Wednesday, July 31, 2013

An almost total CASE

After spending so much time prepping for convention, you would think that I would be paper crafted out.  Believe it or not, I have wanted to get my hands back into the process.  I found myself sitting at my desk and staring at all my new toys and feeling a bit overwhelmed and not sure where to turn. 

I opted for an easy card that I could just copy.  For those that don't know, CASE means copy and share everything, but give credit.  Once I get my hands in and start working, then the ideas follow.
From Millan.Net
So I won prize patrol at convention (this year everyone did)From Millan.Net  and I got this really cool die cut that makes a swing card, flip card, flip flop card...whatever you want to call it accompanied with lots of other little embellishments to go with it.  So Fun!

Here is a sample I almost totally cased from the Stampin Up's concept artists.  Shelli Gardner showcased these in her demonstration during convention.  A swing card without all the fussy measuring and cutting.  I need to work on my folds, so they don't look a mess (yes I know, I just brought it to your attention) I keep getting the lines from the thinlit as well as the fold line.

I used a bit of washi tape which is a new item to our catalog and some glitter paper and an embossing folder.

See the full flyer HERE  Looks fun huh?  Can't wait to get my hands on the circle kit as well.

I am a bit tired, so I am off to bed.  These guys are much smarter than me.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Convention Fun - The week that almost killed me

Here is a picture of my fellow stampers at awards night. We had such a good time together. I wouldn't miss it!  This year they had close to 6000 attendees to Convention to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Stampin UP.  September 24th will be my 10 year anniversary.  I would never have dreamed I would hang in this long.  I remember when I first signed up.  I spent that first night in absolute panic thinking what have I done.  Now it only costs $99 to sign up and you get a ton of product. 
Wendy, Em, Me, Chairl, & Shellee (do I look tired?...cause I am!)
One of my favorite things to do is look at the display boards SU sets up.  These are cards that people sent in for contests and display.  This year was so jam packed I didn't even get a chance to browse.  It's a good thing my bff Em skipped out of class to take some pictures.  I always get great ideas from others creativity.  This was only one side of about 3 sets of boards this size.
This picture was taken by Patty Bennett.  She had the privilage of view the boards before the rest of the multitudes.

Too many projects and not enough time.  On top of convention swaps I had other projects that had to be finished as well. Something to do with test etc. for work   Major crunch time, but I made it!

I had a total of 245 cards to make before convention and my organized swaps.  Yes...I bit off more than I could chew and if it weren't for great friends, I probably wouldn't have finished them.  If your birthday fell into this time frame, then your card is coming

Our little group swapped 5 cards.  We always get together at the cheesecake factory for dinner and a card swap.  If you haven't tried the Thai lettuce wraps, I highly recommend them.  Good for you and full of flavor.  Of course I always order my cheesecake first because I fill up with my dinner and can't eat it.  I always order  Reeces PB Cup cheesecake.  I have tried to switch it out, but waffle at the last minute and order my favorite.   Decadent!!!

As usual I find myself cramming to finish the group gifts and cards for swaps which left me with about 3.5 hours of sleep a night.  Rileys knee issues flared up, so he wasn't sleeping soundly and I also volunteered to teach the RS lesson this week.  Not sure what I was thinking, but I made it through. 

I used this card it two of my swaps.  I received a card from my favorite SIL and I rotated and changed the colors for my swap.

This card was a clean and simple card....and masculine to boot which can proved to be difficult at times.  Ralph has instructed me that bows, ribbon, glitter etc are not acceptable on cards for guys.

The grid stamp totally fills in the background and I love the Tape IT set.  Looks like real washi tape Huh?!
Poor Kitchen Lighting

This card was a CAS - clean and simple.  I love the Kind and Cozy stamp set with it's coordinating paper gingham garden.  Give me gingham and polka dots and I am a happy girl.
 This card was a catalog case.  Meaning I copied it from the catalog.  This one is my favorite sample and could be done in a lot of different colors.  The background is done with a brayer, ink and the chevron embossing folder
A Christmas card was on the list of required cards.  Um...Stampin up retired most of their Christmas stamps and only just recently came out with their new catalog that you can order out of on Aug 1st.  So I used an old classic standby that isn't very exciting, but it is pretty.  I really like the modern mosaic embossing folder used for the background
This card was one made for our WOW swap.  A variation on my favorite colors and so cute.  Who doesn't like a butterfly with bow's and pearls.

This is my other Wow card swap.  I have had the floral fusion die for a while and have recently discovered how cute and easy it is to use.  Both wow swaps required 76 cards.  I know...  remind me how tired I get before I sign up again next year.

Pictures of the demo gifts are coming.   One thing at a time folks.

I always come away from convention and swear I will start earlier, but it never fails that I am racing to get everything finished.  I also promise myself I won't do so many swaps, but that promise never seems to be kept when I see all the amazing cards I get in return.

As an end RS lesson went well, I think.  The giver always learns more than the receiver. As we align our vision with Gods plan for us, nothing is impossible for us to accomplish with Gods help.  I know that he is aware of me and my family and as long as I put Him first in all things, I will always have the help I need.

Have a great day.
Ta Ta for now


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Sweetest comeback ever....

I shared these two little pieces of decadent chocolate cake inserted with creamy filling (not to be confused with cream filling) with a co-worker.  I don't normally indulge, but this totally hit the spot, chased by a diet Dr. Pepper.  Yes the package is empty.  We couldn't even wait to get the picture taken before we devoured these tasty morsels.

Justification.....don't judge me!
I needed something to keep me awake at my desk until I can catch up on the sleep I have missed over the last month.  A little bit of sugar and caffeine should do the trick.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Vet and My Fur Kids

Taking an afternoon nap.
We have been to the Vet so many times in the last month, we have singularly funded the least it feels that way.  Our dogs have become a staff favorite, not just because we provide them work, but that their mushy faces and schmoozer personalities have won the staff over.  Even when Oliver has a temp of 103+ he still gives the Dr. a big old kiss.  When Ralph picks him up from the vet, he has to run around and say hello to everyone before he gives Ralph the time of day.  His favorite thing is to stand on the scale...He knows he gets a doggie treat if he does.  Riley just looks studly and does his best to look sweet and get lots of love and treats.  He succeeds.  But he loves his peeps the most.  He ran straight to Ralph when it was time to go. 

Here is a timeline of visits.
  1. Oliver gets neutered $$$ (end of June)
  2. Oliver gets the flu - between Imodium chicken and rice diet and pet store kaopectate we get the issue resolved - lots of carpet scrubbing and cleaning.  We were constantly washing towels.
  3. Riley gets the flu - won't eat, won't drink, ends up with a viciously upset tummy and blood in his poop.  Goes to the vet.  Gets an IV for dehydration and meds to take to get better.  Finally got him to each chicken and his meds.  Issue resolved $$$$ (we need to invest in chicken farming)  The dogs managed to single handedly clean out our stock of chicken from the freezer.  What you don't do for those furry little faces.
  4. We notice a small lump on Oliver's neck.  Bulldogs are prone to growths, so we put it under "watch".  The lump continues to grow.  By the end of the week it is huge, (tennis ball size) hot and I am convinced it is a tumor and we were going to lose our dog.  I cry all the way in to my SU convention and part way through the morning, Ralph takes him in and it was determined after a biopsy that it is a huge abscess.  Phew!  Still serious, but we get to keep our dog.  They had to put him under, drain the rancid nasty fluids from his neck and they inserted surgical tubing to keep the hole open and draining.  He goes back in on Thursday for the tube to be removed. $$$$
You can see the tubing at the top and sides of his neck.  Gives you an idea of just how big the abscess was.

The hard part is keeping a 7 month old puppy from scratching his neck (cone of shame won't work, it would sit right on the wound) and running around.  We use an old cut up t-shirt to catch the draining fluids and to prevent him from scratching.  It is even harder keeping Riley from wanting to lick it to keep it clean.  Lots of kennel time and separation. They have to do separate walks and potty runs.  Hard for all of us.

I will say that the University Pet Clinic has been soooooo good to us. They groom the dogs every time they go in for a stay as well as provide top care.  I would recommend this office in a heartbeat.

You never dream of getting so attached to these furry little creatures, but my gosh...They both have a piece of my heart.  It has been an emotionally draining month and I am glad they are both on the mend.

Ta Ta for now.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Happy 4th

This was my project for this year.  Didn't turn out too bad and it was completed before the 4th

This day was spent relaxing, working on convention projects, watching movies and hanging with my boys.  We watched Lincoln for the 1st time.  I love the 4th of July and everything it entails.  Parades, families, good food and fun.!

 We enjoyed home made steak sandwiches with my famous homemade onion rings and fried pickles...Lest you think there were no vegetables, the sandwiches were topped with combination of sauteed mushrooms, peppers and onions.
I know!!! Right!  They were good and I wish you had been there to enjoy them with us. 

We weren't into fighting the crowds to go see the fireworks so we listened and watched a few bursts that made it beyond the towering trees that surround our home. 

Ta Ta for now

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Dinner Group Fun

We hosted dinner group for June.  We invited some new friends over to join us and had an absolutely delightful evening...
I have to share my decor, which for me is half the fun.

The banner has been a project in progress for a few years.  The rosette was giving me fits and by the time I hand scored the paper to form the rosette and stuck them down, I realized as they began to tear that the strips of paper were not big enough start with.  Well, I set it aside and did not want to start over so there is sat until my sweet friend had left over white strips already scored and cut from Stampin UP's rosette die and it made repairing the project easy.  Every time I look at it, I get all kinds of happy.  I hate the mirror over the fire place, but we work with what we have.

These table settings were so much fun to put together.  I stopped at the local Smiths and they had a sale on their table napkins and place-mats.  If you didn't' favorite colors are red white and blue so I had to have them.  They had all kinds of red, white and blue tableware, but knew I had to draw the line.  Ralph would have been none too happy if I came home with another tableware set.
  The favors were these cute little plastic soda bottles emptied of their contents and cut in half.  Inside i put regular and white chocolate covered pretzels and holiday peanut m&m's.  I then "duct" taped the bottle together and wrapped red and white ribbon around the outside and tied it with Stampin Up's bakers twine.  I poked holes in the lid and inserted 3 sparklers and tied a ribbon around them.  The star and little tag is made from Waltzing Mouse's 1776 stamp set.  It was fun to see the guys figure out how I got pretzels inside the bottle and then they made fun of me for using duct tape.  I don't care, I wanted the bottles to stay stuck together in our unbearable heat.

 We started dinner with Lobster Cheesecake that has remained on our favorites menu, but not often made because of the cost.  Don't turn your nose up until you tried it.  We paired it with fresh grapes and a sprinkle of fresh parsley (sorry no pics) 

We proceeded with  crab stuffed salmon with a drizzle of teriyaki sauce, pineapple ginger rice and steamed green beans with lemon zest.  Incredibly tasty.  Ralph created the recipes after reviewing several from our Northwest region cookbook.  These two dishes are keepers!
 We proceed with the evening sharing our favorite poems.  I can't begin to tell you how much it means to me to have had a Mother who loved poetry and would frequently quote to us the ones she knew by heart and read to us the ones she didn't. 

" little fly upon the wall
ain't you go no clothes at all?
not a blouse or a skirt? 
Not even a shimmy* shirt? 
My, you must be cold."  
(A shimmy shirt is an undershirt - we all wore them as kids)
Just imagine this with a British accent whispered to a child as they sat upon their mothers lap watching a fly that had infiltrated the home in the hot summer months and was resting upon the wall.  This will always be a tender moment for me.  It was fun to hear about everyone's experiences with poetry and how it had influenced their lives. 

We finished the evening off with Pate choux puffs filled with strawberries and Tillamook strawberry ice cream topped with homemade fudge sauce.  (no pics again...the ice cream was fast melting)  We truly enjoy these events and time spent with friends.

Ta Ta for now.