Tuesday, November 27

We're home, our sad & proud departure....

We're home from a week long visit with my parents in Mission (my hometown) which is in the Rio Grande Valley - deep South Texas.

I love visiting my parents but it's really good to be back home in Dallas. Although we spent a week down there, it seems like our time there is always on fast forward because I blink and it's over.

Our departures are always filled with tears but this one was a little different. Since we were unusually extra extra early for our departure flight out, we hung out in the waiting area before saying goodbye and taking the long ride up the escalator to go through security and on to our gate.
The waiting area at the Valley International Airport in Harlingen is huge atrium with a gigantic Spanish style fountain that is about two stories tall right in the center. There is a gift shop and restaurant and lots of seats all around. The gates and security area are upstairs and look out to the gorgeous atrium area.
I noticed when we got there, that there were quite a few people... more than usual. Then I noticed a reporter and camera crew from one of the local television stations. I figured someone famous was arriving but didn't think much about it. As we sat and waited, I noticed there were lots of American flags and some veterans. Then we were approached by a veteran asking if we were waiting for a soldier.
All the people in the waiting area were friends and families of the soldiers arriving from Iraq. As soon as the arrival announcement happened, more people poured into the waiting area. Men and women from among the crowd (veterans- including my father) cut through the crowd and took their unspecified places at the front of the steps. After a moment, we were able to get a glimpse of the soldiers making their way to the escalators. The crowd started cheering and clapping as the group of 15 or so soldiers made their way down the escalator. It was nonstop clapping and cheering for several minutes, the veterans saluted all the soldiers and the clapping continued and continued.
My hands hurt from clapping and my heart felt proud just to have had the opportunity to be there. It really felt good! And then reality hit, our time was up and in what seemed to be a blinking moment it was time to say goodbye to my parents and make our way upstairs to our gate. I hate goodbyes but this was a neat hello even though I didn't know anyone.
Thanks for reading this far and letting me share the moment.

Monday, November 26

Wrapping up the holidays!

Special offers from Stampin' Up!
November 23 to December 15th

Click here for flier
Click here to see projects:
112409 Holiday Tag Bundle $4.95
110380 Tags for All Stamp Set* (20% off) $24.76
110264 Designer Gift cards* (30% off) $4.55
109862 Chocolate Chip satin ribbon* Buy 1, get 1 free!**
109863 Purely Pomegranate satin ribbon* Buy 1, get 1 free!**
112410 Tin 3-Pack $9.95
110147 Celebration wrapping paper* $17.95
110228 Hand Selected Accents & Elements (25% off) $8.21
  • There is no limit to the number of items you may purchase, but Holiday Mini items are available only while supplies last.
  • The Holiday Tag Bundle includes 30 of each of the following pieces:
    -Whisper White card stock-Real Red textured card stock-Soft Sky Prints Designer Series Paper (Dotted Diamond pattern)-Real Red twill tape
    The pieces for this bundle make 15 cellophane bag toppers that are perfect for neighbor or teacher gifts.
  • The satin ribbon offer (buy one, get one free) is good on both the Purely Pomegranate and Chocolate Chip ribbon. Customers may select any combination of ribbon for their free ribbon.
  • The Tin 3-Pack contains three empty Accents & Elements tins. These tins have never been available for purchase separately.

Tuesday, November 20

RAK from Michele

My friend (and sideline) Michele gave me this card as a thank you for letting her borrow my Leaves Awash Jumbo Wheel. I love it when Michele borrows stuff because she always gives me a sample of what she makes :).

AIY Blog Candy Winner

Ok, I was four days overdue on this. Sorry, it was a very busy week last week. I counted the names in the guestbook with pictures, excluded family members and came up with 15. The number generator picked number 6..... and the sixth picture was drum roll please.....

To celebrate 6000 hits, the winner of the AIY blog candy is none other than the blog fairy ...... Nancy Riley from Phoenix, Arizona I really couldn't believe it! The blog fairy got the candy. Nancy is very deserving of this blog candy because she comments on my posts all the time. Nancy, I need your address! Email me please!

Monday, November 19

'T was the night before Christmas book....

I've been working on this book off and on for the past week. I started it at a class offered at Recollections, a local scrapbooking store that is on the verge of going out of business. They alotted 2 hours for this class and I have no idea what they were thinking because there is no way one could finish this book in that time span. Nonetheless, it's finally finished and I am glad. It was alot of work... 14 pages with quite a bit of detail. --

Working on it inspired me to make one using all Stampin' Up! materials.... I'm using the Dashing DP, Real Red, Old Olive and River Rock color scheme. I am hoping to finish it in the next few days so keep checking back.

November Stamp Club Projects

It's been a busy week in our household, our daughter had the flu bug and a severe ear infection, my DH has been off all week and we've turned our house upside down rearranging to make the princess a play room in what used to be DH's study. Micaela is back to her happy little self after two doctor's visits and some antibiotics but it was a little hairy for a couple of days. My husband and I both thought taking care of her was a little harder now that she can verbalize 'exactly' what she wants. It was so bad that at the last minute, I had to cancel stamp club last Tuesday. Nonetheless, here are two of the four stamp club projects for this month. I am going to revamp all of them since Thanksgiving will have passed by the time we have a make up. I was really happy with these cards so I wanted to show them anyway.

I did not realize until I was going back to my notes just now that both cards were inspired by Nancy Riley. Nancy does beautiful work, I love everything she does. She was one of my first subscribers and she kindly comments on most of my posts, she's like a blog fairy. Thank you Nancy for all of your inspiration. You can see her versions of the Autumn Harvest card here and her Baroque Motifs card here.

The supplies for both cards:

Chocolate Chip and River Rock card stocks. Apple Cider DP. Baroque Motifs stamped in Pumpkin Pie and Chocolate Chip craft inks and embossed with clear powder. Chocolate Chip Wide Grosgrain Ribbon. Brad in center of motif is More Mustard from Earth Elements box and beige brads are from JoAnn.
2nd card: Chocolate Chip, Really Rust, River Rock, Wild Wasabi and Very Vanilla card stocks. The pumpkins from Autumn Harvest were stamped on the Apple Cider paper using Chocolate Chip craft ink and embossed with clear powder. The Give Thanks saying is from Fancy Flexible Phrases (retired). I used the large oval punch to create a window.

Teacher Appreciation

After much thought and deliberation we decided to enroll Micaela in Pre-School earlier this month. She's been ready for a while, Mommy and Daddy were just having a hard time letting go and ironically the specific school we wanted had a long waiting list. So, we "waited" patiently for more than six months and finally got a spot at the end of October. We're taking this slow, so for now she's only going two days a week. We figured that was enough since she's only two and a half. She's so excited, every morning since she started, she wakes up asking if she's going to "Escuela" (school in Spanish).

I thought it would be nice to give her teachers a little something so I made these cards using the ABC Alphabet, Polka Dot background and Elementary Essentials stamp sets.

The ruler, scissors and letters were all stamped in craft ink and embossed with clear powder. The card base is Ballet Blue and I used classic Ballet Blue ink for the polkadot background. The "gracias" and scissors are both on dimensionals.

I also adhered a white piece matted with real red for the inside. Inside I stamped Gracias from the Felicidades Siempre stamp set and the apple from the retired Year Round Fun II stamp set. The brads are Brilliant Blue from the Bold Brights box.

It's a small world....

Last Tuesday I attended a home party at the home of one of my SU side lines. While there I was introduced to some ladies, basically friends of friends. The next day Wednesday- I saw one of the ladies at my daughter's preschool. The following day Thursday- I see the same lady at my MOMS group at church. Obviously we are in the same circles but had never met. How weird is that?
Then Saturday, I am at Dillard's doing my demo thing. I look across the way and offer a customer a sample of the smoothie I am making in the KitchenAid blender. She accepts and walks over to talk to me. I look at her face to face and tell her,"I know you". After 30 seconds we determine we're both from the same home town (Mission 500 miles away). We talk briefly and figure out, she was my little brother's 2nd grade teacher, mother of our childhood neighbor's best friend, her husband used to do business with my father and she recently met my second cousin who is a principal at a school district in another Dallas suburb and figured out the same connections. This may not seem weird to you all but the strange thing is that we're not in a little town, we're in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex...population over 1 million and I am 500+ miles away from my hometown which isn't exactly small with a population of 40,000. What are the odds?
And that brings me to my third little story. A couple of weeks ago a friend emailed me inviting me to join her "Linked In" network. I accepted the invitation and signed up for the service which is free. Linked In provides a service that helps you network. It's easy to find past and present colleagues and classmates quickly. LinkedIn makes staying in touch simple. The system will actually go through your email address book and help you find connections. Well, I went through my address book and immediately found some people I had totally lost track of. Overnight, I found 30+ people from my hometown, college, previous places of employment and even some of my old clients. I encourage you to visit the website, sign up and reconnect with your old friends and collegues. Feel free to add me to your list, you never know about the power of networking!

Spreads for Bagels...

Here's a quick and easy recipe for a Pumpkin Spread. You can make this ahead of time and serve it with bagels for your guests over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Pumpkin Spread

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours

I love different spreads on bagels. Two other favorites are from the KitchenAid Handmixer Use & Care Guide.... Raspberry Cream Cheese Spread and Honey Walnut Cream Cheese Spread. Both are on page 15. They are always a hit at my demos!

Raspberry Spread

1 package (8 oz.) light cream cheese
3 tablespoons seedless raspberry preserves
1⁄4 teaspoon grated orange peel

Place all ingredients in small bowl. Beat on Speed 1 about 1 minute, or until smooth and creamy,
scraping bowl once or twice. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours

Honey-Walnut Spread

1 package (8 oz.) light cream cheese
2 tablespoons honey
1⁄4 cup chopped walnuts

Place cream cheese and honey in small bowl. Beat on Speed 1 about 1 minute, or until smooth and creamy, scraping bowl once or twice. Add walnuts. Beat on Speed 1 about 20 seconds, or until combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

And while were on the subject of bagels. I always toast my bagels in our KitchenAid toaster. It has extra wide slots for toasting bagels, hamburger buns and TEXAS toast. It does a beautiful job toasting just one side when you use the "bagel" button. The Toaster Use & Care Guide also has some great recipes for Flavored Butters.... Honey Orange, Lemon-Thyme and Cheesy Garlic on page 17.

Sunday, November 11

Autumn Inspirations

While making the spatula cards on Thursday I also made this gift set using the same stamp sets, Autumn Fest and Elegant Ispirations. I love autumn!

I am trying out this Picturetrail service for the first time, let me know how you like it...

Pasta anyone?

I spent the majority of Saturday at one of the local Dillard's stores demonstrating KitchenAid products.

One of the items I demoed was the pasta roller attachment for the stand mixer.

Has anyone out there ever made their own pasta? I had never made any before my KA days but it's super easy and fun and to be honest I find it therapuedic. It's a project you can involve the whole family in.
I typically make the dough using the Basic Egg Pasta recipe found on page 9 of the Pasta Roller & Cutter Set Use and Care Guide but recently KitchenAid partnered up with Ecco La Pasta, a company out of Wisconsin. They sell specialty mixes that are super easy and fabulous. The owner of the company Peter Robertson actually came to speak to us at one of our training sessions last year- he's like a pasta guru and very entertaining.
You can find Ecco La Pasta at many speciality stores or you can purchase online... their website has some great recipes, check it out.
You can find the Pasta Roller Attachment at most local retailers, KitchenAid.com actually sells a Pasta Culinary Kit that includes:

  • KitchenAid® Pasta Roller Attachment for Stand Mixer

  • KitchenAid® Fettuccine Cutter Attachment for Stand Mixer

  • One Black KitchenAid® Nylon Pasta Server

  • One Black KitchenAid® Nylon Slotted Spoon

  • One Ecco La Pasta® Egg Pasta Mix

  • One Ecco La Pasta® Spinach Pasta Mix

Friday, November 9

Spatulas for everyone....

Spatulas for everyone at my table. Yesterday, I went to my MOMS group at church. This was our only meeting of the month since we're not meeting the week of Thanksgiving. I sit with the same ladies every time and I wanted to have a little Thanksgiving gift for everyone.

I wanted to give something that would be useful and practical so I came up with this spatula.
I figured everyone could use an extra spatual as they're cooking Thanksgiving dinner and these seemed perfect because of the color (looks like Really Rust to me). I debated about how to "wrap" them and in the end decided to go the simple route with just some ribbon and a card.

Stampin' Up's Love Notes were a perfect size for this.
I used one of the sayings from the "Elegant Inspirations" stamp set (one of my favorite Bible verses), stamped it in Chocolate Chip craft ink and embossed with clear powder on More Mustard card stock. I used a couple of Paper Shaper punches to punch out the leaves and then layered on Chocolate Chip card stock and adhered it to the True Thyme Love Note.
Inside the Love Note, I adhered another piece of More Mustard insde with a little message that I typed on the computer. Everyone loved them.

Tuesday, November 6

Pumpkin Roll 6x6

I have been in the process of making a 6x6 book with my favorite seasonal recipes since last fall. Here's the page I made (last year) for my Pumpkin Roll recipe. The first time I had some of this pumpkin roll I begged my co-worker's wife for the recipe. She kindly took me aside and said, "it's the recipe off the Libby can". So I came home and found the recipe on the Libby website and it's been a favorite ever since. You can see it by clicking HERE. I will say that it is a little time consuming but oh so worth it! Try it, I think you'll agree!

Here are the recipe details:
1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar (optional)
PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle towel with powdered sugar.
COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and slat in small bowl. Beat eggs and sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts.
BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.
BEAT cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake; remove towel. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.
Supplies Used for 6x6 page: More Mustard, Chocolate Chip, Pumpkin Pie, Old Olive and Very Vanilla card stocks. Wrought Iron corner Punch (retired), both Oval Punches, both Circle Punches, More Mustard brads and Fall Whimsey stamp set (retired)

Monday, November 5

I'm a Monday night tv junkie, are you?

I don't watch much tv but I have to admit I am hooked on two shows, Dancing with the Stars and the Bachelor, both on ABC. Anyone out there hooked like me???

We started watching DWTS during the first season. We really didn't get into it until Dallas Cowboy "Emmitt Smith" was a contestant on the show. We voted for him every week and were thrilled to see him win in the end. This year we gave our hometown boy Mark Cuban all our votes until he was eliminated two weeks ago; now we just randomly pick one couple and give them all our votes. The competition is tough, who do you think will win?

Okay, I know the Bachelor is corny but I have been watching it ever since the season when Trista didn't get picked, (the begining). Every season I say, I am not going to get "into it" but by the 3rd episode I am hooked. Before M was born I used to watch every episode with girlfriends, now two of us have toddlers so try to get together for the finalee. This season the bachelor is a TEXAN so of course I had to watch. He is down to 2 women, who do you think he's going to pick???

Sunday, November 4

Knock Knock

Knock Knock... Who's there?

It's time for some AIY blog candy to celebrate 6000 hits!

Everytime I look at the counter it boggles my mind. Who's out there reading my little ole blog??

I have been meaning to do this for quite a while so here we go. In the spirit of the Knock Knock game/riddle.... I wanna know who's out there! So sign my guestbook with a picture and this little collection of AIY blog candy could be yours.

What is AIY Blog Candy??? I bet you want to know... Well it's Alter It Yourself stuff.

Included in giveaway is: 10 blank square coasters, 1 giant clothespin, 1 jumbo clip and one Target mailbox!

Open to US only. I'll let Random.org pick a winner on the 15th.

Saturday, November 3

A TEXAS Size Cupcake!

My feet hurt tonight. Today I spent the day demo-ing at Sur La Table in Dallas. SLT is one of my favorite trade partners. The store was extremely busy since this is the last weekend of a special promo. They have all their holiday stuff out and it's really cute. You can't imagine how difficult it is to be forced to spend hours in a kitchen specialty store. It's torture for me because I want everything! The neatest thing that caught my eye was a new GIANT or should I say Texas Sized Cupcake pan by Wilton. These are extremely popular since there is such a cupcake craze right now.

The pan has two sections, the bottom and top. One regular cake mix fills both. You assemble the cupcake by spreading a thin layer of icing in between the halves and just decorate. This pan can be used for just about any occassion.

You can see the pan on the SLT website by clicking HERE.

Check out http://www.cupcakefun.com/ for a bunch of great ideas for many different themes.

Here are pictures of two completed cupcakes from the SLT website. (sorry I could not enlarge more)

Friday, November 2

Thanksgiving is 3 weeks away!

Oh my, did you realize Thanksgiving is three weeks from yesterday! My heart sank when I read that. The month just started and already I am feeling very behind.

I am a BIG FAN of Good Housekeeping magazine and everytime I find helpful information, I like to share it with others.... Here's some of their tips to get ready for the holiday.

While it is too early to start baking the pies, it's not too soon to:

Wishing You Cheer Set is 20% off!

Stampin' Up! is offering the Wishing You Cheer stamp set 20% off! It's only $11.16, a terrific deal. It makes a great gift/stocking stuffer! The offer expires November 3rd.... Yes, November 3rd! Don't delay, call me to place your order now.

The Wishing You Cheer stamp set is on page 33 in the Holidays section of the Fall & Winter Collection catalog.

Here are the images.

All In the Family.. special offer

Dave Abbott, SU's general manager in Australia, passed away last week. Dave was an outgoing, dynamic leader who played a key role as SU opened thier doors and began operations in Australia.

Dave passed away from a rare blood disease, and during November SU is donating 100 percent of the sales worldwide from the All in the Family stamp set to the Dave Abbott Family Fund.
Their family picture is featured in the scrapbook page above.

I am personally offering free shipping as an extra incentive.

The All in the Family stamp set is featured on page 83 in the Growing Up section of the Fall & Winter Catalog. The set has 28 pieces and has tons of possibilities, click HERE to see the SCS gallery for some fabulous ideas!

You can see the color flyer HERE
Contact me today to place your order!

Paper Party is ON!

Designer Paper Buy 3, get 1 free!
Stock up for all your upcoming projects with Stampin' Up!'s exclusive double-sided Designer Series paper. We've got so many pretty patterned papers to choose from; you're sure to find the perfect patterns to help you show off your unique crafting style. Best of all, you'll get a FREE pack of double-sided Designer Series paper ($9.95 value) for every three packs you buy-no limits, no restrictions! Visit pages 170-173 of the Fall--Winter Collection 2007 to view our beautiful double-sided Designer Series paper. And be sure to download the patterns and instructions for all of the festive projects by clicking on the link below.

Project Ideas

Paper Swatches

Thursday, November 1

Ten Little Lady Bugs

Micaela and I love lady bugs. Mimi bought Micaela this cute little lady bug book when we visited recently. Ten Little Lady Bugs by Melanie Gerth is absolutely adorable.
The ryhming story counts down the lady bugs ten to one. The bugs on the pages are three dimensional. Melanie has written other count down books but I think this is the cutest of all especially for a little girl that is into lady bugs.