Monday, July 30, 2012

Flowers of Summer

As I sit watching the Olympics (I LOVE the Olympics!!), I keep thinking I need to get up off my, um, chair ... and go stamp something!! I'm going to have to have my tv set up in my craft room so I can do at least SOME stamping the next couple of weeks ... I hate to miss ANY of the prime time Olympic broadcast. SOOOO exciting!!

We spent a little time over the weekend up at the family condo in Bear Lake (Utah/Idaho border). It's so beautiful and peaceful up there ... and the phone and internet service is sketchy, so relaxing is really what I do best there!! (Not to mention massive croquet tournaments, beach time, late-evening/early-morning runs, hot tubbing and hanging out with the fam!!)

This is the card I created for the latest Control Freaks Swap (we DO actually swap cards, not just to blog hops!) for the "New Catalog Swap." I am sooo drawn to flower stamps. I have more of those that anything else!

We should be revving up an Artisan Award Winner Blog Tour for ya pretty quick here as well, so stay tuned!!

Stamps: Stippled Blossoms, Petite Pairs
Paper: Raspberry Ripple, Gumball Green, Pink Pirouette, Certainly Celery, Whisper White
Ink: Pink Pirouette, Raspberry Ripple, Certainly Celery, Gumball Green
Accessories: Apothecary Accents Framelits Dies, Gumball Green Satin Stitched Ribbon, Chevron Textured Impressions Folder, Simply Scored, Pearl Basics, Large Oval Punch

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Freakin' Happy!

That would pretty much describe my mood since seeing all of my fellow Control Freaks at Convention!! You should just come from the amazing creations of Dawn Olchefske (the woman is a stampin' genius!). Our theme this months is "Freak for All" ... we are sharing cards that we swapped at Convention (for those of us who were there) AND some of the new goodies that will be available from the Holiday Mini. Soooo ... let's get started!!

This is my first Convention Freak Swap. Since I love ALL things Halloween, I couldn't RESIST the cute little witchy-poo boot!! And I decided she needed a broom to match (the owl punch works nicely as some straw for my broom, don'tcha think??)

Stamps: Bootiful Occasions
Paper: Basic Black, Elegant Eggplant, Pumpkin Pie, Whisper White, Crumb Cake, Early Espresso
Ink: Basic Black
Accessories: Apothecary Accents Die, Owl Punch, Paper Piercing Mat/Tool, Rhinestone Basics, Basic Black 1/8" Taffeta Ribbon, Spiderweb Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, Chevron Textured Impressions Folder, Simply Scored

Next, I had to make a floral card for my Freaky friends. I am sooo drawn to floral stamps (aren't we ALL??). I would probably be just fine making floral cards all the time (I guess I do most of the time, anyway!). And the new paper piercing templates are DA BOMB!!

Stamps: Summer Silhouettes, Curly Cute
Paper: Lucky Limeade, Whisper White
Ink: Lucky Limeade, Daffodil Delight, Raspberry Ripple
Accessories: Paper Piercing Template, Modern Label Punch, Pearl Basics, Daffodil Delight Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon

To say that I LOVELOVELOVE this stamp set is an understatement!! AND it has DIECUTS to match!! (They will be available in the new holiday mini!) So I put the image of the jar with a pear inside on a jar with some juicy pear JELLY BELLIES inside!! And, going with my latest trend, had to add a little Crystal Effects to that pear. I could not help myself!!

Stamps: Friendship Preserves
Paper: Whisper White, Orchard Harvest DSP
Ink: Basic Black, Early Espresso, Lucky Limeade
Accessories: Cannery Framelets, Banners Framelits, Designer Fabric Essentials, Linen Thread, Crystal Effects, Cannery Jar

Now ... on the the lovely creations of Yvette Ashe!!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Crystal Effects

Y'know how you have products that you go through "phases" with? That has been me and Crystal Effects this past couple of weeks ... I used to use it a lot, then it was neglected for many a moon. Seems I have rediscovered it lately, and I'm loving it!!

I had this card sitting on my table, fully done, for two days. It somehow didn't seem complete to me, and I kept feeling prompted to add the shininess of Crystal Effects ... finally just caved in and did it on the little boat!! YAY!! Just what it needed!!

What's YOUR favorite "go-to" product lately? Leave me a comment and let me know ... I'd love to see what it is you use that just seems to "do it" for ya!!


Stamps: Moving Forward
Paper: Real Red, Pacific Point, Whisper White, Polka Dot Parade DSP
Ink: Basic Black, Real Red, Pacific Point, Daffodil Delight
Accessories: 2 1/2" Circle Punch, Itty Bitty Heart Punch (to create border behind circle), Real Red Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon, Real Red Button, Whisper White Baker's Twine, Crystal Effects

Monday, July 23, 2012

Stampin' ...

I think it is gonna take me about a WEEK to catch up on the sleep I missed last week!! (And for those of you who know that I am an incurable insomniac, that is sayin' something!!) Such a wonderful experience, though. I wouldn't trade it for anything!!

Jan and I FINALLY got some stampin' time together yesterday! (We made a mess, laughed a lot, and watched some chick flicks ... Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, 27 Dresses!) Good times. Can hardly believe she got here a week ago today and the time is already GONE!! Holy sa-MOKES!! I will be taking her to the airport this morning ... good thing we have Skype!!

Jan was nice enough to bring some of her stampy goodies with her (at least some of the stuff I DON'T have!). This is one ... "Decorate a Daisy" ... soooo gonna hafta buy this baby!! LOVE it!! And I seem to have "rediscovered" Crystal Effects. Kinda hard to tell from the photo, but the center of the flower is all chunky and shiny with the Crystal Effects I added to it! LOVE that stuff!!

It's gonna be back to the grind today ... work, carpooling, laundry ... already excited and looking forward to NEXT year at Convention!! Also very happy that the Convention Center is right down the street from my house!!

Happy Monday!!

Stamps: Decorate a Daisy, Mixed Medley
Paper: Early Espresso, Cajun Craze, So Saffron, Very Vanilla, Natural Composition DSP
Ink: Early Espresso
Accessories: Window Frames Framelits Dies, Paper Piercing Mat/Pack, Ribbon Slider, Small Scallop Circle Punch, 3/4" and 1" Circle Punches, Victoria Lace ribbon, Perfect Polka Dots and Woodgrain Textured Impressions Folders, Crystal Effects, Dimensionals

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tales from Convention - Day 4 - Over Already??

This week has gone by in a whirlwind. I have NO idea where the time has gone. My favorite part about Convention every year is getting connected/ reconnected with all of the many wonderful friends I have made as a result of my connection to Stampin' Up. I'm missing everyone already!! These are my besties ... my upline, Shellee Kariuki, who got me interested in this crazy-ol' "hobby" in the first place. I may have come into it kicking and screaming (well, maybe not QUITE!), but I would hafta go out 1,000 times louder!! Thanks for your support and inspiration, my friend!! Emilie Chisholm is the "new kid on the block" ... we brought her to Convention for ONE day last year about a week after she signed up. It has been sooo much fun getting to know her ... love ya, Girlie!! And Cheryl Curtis ... we met as members of Shellee's stamp club and have been BFF's ever since (she signed up about a year before I did). Thanks for making my week so much fun and my life so much better ...

And how could I go through the Convention experience without my alter ego, Jan??? (aka the GREAT JanTink!!). She has come to stay with me for the last four Conventions ... it's so much fun having a stampin' buddy on hand ... although I hafta admit I have been about as much fun as a wet sock every evening this week ... I actually went to bed at 8:30 last night ... woke up at about 12:30 a.m. and realized I was still fully dressed!!! How's THAT for wiped out??? We are gonna be doing some SERIOUS stamping today, though!! Can't WAIT!!

Fun announcements from this week:
My Digital Studio will be available for purchase on August 1!! (some of the content won't be quite ready, but will be available through a free upgrade as soon as it becomes available)
Tabletop Cutter will be available soon as well. We got to watch Shelli play with it. How many cutters does a girl REALLY need?? Apparently at least ONE more, as this one looks AWESOME!!
Convention 2013 - will be only three days instead of four (to make it easier for more people to come) AND will be open to demos from other countries to attend as well. YAY!! (Okay, Canada IS another country and they already come, but it will be fun to hook up with more of our foreign friendies next year)

This year on the Artisan Design Team is gonna be such a BLAST!! I'm sure next year's Convention will be here before we know it. I {{HEART}} STAMPIN' UP!! Smiley from

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tales from Convention - Day 3 - Alice in Wonderland

I totally feel like I have fallen down the rabbit hole!! So many wonderful and amazing things have been happening this week. I can honestly say that humbled, overwhelmed, excited, awestruck, happy, and honored are only a FEW of the words that can describe my experiences this week. I have met so many new and wonderful people ... and renewed friendships with many old and dear friends.

A special thank you to all of you who have gone out of your way to say hello to me at Convention, comment on my blog and send me emails and messages on Facebook. Your support and kindness mean so very much to me. Again, I don't have enough words to begin to describe my gratitude. Thanks hardly seems enough, but it is heartfelt and sincere. You are all wonderful!

What a wonderful day yesterday!! It was fun that TWO of my besties won Prize Patrol during general sessions ... congrats to Cheryl and Emilie!! I have been skunked on Prize Patrol for at least the last four years ... I am hoping today is the day for orange checkered wristbands!!

The highlight of the day (and probably of all of Convention) was being able to go to dinner with Shelli & Sterling Gardner, as well as member from the Concept Artist Team from Stampin' Up. All of the new Artisan Design Team Members were there! How wonderful!! We had dinner at a local restaurant called Fleming's. Look at our beautiful place setting/menu!! We had a private room all to ourselves. The food was divine, the company was fantastic, and the evening was stellar!! I already love all these women!! (And Sterling, too!!)

I was sooo hungry that I didn't take a picture of each course as we went along, but I DID remember to get a photo of our cheesecake dessert (AFTER I had already taken a bite!). I was stuffed to the GILLS!!

And lookie what was in the little box at our place settings ... personalized Artisan Stamps!! I haven't EVER owned a personalized stamp!! How COOL!! What a treasure!

Sooo happy that we were able to get a group photo after dinner (although I kinda felt like I needed a hand truck to wheel me back to the Salt Palace!). Cindy Beach (the cute friend to my right) and I went strolling around the mall to see if we could walk off some of the 1,000,000 calories we just ate!! Starting in the front row (from left to right) - Erica Cerwin, Cindy Beach, ME; Second row - Heidi King, Jane Lee, Marisa Gunn, Heather Summers, Jeanna Bohanon, Sarah Sagert; Back Row - Holly Lunsford (Concept Artist for SU), Amy Yingling (SU Concept Artist Coordinator), Shelli Gardner!, Amy Schwartz (VP of Sales for SU), Amy Bollman

Mindy Backes and I are going to go running again this morning. It has been sooo much fun having her as an early-morning running buddy!! Gonna miss that girl when she goes home!! Smiley from

One more day of Convention, and then it is back to reality. Too bad my family doesn't think my laundry skills are award worthy ... sigh ...

PS - Those of you looking for the Control Freaks Blog Tour hang tight ... we postponed the Tour since so many of the participants are here in Salt Lake City hanging out at Convention!! We will be flying high on the 27th this month!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Tales from Convention - Day 2 - Stampin' Connections

I never would have DREAMED 10 years ago that what started as a hobby would turn into something that would bring me more satisfaction - and FRIENDS - than stamping!! Holy SMOKES!! Yesterday was FULL of making connections with sooo many wonderful people!! First off ... these ladies are all the finalists for Stampin' Up's Artisan Award for this year (I swear, based on what I saw on the boards created by each and eery one of them, I have NO IDEA how Stampin' Up was able to whittle them down to just 10!). We did a swap during lunch, and let me tell you ... the swaps are A.MAZ.ING!!

Next, MY FREAKS!! Words cannot even BEGIN to describe how much I {{HEART}} these friends ... not even CLOSE!! We hugged, laughed, swapped, talked, and had lunch together. WHAT AN AWESOME AND INSPIRING GROUP!! So many of our Freaks were recognized for their achievements last night during the Awards Night festivities. Achievements in sales, recruiting, leadership ... I am so blessed to be a part of this group. I am humbled by their talent, example and kindness ... love you guys!!

And this is me ... of course ... FINALLY with a legitimate "Freak" sign for our swap during lunch (being only 5 feet tall makes it necessary for me to stand on a chair to be seen, I guess!). I actually created this sign in MDS right after Convention last year ... decided that throwing together a sign on an old piece of cardstock with a very dry sharpie just didn't cut it for this group any more!!

I look kinda like a "photo bomber" in this one ... I was sitting right next to Cheryl, but for some reason I look like I am waaayyy behind her and Emilie in this one ... Convention would not be complete without my "home girls" nearby ... Smiley from

These are my buddies for our "All Things Stampin' Up" Facebook page. Sooo fun to be able to hook up in the "real world" with my online friendies. We went to lunch at Red Rock, too!! FUNFUNFUN!!

What in the world am I doing here, do you ask??? Basking in the glow of Shelli Gardner, CEO and Cofounder of Stampin' Up. How AWESOME it was to be able to go up on stage and be recognized ... and to stand RIGHT NEXT to Shelli!! Holy COW!! (And how FUN is it that we all get to go to DINNER with her tonight???)

Here is a better picture of the whole group of the 2012 Artisan Design Team ... at least you can see everyone's faces in this one (Shelli isn't in this one, sadly ...)

Yep!! It's official!! Isn't this LEGIT??? Beautiful bracelet we each received from OC Tanner ... Don't know if I'm EVER gonna wanna take this one off!! (The heart is all lacey and scroll-y looking on the front side ... just love that it says this on the back, though!!)

Words cannot describe how much I LOVE this woman!! (And the fact that we can look each other in the EYE!! She only looks taller than me here because she had on higher heels!!) Mindy Backes ... I only wish that she had been on the stage with us ... sooo deserving for all of her talent!! Thanks for being my early-morning running buddy this week ... and for just plain ol' being my friend!!

This is "my" Sarah (Sarah Dial)... have known her since she was in junior high school and a new friend of my oldest son. Until just a few weeks ago she was also working at Stampin' Up. When she found out I had won Artisan, she made it a point to come and see me (and a few other of her close friends) get honored last night. I sooo treasure her friendship (she is like a daughter to me).

What a great way to end our day ... mousse, anyone??? These are from the after party last night ... I coulda just stood at this table and worked my way around it ... MANY times!! YUM!!

Another swap to share ... this is for my last swap today. I need to get hustling if I'm gonna run with Mindy, do a bit of house maintenance and get myself ready to make it over to the Convention center by 9 (glad it is a little later this morning!). Thanks to so many of you who have gone out of your way while at Convention to come over and say hi to me (and wishing me a hearty congrats!). I appreciate you more than you know!!

Stamps: Happy Hour
Paper: Basic Black, Whisper White, Polka Dot Parade DSP
Ink: Basic Black, Daffodil Delight, Gumball Green, Melon Mambo
Accessories: Apothecary Accents Framelits Die, Perfect Polka Dots Textured Impressions Folder, Daffodil Delight Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon, Extra Large Oval Punch, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tales from Convention - Day 1 - OHMYGOSH!!!

Today started off early ... got up just before 4:00 a.m. to work on and finish up the last of my swaps ... then went on a run with one of my good Stampin' Up buddies, Mindy Backes. Got ready, ran Jan (aka JanTink) down to the Convention center, took my mom to the beauty parlor (hairdresser??), ran to the store, came home and labeled my swaps, picked Mom up from the beauty parlor (hairdresser??), ran to the store with HER, then headed down to Convention. As I walked in the door, I got a call from Jan ... "Where ARE you??" When I told her I was in the building she said, "Get over here! You MUST go to the Award Booth to see if you won Artisan!!" What???? I thought they were announcing winners at Award Night tomorrow night ... apparently, the finalists were notified, via email, sometime LAST WEEK that they needed to check in to the Awards Booth. Apparently they forgot the "W's" ... never got such an email. When I reached Jan she was encouraging me to get in line. It as VERY long ... I said, "No. Don't really want to. Since I didn't get an email, I'm sure I didn't win." She kept persisting ... finally she said, "See that guy at the corner edge of the booth? All kinds of people have been sneaking up there to ask him quick questions. Why don't you go ask him?" "Um, no. Don't wanna. Pretty sure I didn't win." After much coaxing, Jan finally said, "Ok. I'LL go ask him!" Next thing I know, Jan is calling me over and the very nice Stampin' Up Dude is asking me for my Demo ID number. Before I can hardly believe what is happening, he is handing me my "Artisan" badge. OHMYGOSHOHMYGOSH!!! I WON!!! I cried like a baby ... and Jan cried, too!! She also gave me a big ol' bear hug. And then bought me a Diet Coke a little later because I was having a headache after all the excitement!! The sign of a TRUE BFF!!! Love ya, friend!! (I also hafta admit that I did a little happy jig in there, somewhere!!) Smiley from

It was also TOTALLY FUN that several of my Control Freak buddies were close at hand when I got the news. LOTS of squeals, hugs and laughter. THANKS SO MUCH, LADIES!! You have NO IDEA how much it meant for me to share such an amazing moment with you all!!

So here is some more to share from today ... first off, stuff from Memento Mall ... FREAKIN' CUTE MITTENS!!!

AWESOME TOOLS!! (Which I may label with "You touch this, you DIE!!")

ADORABLE MINI-MAGNET BOARDS AND POST-IT NOTES!! (How stinkin' ca-YOOT are those mini-magnet boards???) And the Post-It notes!! Nicely-sized and very pretty ... all the better to "flag" those catalog pages with the MUST HAVE items!!

AMAZING CARD TREE!! (I can not only envision this laden with lovely cards, but I can also see it hung with seasonal ornaments! LOVE IT!!)

And talk about Customer Service!! This is me and my new DS Buddy, Riley!! I've actually talked to him TWICE this past week - had to call for a replacement sticker sheet for one of my stamp sets AND called to check on the time intervals for the Home Office Campus Tours during Convention, since they weren't posted on the SU website. Since he told me that he would be working during the Tours today, I told him he could make a LOT of Demo Friends if he had some CHOCOLATE to hand out!! He also mentioned that Diet Coke would probably work!! "Darn right!," I said!! Well, when I showed up for the Tour today, I found him in DS. Decided to have a little fun with him. "What up, Dude??" Where's the M&M's??" He grinned and said, "Stay here." He disappeared for about a minute and a half, then returned with this bag of M&M's and a cold Diet Coke!! AWESOMENESS!! Seriously!!! Now THAT'S what I call good Demo Service!! I SOOOO LOVE SU!!! Thanks, Bud!! You MADE my day!!

Here are two of my besties, Emilie and Cheryl. They were SOOO happy for me. It's overwhelming to have the support of such wonderful friends. Love you, Girlies!! (Looks like we're in Hawaii, right??? We are actually in the atrium at the SU Home Office!! Beautiful!!)

And last, but not least, here is a peekie to one of my swaps cards (don't tell, ok? These are for TOMORROW!!) Finally got these finished up this morning!!

Stamps: Road to Happiness
Paper: Basic Black, Whisper White, Cherry Cobbler, Marina Mist, Daffodil Delight, Polka Dot Parade DSP
Ink: Basic Black, Cherry Cobbler
Accessories: 1 3/8", 1 1/4" and 1" Square Punches, 1/2" Circle Punch, Decorative Label Punch, Chevron Textured Impressions Folder, Silver Brads, Whisper White Baker's Twine, Paper Piercing Tool/Mat, Crystal Effects

Smiley from millan.netI think at this point, even my HAIR is tired, so I'm off to Never-Never Land!! Hope I can sleep!! I'm SOOOO excited!!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pocket Full of Fun!!

I am often amazed at how much stuff I MISS when I am perusing Splitcoast ... I've been hanging out there for YEARS and STILL come across stuff I've never even seen before!!

Case in point ... this adorable pocket card tutorial by my dear friend, Beate Johns. This is sooo fun!!! It was done clear back in 2008 ... sooo glad I found it, 'cause I used it for today's F4A (Free for All) challenge on SCS. And since I am actually out of town at girl's camp, my OTHER good friend, Dawn Barrett, posted the challenge for me ... thanks, Girl!!

Smiley from millan.netConvention is drawing ever-nearer ... and I am sooo excited - AND NERVOUS - that I can hardly stand myself!! Jan (aka JanTink) will be here on Monday and we are gonna laugh, play, stamp and eat a LOT of chocolate!! (Okay, maybe I won't eat a TON, but I WILL be thinking about eating it!!)

Have a wonderful weekend, my stampin' friends!

Stamps: Friendship Preserves, Border Banter
Paper: Soft Suede, Early Espresso, Whisper White, Rich Razzleberry
Ink: Soft Suede, Rich Razzleberry
Accessories: Paper Piercing Pack, Window Frames Collection Framelits Dies, Antique Brads, Crumb Cake Seam Binding, Chevron Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, Dinner Plate