Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Little Wisdom ...

... from the immortal words of Winston Churchill. How is it that some people can inspire us continually with all the amazingly wonderful things they said (or say)? I wish I had something this profound to share!!

I saw a similar layout SOMEwhere and decided I liked the criss-cross pattern of the strips (I may have seen it on CardMaps??). You know we are always on the hunt for fresh, new ideas ... glad I was able to find something a little different ...

Been trying to get all my Christmas decorating done. Seems I am surrounded by Grinch-types who are too busy/have better things to do than decorate trees this year. I have another tree to put up in my basement this weekend ... hoping to find some elves to help me decorate it!! I will be headed over to my mom's later today to help her put up a little Christmas cheer. Just get me some good ol' Christmas tunes to play while I do it and I'm rarin' to go!!Smiley from

Stamps: Occasional Quotes
Paper: Mocha Morning DSP, Soft Suede, Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla
Ink: Soft Suede
Accessories: Perfect Polka Dots Textured Impressions Folder, Circle Cutter, Fleurettes, Antique Brads, Crocheted Trim, Dimensionals

Monday, November 28, 2011

MDS ... Disney Style!!

Y'all KNOW how much of a DisneyFreak I am ... so it didn't take me long to settle in and create some scrapbook layouts in MDS (My Digital Studio) of our resent excursion to SoCal. I actually did these layouts a few days after I got back. I just haven't had a chance to share them until now!!

I love this layout of my daughter and her BFF, Merin. They have literally been best buds since the day they were born. The fun part is that they will be roomies in college next year as they head out into the big, scary world! So glad they will have each other to share this adventure with! (Aren't they beautiful??!??)

Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here!!! I did the photo-on-photo technique with this layout of our whole group (with Minnie!) as well. You basically select the photo and then add a punch to the layout and fill it with the same photo ... you hafta do a little tweaking to get the size and positioning just right, but I love the look, don't you??

I knew as soon as I saw this fence in California Adventure that I was gonna make the kids pose for the photo at the top of this page at some point ... we had such a great time and were so busy running back and forth that I didn't get around to it until the last day we were there ... so glad I took the time to make them pose!

I also enjoy using photos as the "frame" or border around a page ... I have done this with photo-and-paper scrapbook pages as well as doing it digitally. I am one who really likes to tell a story with photos on a page, so this is one of those ... Manohman, I'd go back tomorrow if I could!!! Such a fun place!!

I did a LOT of shopping over the weekend ... a LOT of cooking (did a Thanksgiving dinner for my side of the fam since we were with my hubby's family on Thanksgiving Day), and did a LOT of decorating ... now if I could just get my Christmas cards finished!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black & White Christmas

This is a card I made in a hurry on Thanksgiving ... I realized the night before that I was scheduled to be the "Free for All" challenge hostess over on SCS for Black Friday. Since I usually post the night before, I knew I was gonna hafta put something together QUICK-LIKE, so that I could go and stand in line with the OTHER crazy Black Friday shoppers ....

Sooo.... this is what I came up with!! My challenge was to create a card to herald in the season (Christmasy or wintry!) that featured black. Pretty quick and easy!

Hafta say that my shopping excursion(s) went well for the most part. Started at 10:30 p.m. on Thursday ... shopped 'til about 2:30 a.m. ... went home and slept 'til 5:00 a.m. .... shopped until 10:00 a.m. ... went home and TRIED to nap a little - not very well ... then headed out again with my daughter at about 5:30. Got home by about 9:00 ... Smiley from

I DO hate those people who lurk at the sides or rush up frpm the back of the line as soon as the doors are opened ... seriously??? C'mom, people ... it's only a stinkin' crock pot!! I just don't understand how some people feel they are "entitled" to do whatever they want while the rest of us patiently and happily waited in line while we visited. I had my daughter and her two friends with me. The three of them sing quite well and continued to serenade us with Christmas songs AND the occasional Rhianna/Adele tunes. That is UNTIL the rude lady behind them asked them to STOP because their loud singing was preventing her and her friend from hearing each other talk!!! WHAT??!!??? The girls were actually facing ME (and the new friends I had made while we were standing there), and we could all hear each other JUST FINE!!! It is at moments like this that I wish I were more quick-witted ... thought of SEVERAL snappy comebacks for this lady ... of course they didn't come to me until MUCH later, though!! I actually leaned over to the girls about five minutes later and suggested that they start up again ... but LOUDER!!! They were too chicken to do so. So this is for the rude ladies behind my daughter and her lovely friends .... "GET A LIFE, YA GRINCH!!" (Okay, not very clever, funny, or snappy ... but it is how she made me feel!!) I was able to score a few items that I was seeking along the way (although I did not get ONE single Cricut cartridge at the Roberts sale ... they were $9.99 each and the wall was picked CLEAN by the time I got in the door about 57 seconds after it opened. That was a frenzy of crafty locusts, I tell ya!!). All in all, not a bad day, and MOST of the people I encountered were pleasant, helpful and happy. I slept like a BRICK last night, though!! Smiley from

Have a terrific weekend!!

Stamps: Serene Snowflakes, Petite Pairs
Paper: Basic Black, Basic Gray, Whisper White
Ink: Basic Black, Basic Gray
Accessories: Northern Frost Decorative Strip Die, Silver Cord, Curvy Label Punch, Northern Flurry Textured Impressions Folder, Rhinestone Basics

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanks & Gratitude

Just stopping by for a brief moment to express my thanks and gratitude for my many blessings ... my family, my faith, my friends, a safe roof overhead, a job, plenty to eat, clothing to wear ... all the things that we take for granted on a daily basis ...

Smiley from
Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!!

Stamps: Gently Falling, Fabulous Phrases
Paper: Very Vanilla, Soft Suede
Ink: Pumpkin Pie, Cajun Craze, Early Espresso, Crumb Cake, Soft Suede
Accessories: Crumb Cake Seam Binding, Sponges, Antique Brads

Monday, November 21, 2011

Online Extravaganza!!!

Stamin' Up! is having their Online Extravaganza!! It's the annual sale to kick off the holiday shopping season and begins TODAY ... and will run through Wednesday, November 30, 2011. While this promotion is perfect for online orders during an especially busy time of year, you can also contact me to order for you. Smiley from



In addition, there will be two items on sale for 24 hours only (November 21, 12:01 AM - 11:59 PM [MT] - TODAY!!)

122334 - Simply Scored - Sale Price $23.96
125152 - Sweet Press Cookie Stamp - Sale Price $13.96

Don't miss it!! (I hafta admit I was one of my first customers today ... some AWESOME deals going on!!)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Simply Freakin' Awesome!!

Welcome to the November Control Freaks Blog Tour! We're excited to share some projects we have done for ya with the "KISS" theme ... and NO, I DON'T mean "rock 'n roll!!" Smiley from (Sorry Jan ... couldn't resist using this smiley ... how often DOES one get to use a Kiss Rock Band Smiley??)

K - Keep; I - It; S - Simple; S - Stamper ... projects that can be easily duplicated or produced en masse. You should have just come from the blog of Dawn Olchefske ... she is making me regret that I haven't got the "Hand-Penned Holidays" stamp set ... yet ...

I hafta admit that my palms have been getting sweaty just THINKING about this month's theme ... simple I AIN'T (just ask my hubby!)!! I am a self-professed layer/ embellishment/fussy cutting GEEK. But, being up for a challenge I dug right in with this card. I haven't done a lot of fall stamping this year, which is kinda surprising since I {{heart}} this time of year! This card is a 3" square. It DOES have more than a couple of layers, but it is pretty basic (and where in the HECK is my ribbon??? GASP!!). Kinda hard to tell from the photo, but the top leaf is gold embossed ...

Stamps: French Foliage, Fabulous Phrases
Paper: Very Vanilla, Old Olive, Cajun Craze, Brushed Gold
Ink: Early Espresso, Old Olive, Cajun Craze, Versamark
Accessories: Gold Embossing Powder, Small Oval Punch, Regals Cajun Craze Button

Next up, I turned my thoughts to Christmas. I have always been drawn to cards that are mostly white or vanilla ... I used my Simply Scored tool to create the little embossed border lines on the sentiment strip ... I didn't even hafta color this, except for the little holly berries, which I then dressed up with a little bit of Dazzling Details glitter glue ...

Stamps: Bells and Boughs, Petite Pairs
Paper: Very Vanilla, Cherry Cobbler, Early Espresso
Ink: Early Espresso, Cherry Cobbler
Accessories: Houndstooth Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, Decorative Label Punch, 1 3/4" Circle Punch, Simply Scored Tool, Early Espresso Quilted Ribbon, Dazzling Details glitter glue, Dimensionals

And last of all ... I kinda did this one a little less simple ... I TRIED ... REALLY I did!! The idea in my head was VERY simple. And it really wasn't all that difficult to put together, either (did you know that the Snowflake Punch has little hash marks on the front end and on the side to mark the halfway point?? I didn't!! It made centering these snowflakes in the squares pretty easy!). AND I SPONGED!! Something I rarely do, for some reason!! I like how the sponging helps pop the score lines up, though ...

Stamps: Grateful Greetings
Paper: Very Vanilla, Crumb Cake, Frostwood Lodge, DSP
Ink: Early Espresso
Accessories: Snowflake Punch, Wide Oval Punch, Simply Scored Tool, 3/8" Twill Tape, Winter Wishes Stitched Felt, Dimensionals

Next up is the incomparable Connie Babbert ... she does up Red, White and Blue - WINTER style!! LOVE it!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Apples, Apples, APPLES!!

But just a sec .... before I show you all photos from the Annual Weixler Family Alpine Apple Pressing Day, I thought I'd share this card with you (NOT an apple ... but a pear IS close!). I used JanTink's Double-Up Background Technique to get the coolio embossed/colored/patterned background strip with the houndstooth pattern... excellente'!!

Stamps: Faith in Nature, Fabulous Phrases, Woodgrain Background, Aida Background
Paper: Pear Pizzazz, Eearly Espresso, Very Vanilla, Whisper White, Peach Parfait
Ink: Black Stazon, Pear Pizzazz, So Saffron, Soft Suede, Certainly Celery, Peach Parfait, Tangerine Tango
Accessories: Scallop Trim Border and Corner Punches, Small Oval Punch (retired), Scallop Ribbon Border Punch, Houndstooth Textured Impressions Folder, Very Vanilla Seam Binding, Mini Clothespin, Dimensionals

Pressing apple juice is a tradition that started with my husband, his brothers and his dad when they were young. They had an old-fashioned crank-type gizmo that they would put the apples in to press the juice (in fact, it is STILL stored in my garage!). On a good day they could squeeze out about a gallon of juice (and it was a LOT of work, I tell ya!!) The first step in the process as we now do it is to grind the apples into bits ...

Then, we put the ground up apples in burlap that is placed in a square frame. Once the frame is full, the burlap is folded over and removed from the frame. These "apple packets" are then stacked between wood pallets, six deep, and placed in our apple press.

A word about the press ... my brilliantly smart and talented brother in law, Jerry, designed and built this thing. As of last year, he added a "turbo boost" to the thing which makes it go MUCH faster than it used to. It really is amazing to watch. We can get about six gallons out of a single press (which takes about two minutes).

Here we see the juices flowing (and my son, Devan). You gotta be ready with the tub and strainer. All of the juice is strained as it comes off the press ...

Then, the tub is carried over to a table where many of us wait to strain it again and put it in the bottles ... we have three tubs that are continually rotating through the process. Busybusybusy!!

I am sure this is not quite as sanitary as pasteurization, but we haven't had any problems, so it seems to work pretty well. All of the juice is frozen until it is ready for consumption ...

There is a lot of laughter, many hugs and much visiting and eating happening (we have the most AWESOME tailgate party somewhere in the middle of the process ... LOTS of good food ... and of course, oatmeal butterscotch cookies made by my sister-in-law, Diann. They are deLISH!!). This is me with my darling niece, Melissa. She is due to have her first baby (a boy!) next month. We are all SOOO excited!!

This year, we weren't able to get as many empty bottles as we usually do, so we only did about 370 gallons ... (I really shouldn't say "only", as it is STILL an amazing feat!)!!

We also filled this giant "vat" thing ... not sure what to call it. I think we put between 75 and 80 gallons in it. So overall, it was about a 450-gallon day!! Not bad, eh?

And we can't EVEN touch that stuff that pretends to be apple juice that you buy in the store ... compared to what we make (which pretty much tastes like bitin' an apple), that stuff is watered-down and nasty!! (at least in our opinion!)

So now I have a happy freezer full of delicious juice to last us for the coming year. This is one of our favorite family traditions ... come rain or come shine, we wouldn't miss it!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Coral Birthday Wishes

Getting ready to get back into the work-a-day week and thought I'd drop a quick post ...

STILL loving me this stamp set!! I seem to have several sets that are just a great "go-to", and this is one of them ... Fabulous Florets ... {{HEART}} it!!

Apple pressing was a success. We weren't able to get as many empty bottles as usual, so we did about 370 gallons of bottled juice, and then we did about an additional 75 gallons, which were stored in this huge vat-sorta thing (I have a picture of that, too!). I'll be sharing some photos in my next post. It was cold, to be sure, but we only got a little bit of rain on our heads (which turned to snow!). Good times ... PLUS, I brought home a bunch of extra apples (and a few Asian pears) so that I can make something with them!! YUM!! Used the Asian pears already in a salad last night ... Smiley from

Stamps: Fabulous Florets, Print Pattern, French Script, Occasional Quotes
Paper: Night of Navy, Calypso Coral, Lucky Limeade, Whisper White
Ink: Night of Navy, Calypso Coral, Whisper White Watercolor Crayon
Accessories: Oval Cutter, Eyelet Border Punch, Bitty Buttons & Punch, Pearl Stickers, Whisper White Grosgrain Ribbon, Pop-Up Glue Dots

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thankful for Veterans ...

Being that Thanksgiving is fast approaching (at least for us folks in the US of A), AND also being that yesterday was Veteran's Day (TOTALY spaced it until I had driven clear across town to pick up my son and brought him clear across town to the Drivers License Division office only to find the parking lot EMPTY, the doors CLOSED and the lights OFF!! HATE it when I do stuff like that!), I figured that this was an appropriate card to post this morning ... (I always love red, white and blue together ... especially when there is a little kraft (aka Crumb Cake) thrown in!!). Thankyouthankyou to all the unselfish and brave souls who are Veterans (or who are married to Veterans, chlldren/siblings/parents of Veterans!).

It is currently raining, but we are all going to be headed out soon to press apples for juice. We're trying to sneak it in between this storm and the one schedule for this afternoon (with SNOW!). We also only plan on doing about 350 gallons this year, so we should be done a bit earlier than usual. Such a GREAT family tradition!!Smiley from

Stamps: Teeny Tiny Wishes
Paper: Real Red, Very Vanilla, Crumb Cake, Night of Navy Patterned Paper, Real Red Glitter DSP
Ink: Night of Navy
Accessories: Spellbinders Stars, Word Window Punch, Pretty Postage Punch, Button, Linen Thread, Real Red Striped Gingham Ribbon, Stripes Textured Impressions Folder, Dimensionals

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Love Me Some Purple!!

I have always liked purple ... ever since I was a little girl. I had seen a card (somewhere ... can't for the life of me remember where!) that used these three purples together. I love how they look against the clean white ...

We are gearing up for the annual Weixler Family Apple Pressing Party on Saturday. This has been a tradition since my husband was a young boy. HIs father had a small, hand-crack apple press, and they used to get a couple of gallons out of that thing. Fast forward to present day ... some years back my VERY brilliant brother in law designed and made a hydraulic press to make the process better. With the help of many hands running the apples through the shredder, stacking them in palettes and loading them in to the press ... straining, filling and capping off the bottles we have got to the point where we can do over 500 gallons in a day. That's right ... it's NOT a typo ... 500 GALLONS!! We are awesome!! It's gonna be cold, wet and possibly snowy on Saturday ... hopefully, that won't hamper the process TOO much!!

Wish me luck (as y'all KNOW how I feel about COLD!!!) Smiley from

Stamps: Tiny Tags
Paper: Whisper White, Rich Razzleberry, Concord Crush, Wisteria Wonder
Ink: Concord Crush
Accessories: You Embossing Folder, Scallop Border Punch, 1 1/4" and 1 3/8" Square Punch, Jewelry Tag Punch, Silver Cord, Rich Razzleberry Polka Dot Ribbon, Daisy Punch, Pop-Up Glue Dots

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Baby, Oh Baby!

Who doesn't love the feel of a warm, snuggly quilt? (Especially when it's COOOOOLD outside??!!??) That was the inspiration for this baby card ... to make a paper quilt!

I've been wracking and wracking my brain trying to come up with ANY ideas for a family Christmas card this year ... I'm thinking I may have to do something "quilty" ... hmmmm .... not quite sure, but I gotta do SOMEthing pretty soon, or else I'm going to run out of time!! YIKES!! (I am forever going to be haunted by the pop-up Christmas tree card I did a couple of years ago ... I mean ... REALLY ... how does one top a POP-UP CHRISTMAS TREE?? I DO have a reputation to uphold, don'tcha know??!!??) If any of you have any ideas/links to cards that are particularly unique, amazing or different (not to mention AWESOME!!), I'd certainly appreciate the inspiration!!

Stamps: Letter It
Paper: Garden Green and Elegant Eggplant Patterned DSP, Melon Mambo, Pink Pirouette, Whisper White
Ink: Elegant Egglant
Accessories: Perfect Polka Dots Textured Impressions Folder, Eyelet Border Punch, Blossom Bouquet Triple Layer Punch, Star Punch, Fluerettes, Pretty in Pink Taffeta Ribbon, Pretty in Pink Button, 1 3/8" Square Punch, Sewing Machine, Dimensionals

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Welcome Winter?

When I woke up yesterday morning there was snow on the ground ... and it was still snowing ... brrrrr!!! Don't get me wrong ... I LIKE snow. It's actually very pretty!! And skiing is fun ... so is building a snowman ... or having a great snowball fight ... making snow angels ... I actually quite love how it looks and changes our landscape.

However ...

I do NOT like to be cold!! Which it seems that I am from about October to June!! If we could just figure out a way for it to be warm AND have snow at the same time, then I'd be good to go!! Guess there's not much chance of that ... but I'm really not quite ready to switch gears to winter. Although, I DO hafta admit that I have already started listening to Christmas music (something which I fall into right after Halloween every year ... I love holiday music, and listening to it for only one month is just NOT long enough for me!!).

Anywho ... winter has absolutely NOTHING to do with this card ... this is, however, probably my favorite stamp set from this year's catalog. Kinda hard to make an UGLY card with it!! So, there ya have it ...

Utah has really strange seasonal changes. Most of the time we just SLAM from one season into another. I wouldn't be surprised, though, if it were 70 degrees next weekend after our weekend of snow this go 'round ...

Happy Sunday! Smiley from

Stamps: Field Flowers, Petitie Pairs
Paper: Concord Crush, Very Vanilla, Wisteria Wonder, Wisteria Wonder DSP
Ink: Wisteria Wonder, Elegant Eggplant, Pear Pizzazz
Accessories: 1 1/4" Circle Punch, Lacy Ribbon Border Punch, Wisteria Wonder Ruffled Ribbon, Dimensionals