off his shoe and his foot looked even worse. I called the Dr. and they took him right in............from there, we went to Radiology for the x-ray. They promptly informed us it was broken.......I felt horrible!! I am like the WORST mother in the world!! I sent him to school with a broken toe!! The Dr.'s decided he didn't need a Ortho consult and that I should give him Motrin and ice it every 20 minutes per hour. No flag football and no baseball - Pres was less than pleased. With three games this weekend, he was determined to be able to play by Sunday. I kept him home on Friday (mostly because I felt bad for sending him the day before-LOL!) and we did everything the Dr. said. By Sunday the bruises on his foot were almost invisible so I wrapped it tight and he suited up for his baseball game. He's the catcher, but Joe put him at first base instead and he hung in there for 5 innings with two great hits and a nice catch as well. Man do I love watching my kids play baseball.
Saturday morning Ryan had a game at 9:30 so we head over to the field. I was crossing the street with a bucket of balls and bats in one hand and bottled water in the other when I rolled my ankle on the side of the street- H-O-L-Y M-O-L-Y was that painful!! In fact, it was more painful than the embarrassment I felt laying in the street with the stuff I was carrying strewn all over the place. Thank goodness Joe and my mom were there cause I almost passed out from the pain. Joe thought for sure that I broke my ankle. Here's the worst part- all I could think of was all of my hard work at the gym gone down the tubes. I must have said something to that affect ( I don't really remember because I was on the verge of a blackout) when my mother, ever-so-gently reminded me that we leave for Ireland in four weeks and she could care LESS about the gym!!! It must have been a miracle.......it's not broken. To be honest, it doesn't even hurt. I don't know how......................it's really swollen and Joe makes me keep it wrapped, but I have no pain at all.
Needless to say, I haven't stamped a whole lot- which is KILLING ME!!! I have Stamp Club this Friday night so I'm busy preparing for that this week. I think I need to do an all-nighter so I can stamp for myself!!!

I promise I'll post something later in the week that I've actually stamped!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I've been tagged!!

What's this you ask?? I have to list my 5 favorite blogs! This is so difficult for me- I don't actually have 5 favorites...............I have 91 saved blogs on my favs. list (whew! I never actually counted them before!)- that's A LOT! Anyway, here are five of the ones I visit daily!

Deb Olson- man, this chick is gifted.....................I mean G.I.F.T.E.D.!!! She is so talented!!! I visit her blog daily!

Wanda Pettijohn- she is so awesome! She makes some GREAT 3-D projects and always has great samples of stuff on her blog!

Heather Armstrong- she's not a stamper, but my friend, Gina, turned me onto her blog and it is HILARIOUS!! You should see some of the stuff with her dog, Chuck (he's on prozac) and he always has stuff on his head. I laugh out loud when I read her stuff!!

Beate Johns- need I say more??

Cambria Turnbow- She's smart, talented, and her favorite color is pink. What's not to love about her and her blog?!

This are only 5 of my favorites...............I receive email updates to at least 10 of the 91 blogs that are saved to my favorites..............man, that's a lot of time on the computer, isn't it? ! It's amazing I have time to update my own blog!!

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Club Projects







I've been finishing up my stamp club projects these last few days and I think I'm just about wrapped up. I'm not sure about putting the pictures of the ones they'll actually be making, but I thought I'd share one of the ones I made as a sample last night. They're going to be making Chipboard Coaster tri-fold frames. They seem really complicated, but they are super easy to do! This one that I made focuses on a couple of pictures I took of the boys on Saturday at Opening Day. Preston didn't have a game, but Ryan had his first "official" game and Preston coached first base for Joe and I. Even though we only have seven kids on the team, it's sometimes hard to manage them all on the field. And for most of them it is their very first experience with the game of baseball so you have to remind them that actually have to RUN once they hit the ball- it is hysterical!!! Ryan, on the other hand, has been practicing with Preston since he was about 2 years old so he's got some experience. Sometimes I feel bad that he has to play t-ball this year because he could easily move up and play with the older kids, but everyone has to do a year of t-ball- it's the rules. he doesn't mind though- anything that gets him on the field is fine in his world! He LOVES baseball! He eats, sleeps and breathes it. He's so serious (as you can tell from the picture) and he enjoys every minute of being on the field- it's wonderful to see!

I took the original pictures in color, but I use the Goole photo software, Picasa, and was able to tint the pictures to match my project and print them out like that- it worked GREAT!

As for the other cards that stamp club will be making this month, you'll have to wait till after the 27th. Here's a hint- they'll be working with Pearl-ex and bottle caps. I have to give a BIG thank you to my upline, Gail, who is the BEST! She shares all of her fabulous talent with every member of her downline and let's use anything she does. The two cards that the club will be making this month are cards that Gail showed me this past month- they are wonderful! She is THE most talented woman I have ever met and she constantly inspires me. She is so genuine and caring- I'm honored to be a part of her downline.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

My FIRST Blogger RAK


Today I received my very first RAK (Random Act of Kindness) card in the mail from a member of the Splitcoast Stampers Bloggers Group I belong to. Isn't it pretty? I absolutely LOVE the simplicity of this design! It came here all the way from Canada from Nancy. Her blog is great! If you get a chance, stop on by and check out what's going on in her part of the world! This is a GREAT stamp-a-stack card! I put it in my "Inspiration Folder" for the next one!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Another GREAT recipe!

This one was given to me by cousin, Jennifer. It is the BEST cake I've ever had! It was requested by my friend, MaryAnne- this one's for you!

Cinnamon Sour Cream Cake

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 8 oz container sour cream
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 and a 1/2 sticks of softened butter (1 1/4 cups)
1 10 oz bag of cinnamon chips
2 Tbs flour
powdered sugar

1) heat oven to 350 and grease and flour a 12 cup fluted tube pan
2) combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl
3) beat sour cream, eggs, and vanilla, with a fork or wire wisk in medium bowl
4) add butter and sour cream mixture to the flour mixture and beat on low speed until well mixed; then beat on high for 2 minutes(batter will be thick)
stir cinnamon chips and the 2 tbspns of flour until chips are coated; then gently stir them into the batter. pour the batter into the prepared pan
bake 60-70 minutes until lightly browned or toothpick comes out clean. cool completely and then invert onto a serving plate. sprinkle with powdered sugar

YUM! This cake doesn't last 48 hours in my house! The cinnamon chips are hard to find, but I did finally find them at Wegmans- ya gotta love that store!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Recipes.....as promised!

Here are a few of the recipes I made at my Bunko in March! It was a PJ party theme, so I made all brunch foods- YUMMY!

Mini Frittatas

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray
8 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces thinly sliced ham, chopped
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Spray 2 mini muffin tins (each with 24 cups) with nonstick spray. Whisk the eggs, milk, pepper, and salt in a large bowl to blend well. Stir in the ham, cheese, and parsley. Fill prepared muffin cups almost to the top with the egg mixture. Bake until the egg mixture puffs and is just set in the center, about 8 to 10 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, loosen the frittatas from the muffin cups and slide the frittatas onto a platter. Serve immediately.


Baked French Toast
1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
Butter, for pan
8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash salt
Praline Topping, recipe follows

Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch thick each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs). Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices.
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 45 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden.

Praline Topping:
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. Spread over bread as directed above.


Those were the most two popular recipes requested!!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Stampers

I have to say, stampers are THE nicest people in the world! They are always willing to show you how they did something, or explain a technique to you, or help you out with your Blog- which is something Wanda did for me today! I signed up for her email updates cause she is ONE FABULOUS stamper! She makes all kinds of great 3-D projects and she is AWESOME!! Anyway, today she talked about how she finally figured out how to add Labels to her Blog (*smack forehead NOW)- I've been trying to figure that out for months!!!! So I shot her an email and asked her how she did it. She got right back to me and explained everything. So, thanks to Wanda, now you can go straight for the things you're looking for! Look over to the right hand side of the Blog and right before the Archives list, you'll see the Labels- if you're looking for a particular recipe that I've posted in the past, you don't have to go searching for it- all the recipes will be added to the Label titled "Recipes". Isn't that great! I know, I know, I promised to add some recipes last week and still have not gotten around to it. It was a busy week for me- trying to unpack all the supplies from Stamp-a-Stack, I was very busy with nail clients cause everyone wants pretty nails for Easter, and the boys both had baseball and football practice- UGH! PLUS, on top of all that, Little miss LuLu got a nasty eye infection. She's been playing the sympathy plight all week.........she keeps looking up at me and squinting her infected eye- it is SO SAD! SO I had to get her to the vet.........antibiotics, eye drops, and a couple of shots- yippee. She goes back this Tuesday for a check-up. I hate to say, but it doesn't look all that much better.........UGH.
Anyway, today is Joe's only day off this week and since the kids are off from school we're gonna take them bowling. I wish you all a wonderful Easter and I *promise* I'll get those recipes up on the blog by Monday! Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Making a Difference






We all know I love to stamp! But I have to say that one of the best things I've accomplished through this hobby of mine is the ability to give back to others in ways I wouldn't have known about if it wasn't for my love of this art. Many of you know that I volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia and love to stamp with the families staying there. And being a Demonstrator with Stampin'Up! has also allowed me to participate in fundraising events for Breast Cancer Awareness, Tsunami Relief , the American Heart Association, and many other charities, but today I had a chance to make a difference in another way. April is Autism Awareness month. Gina Krupsky has designed an adorable stamp set for the occasion and is donating $8 from the sale of each of these sets to Autism Speaks- an organization that helps families cope with autism. Today I purchased this stamp set. It's called Love You To Pieces, and it is FABULOUS!! Many of you know someone with autism, or have a friend that has an autistic child. This is how you can make a difference. Buy this stamp set today- make a difference in the life of a family coping with the hardships of this disorder.