Friday, July 27, 2012

It's Time for the Olympics - Get a Stampin' Medal !!!

 Olympic rings

Can you believe it's time for the Summer Olympics?  I love to watch all of the events!  It's cool to cheer on the US competitors, but it's also rewarding to watch anyone who is dedicated enough to train and compete at that level.

In the spirit of the Olympics, I'm offering my own Stampin' Rewards when you place an online order via my SU! website here (Click on "Shop Now.")

This offer is good for online orders throughout the Olympics: July 27-August 12.  This is a promotion from me and not being offered from Stampin' Up!  Prizes will be mailed/delivered the week of August 20.

$50 Order -- Bronze Medal 
Your choice of Pearl Basic Jewels or Rhinestone Basic Jewels (p. 175)

$75 Order -- Silver Medal 
3/8" Taffeta Ribbon - 1 roll in your color choice (p. 173) or Paper Daisies (p. 175)

$100 Order -- Gold Medal
 One free pack of our Designer Printed Brads or the new In Color Dahlias (p. 174-175)

If you're really up for a Summer Olympics challenge, you can also go for the Platinum Medal and get $125 worth of product for only $99.00.  This medal is actually the Stampin' Up! Demonstrator Starter Kit.  Choose any combination of products valued up to $125, get your kit and join my Stampin' Up! team! I'd love to train right along side you.

Happy Stamping!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

See this Great Project? It Can be Yours!

During the month of August, anyone who joins my team will get this awesome Halloween Printer's Tray Project kit.  Isn't it boo-tiful???

The kit contains all the pieces to create this masterpiece on your own.
Any demonstrator who recruits during August also receives this kit (one kit/demonstrator). The great thing is that any demonstrator who signs up and gets a recruit is eligble to get two kits - one for signing up and one for recruiting.

Happy Stamping!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Convention Theme Song

I am still trying to decompress and absorb everything that I learned at Convention.  I'm going to post photos soon.  For now, I'll leave you with the Convention 2012 them song:
I just want to keep watching it over and over. Oh, the memories!

One thing that I wanted to mention tonight are a few of the classes that I attended: Karen Hauley did  a fantastic job of facilitating the "I am Earning an Incentive Trip."  This year the incentive trip is a Western Caribbean cruise.  The best part about it is that it's a global trip, meaning that demonstrators from all around the world will gather together in one big vacation.

I also attended the class called, "I am Savvy" facilitated by Donna Griffith.  There were three presenters: Dawn Griffith, Laura Milligan and Meg Wheeler.  They demonstrated how to use some of the new products like the fabrics, Simply Sent kits, and Simply Scrapping kits in creative ways.

Another class I attended was the "I am a Leader" facilitated by Brian Pilling. Since my team called the Encouraging Embellishers, has grown quite rapidly in the last year (never thought it would!), I can surely use some help in managing it. Brian gave some awesome tips for leading. He also said that Stampin' Up! would be hosting upcoming webinars on leadership.  Can't wait to hear them.

That's all for tonight, folks!  My kids (and the house) need some attention.

Happy Stamping!


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Last Day of Convention!

Wow!  Time has really gone fast here at Convention!  I've met so many talented ladies here, seen many demonstrations, taken many great classes, etc.  Jason Dorsey was the keynote speaker at the opening general session. He was such a hoot!  He spoke to us about the Gen Y population and how to reach them as a customer base.  Personally, I feel like some of the Gen Ys are aliens to me.  But Jason taught me that I do have a lot in common with them.  For example, I might have to text them instead of calling/emailing - and to not take it personally if they don't reply to emails. 

Here's a special shout out to Carrie Cudney who taught me that "I am Open for Business," to Shannon West who taught me that "I am Having Fun," and to Emily Montoya who taught me "I am Reaching Out."

According to my husband, all is going well at home with the kids.  I think I'll reserve my hotel room for next year!  Maybe I'll catch up with technology next year and post 'play-by-play' photos.

Well, I've got to take some more photos of the displays before they take them down. I've got three more classes, then the last general session.  They're supposed to be making some BIG announcement at 2 pm.  Can't wait to hear what it is.  The session is streaming live, in case you can tune in!

Happy Stamping!


Friday, July 20, 2012

Thank you - Day 6 - Everything Eleanor

As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have Everything Eleanor.  Her images are just gorgeous.  The flourish reminds me a bit of the one that retired from Baroque Motifs.  This is the first card that I made using the set.  It's another clean and simple one:

I used the new firm foam ink pads to create this card.  All areas of the flourish inked up so easily with a light touch.  These new ink pads may take a little getting used to.  But once you try them, you will LOVE them!

There are so many more possibilities Everything Eleanor has to offer.  I'll share some ideas for you from this set in some upcoming posts.

Stamps: Everything Eleanor, Perfectly Penned
Paper: Whisper White
Ink: Regal Rose, Gumball Green, Raspberry Ripple
Accessories: Stampin' Dimensionals

Happy Stamping!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thank You - Day 5 - Elements of Style

I made it to Salt Lake City! Linda and I had to be up at 4 AM to catch our flight. Our hotel room isn't quite ready yet. So we're hanging about with other really a tired demonstrators waiting. It's been a "Hurry up and wait kind of day. Still trying to figure out how to attach photos via Linda's IPad. ... I made several of these cards to go in my "Thank You" card stash.  It was a re-do of this card.
Personally, I prefer the original version, but this one is still really pretty.  The photo doesn't do it justice.

Stamps:  Elements of Style, Four Frames, Fabulous Phrases
Paper:  Naturals Ivory, Baja Breeze
Ink:  Baja Breeze, Soft Suede
Accessories: Big Shot, Fancy Fan embossing folder, Very Vanilla satin ribbon (retired), Stampin' Dimensional

Happy Stamping!


Monday, July 16, 2012

I'm Leaving on an Airplane!

Hi from my hotel! I'll be getting up at 4 am to catch my shuttle to the airport. Trying to find out how to upload a photo of my suitcase. But I guess I need to think more like an apple. Happy stamping! Susan

Sunday, July 15, 2012

One More Day Till I Leave for CONVENTION!!! -Freshly Made Sketchs #43

Hey!   I don't know if you're counting or not, but there's only one more day till I leave for the Stampin' Up! convention in Salt Lake City!!!  I am going to try as best I can to not even think about what is happening with Randy and the kids and focus on having a great time.  No guilty feelings about leaving my family.  It's about time that I let myself have a much-needed break from all the chaos.  What better way to combine fun with my job!?!  I figure that the house is going to get trashed, then they'll all clean up the day that I get back home.  They're still going to get lots of love from Daddy!

Yesterday I stocked the cupboards with a bunch of junk food to the tune of almost $200.  And at Randy's request, I gave him some menu suggestions:

I said, "Grilled hamburgers."  He said, "Burger King!"
I said, "Spaghetti and Meatballs."  He said, "Pizza Hut!"
I said, "Chicken patties."  He said, "Kentucky Fried Chicken!"

Let's just hope he was joking.

Onto the card...
This card features pearls and the Fancy Fan embossing folder.
After completing this card, I decided to make a few more to swap at convention. I was up LATE last night!

I love, love, love the new Apothecary Framelits and the coordinating Essentials Paper-Piercing Pack!  On this piece there are exactly 100 holes.  Ask me how I know!

The Papillon Potpouri stamp set along with the coordinating Elegant Butterfly punch made it near the top of my shopping list for the new catty.

I chose this pattern from the Floral District designer series paper. It was easy to choose what color butterflies to add to the card.
This card features the Argyle embossing folder.  Since I ran out of pearls I used rhinestones.
I actually like the rhinestones version better.  Which version do you prefer?

Here's this week's sketch!

  Here are a few tips that I discovered after making the cards:
I cut the string of pearls so that three would stay together.  They fit perfectly into the space on the butterfly stamp : )

While I was sponging the Apothecary frame, I kept getting some stray flecks of junk on my scrap paper. At first I thought it was something from the sponge, but it's really stray, micro fragments flaking off the card stock. ... Where did the mica flake come from???

I was too lazy to get my "embossing folders only" cutting pads, and tiny cuts got embedded into the back of my card base.  Folks, don't try this at home!

When you emboss a detailed card base like this one, the card stock shrinks a bit.  It's better to add a layer onto the card base.  Again, folks, don't try this at home!

Stamps: Papillon Potpourri
Paper: Baja Breeze, Whisper White, Floral District designer series paper
Ink: Baja Breeze for sponging, StazOn Jet Black
Accessories: Big Shot, Apothecary Accents Framelits, Fancy Fan embossing folder, Argyle embossing folder, Elegant Butterfly punch, Paper-Piercing Tool, Stampin' Pierce Mat, Essentials Paper-Piercing Mat, Basic Pearls, Basic Rhinestones, Stampin' Dimensionals

Happy Stamping!


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Thank You - Day 4 - Papaya Collage

When I first saw the Papaya Collage stamp set, I was intrigued by it. It's a set that can be used for many different purposes, but it's not my "style."  I chose it the set as one of the free sets I got for sales during Sale-a-Bration.  And I knew I'd have to stretch myself to use it.  (See samples here and here of how I've already used it.)

Here's another clean and simple thank-you card that I created using one image from the Papaya Collage stamp set:
I am loving making clean and simple cards.  However, I have to admit that it's sometimes more difficult to conceptualize a clean and simple card.  Why is that?

Stamps: Papaya Collage, Delightful Dozen
Paper: Very Vanilla, Gumball Green
Ink: Gumball Green, Summer Starfruit, Night of Navy
Accessories: none

Happy Stamping!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Thank You - Day 3 Bloooming With Kindness

 Remember Dide's snaggle-tooth?
Well, she finally lost it about a week ago.  It happened at bedtime. She would not go to sleep until that tooth was out! Randy reached in her mouth and grabbed it out. She was still crying for him to remove it when he opened his hand and showed it to her. She was so relieved and fell asleep about two minutes later.

This is a card that I made using the Blooming with Kindness stamp set.  I colored the flower image with Marina Mist and Lucky Limeade markers.  It's a quick and easy card to make.  Let me know what you think.

Stamps: Blooming with Kindness
Paper: Whisper White, Marina Mist
Ink: Night of Navy (sentiment), Marina Mist and Lucky Limeade markers
Accessories: none

Happy Stamping!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thank you - Reason to Smile - Day 2

I have been a fan of Sharon Field for a really long time.  In fact, her blog was one of the first ones I discovered and started following.  Well, the other day I saw her post using the Summer Silhouettes stamp set and really liked it.  Since I've been exploring the possibilities with the Reason to Smile set, I thought it would be a great idea to recreate my own version.  Here it is:

And here's another view:

After adding the ribbon, I kinda wished that I would've stamped the flowers a litter higher.  Maybe next time ; )

Remember, you can get the Reason to Smile stamp set for only $5 during the month of July when you place a $50 order.  See here for details.

Stamps: Reason to Smile, Papaya Collage, Sweet Essentials
Paper: Gumball Green, Midnight Muse, Primrose Petals, Very Vanilla
Ink: Gumball Green, Midnight Muse
Accessories: Stamp-a-ma-jig, Little Labels Punch Pack, 3/8" Primrose Petals Stitched Satin Ribbon, Basic Pearls

Happy Stamping!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Randy's 50th Birthday Cards and a Few Other Items

Last week while opening our mail, I almost wet my pants laughing.  It was because Randy's AARP membership card arrived.  I guess the AARP tracks people down who are turning the big 5-0.  I can laugh because I'm several years younger than him.  So my birthdays are never as traumatic for me as his are for him.
I had intentions of throwing a big surprise party for him.  But with the Stampin' Up! convention scheduled a week after Randy's big day, I didn't think I could do it all. Besides, Randy's not the kind of guy who wants to celebrate this milestone birthday.  (I'm not sure who would want to make a huge deal of it.)  So I had to think "outside of the box" and come up with some fun things to do for him.

My big "present" for him was his bacon bouquet.  I had planned on delivering the bouquet to his work mid-morning (just the time when he'd be getting a hankerin' for some), but it turned out that he had to work at another office an hour away.  So, I presented the bacon bouquet to him along with his bacon, egg and cheese biscuits right when he got up.  .  All he said to me about the bouquet was, "You are so weird!!"

I thought about making a bacon card to go along with the bouquet saying, "You are the greatest thing since sliced bacon!" Instead, I made this black and white card:
After Randy told me he thought he'd be getting some black balloons at work, I knew that's what I had to create on his card.  The staff at the office he was working at today threw him a pizza party.  Tomorrow he has to go to a meeting at yet another office.  He's got a suspicion that his home office is planning some type of celebration on Friday.  We'll see what happens 'cause they haven't got me in on the fun yet.

While we were living in the Netherlands, the traditional celebration was to create a display outside someones home with a stuffed person (kinda looked like a scarecrow to me, something old and scary) and a sign to mark that the occupant was turning 50 years old.  I think it had something to do with Abraham.  It was like they publicly humiliated you!  I thought about making an Abraham, but everyone else would've been really confused by it.  So, I didn't do any decorating at all outside.

Randy's favorite cake is German chocolate. So, I made one from scratch for him.

I completely forgot to get 50 candles, so we light as many as we had in the house.
Annika created a card using a bunch of retired SU! glitter.   She did a really nice job on it, don't you think?  The ceiling fan is on, so I hope glitter doesn't get into the frosting.
Sorry the photo is a little blurry.
Here's the inside of the card Annika made for her dad.

Remember the story a few days ago about my washing machine?  Well, long story short, I called the big box store that I ordered the original washing machine from and cancelled my order.  Instead, I went to a local, family-owned store.  I am proud to say that I got about the same deal and as of this afternoon, this house has a fully-functional washing machine again.  Who in their right mind would wait for a month for a back-order???

Only six more days till CONVENTION!!!

Stamps: Bring on the Cake
Paper: Jet Black, Basic Gray, Whisper White, Neutrals Patterned dsp
Ink: Stazon Jet Black, Basic Gray marker
Accessories: Big Shot, Large Scallop Edgelits, Delicate Designs embossing folder, Small Oval punch, Whisper White 1/4" Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon, Signo White Gel pen, Stampin' Dimensionals

Happy Stamping!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Thank-You - Day 1 Creative Elements / SUO Challenge #49

I can never have enough thank-you cards.  So I recently completed several different styles to have on hand.  Most of them have a clean and simple style.  This sample is the first in a series that I'll be sharing with all of my readers.
I love the flourish from the Creative Elements stamp set.  The swirls from the sentiment coordinate with it, too.
Here's a close-up that really shows off the sparkle of the champagne mist shimmer paint.
I cased this card from Julie DiMatteo who got her inspiration from another demonstrator.   Basically, I used a different sentiment, different colors and added the Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint.  I am entering this card into the SUO Challenge #49 for Thank You cards.  If you're up for a challenge, check out their blog!

Stamps: Creative Elements, Curly Cute
Paper: Very Vanilla, Raspberry Ripple
Ink: Raspberry Ripple
Accessories: Big Shot, Beautiful Wings embosslits die, Basic Pearls, Stampin' Dimensionals, Champagne Mist shimmer paint

Happy Stamping!


Reason to Smile Blog Hop

Hi, everyone!  If you haven't heard already, Stampin' Up! is having an awesome promotion.  For every $50 that you spend (before shipping and taxes) you can purchase the Reason To Smile stamp set for only $5. This exclusive set can only be purchased during the month of July.

To celebrate the promotion, a few of my fellow demonstrators are hosting a Reason to Smile Blog Hop.  Here's what I created:

Inspiration for this card came from several demonstrators.  The fun thing about being a demonstrator is that we've got access to plenty of samples.  In fact, I've compiled over 40 different samples using the Reason to Smile stamp set.  I will give all of my customers a copy of these photos when they purchase Reason to Smile set from me.  (Demonstrators, drop me an email and I'll send it to you.)

Stay tuned for a few more samples using this great set.  I may have an August surprise for a special viewer.

Here are the promotion details:
  • Dates:  July 1 - 31, 2012
  • Spend $50 on any current Stampin' Up! productsto get the exclusive Reason to Smile Set for just $5.
  • Orders may be placed on any order type (customer, workshop guest or online)
  • There is a limit of one (1) set per customer.
  • You will not be automatically prompted to enter the $5 Item Number for a qualifying purchase.  So be sure to enter one of these item numbers after your order reaches $50 or more: 
    • Wood Mount 131274
    • Clear Mount 131275
  • Valued up to $20.95
  • The Reason to Smile Set is exclusive to this promotion and will not be available after July 31, 2012.
  • Deadline:  Tuesday, July 31, 2012; 11:50 PM (MT)

Screen Shot 2012-07-03 at 12.14.36 PM

And here is a list of the other bloggers to check out.  Please be sure to give them a Reason to Smile by leaving an encouraging comment.

Lori Witt -
Andi Potler -
Eileen Lang -
Karin Biefeld -
Elaine Uhl -

Stamps:  Reason to Smile, Sweet Essentials
Paper: Whisper White, Vellum Card Stock, Tempting Turquoise
Ink: Versamark, Markers: Daffodil Delight, Tempting Turquoise, and Pumpkin Pie
Accessories: Big Shot, Apothecary Accents, Large Scallop Edgelits,Delicate Designs Embossing Folder, Fancy Fan embossing folder, Heat Tool, White Embossing Powder. Daffodil Delight 1/4" Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon, Stampin' Dimensionals

Happy Stamping!


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Laundry Woes - and a Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe

This post doesn't have anything to do with stamping.  It has to do with laundry.  My beloved washing machine is leaking!  It's a front loader, only seven years old.  I was debating on getting it repaired; I even scheduled an appointment with the outrageously expensive appliance repairman.  But I also called our appliance store.  Before I told the salesman how old my washer was, he told me that front-loaders last about ten years.  That's when I knew I wasn't going to sink $300 into my current one.  So, I've got a new washing machine on order.  After I had made the purchase, the salesman told me that the washer was back-ordered and would not be delivered until August 8th!  I'm now debating on whether or not to cancel my order or go to another appliance store.

I can tell you that there's never a good time to have an appliance go bad.  It makes me appreciate what I have, that's for sure.  Earlier in the week I was actually caught up with my laundry.  But it only takes a few days to fill up those baskets.  So this afternoon I dropped the girls off at a birthday party and headed to the laundromat.  The place wasn't air-conditioned, but there was a breeze going through it.  What would fit into three loads in my machine spread out to six machines.   There were some scarier and huge machines, but I was afraid to mess with them.

Since I was without kids, I brought along some of my convention swaps to work on.  I didn't finish them until tonight.  But I'm happy to announce that they are finished : )  Now I'm thinking that I've got time to make some more.

Onto the laundry detergent: About six months ago I made a batch of homemade laundry detergent.  At the time I didn't think to blog about it.  But now that I know how great it is, I've made a little photo tutorial - with the help of my dearest Annika.  She loves getting "Mommy time."

 Here's the official recipe that I got from another web site months ago: 

4 lb 12 oz box Borax found in the detergent aisle

4 lbs baking soda - you can buy one big box in the detergent aisle, but it's cheaper to buy four one-pound boxes in the baking aisle

1  box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz (3 lb 7 oz) found in the detergent isle

3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap, found in the detergent aisle (At Walmart each bar is $0.97. Giant Eagle sells them for $1.99 each.)

1 large container of Oxyclean or store brand oxyclean (try to get about 3.5 lbs total) found in the detergent aisle.  (I think two small containers will be enough because the big container I got was 5 lbs.)
Grate the Fels-Naptha soap with a box grater - or use your food processor.  I'm using my turkey roaster to mix it in.

Annika is adding the baking soda.

I got all the ingredients at Walmart except for the Borax.  Had to pay top dollar for it at Giant Eagle.  And it was all clumped up in the box.  Nothing that my Pampered Chef Mix-n-Chop couldn't handle.

Annika carved a heart out of the Borax clump before breaking it up and adding the other ingredients.  All you have to do is mix everything by hand.  


In goes the washing soda.  (I forgot to get a photo of the Oxyclean going in.)

Pour into storage containers.  

Afterwards, there was a little bit to clean up because some of the powder flies through the air.  Annika got a bit on the floor, too.  So I mopped the floor.

I don't remember the last time I made this homemade laundry detergent, but it lasted about six months.  You only have to use two tablespoons for each load of laundry.  While we were putting it into the containers, I lost count at 32 cups.  That converts to at least 256 loads of laundry -all for $23!  This means more money to buy stamps with, LOL!

Tomorrow I'll be in a blog hop featuring the July exclusive Reason to Smile stamp set.  So, stay tuned!

Happy Washing!