Thursday, March 31, 2016

Bye Bye In Colors

All good things must come to an end (sob sob).  Stampin' Up!'s 2014-2016 In Colors will be going away* with the release of the new catalog in June.  So, it's time to start preparing for their departure. After two years with these colors, I've grown to love them and will miss them.  Some of the colors took longer to warm up than others, but still, we have to let them go.

*If there's a color refresh, we might see some of these colors stick around (or come back in a year or so), but we have no information to indicate they won't be going away at the end of May.

 My very favorite is Lost Lagoon.  Hope the new In-Colors that we will be getting will have a blue that is similar or that down the road, Lost Lagoon will make it's way into our regular colors one day.

I made some thank you cards using the retiring In Colors and the wonderful leaf framelet from Botanical Blooms.

On five of them, I used the top and bottom pieces from cutting out with the framelet but on #6, I used the middle pieces.  So, don't throw away your pieces - they can be used in different ways.  I found some bling in my stash and decided to "bling up" my cards!  The THANKS is actually a stamp from last year's Sale-a-bration that I have held on to.  The #6 card sentiment is from Endless Thanks in the annual catalog (pg 14).

TODAY - Thursday, March 31 - is the LAST DAY to get free merchandise during SU's Sale-a-bration!  Order by midnight tonight!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Bear Hugs

Isn't this bear just the cutest?  I have resisted buying this set mainly because I don't do that many children's cards but thinking about it, it doesn't have to be just for children.  I have seen some masculine cards using the bear and the fish that is included in the Bear Hugs set. 

I received this card from my upline, Carol Bartle who lives in Tacoma, Washington.  I only see her at conventions but she is good about sending me a card every so often to keep in touch.  She just celebrated a wonderful Stampin' Up milestone.  March 1st, Carol reached her milestone sales with Stampin' Up of $500,000!!  I am really proud of her.  Carol has been with Stampin' Up for over 25 years!  She has seen a lot of changes in the stamping business!!  And I bet she still has all the stamp sets she has ever bought over the years!  When I first started out with Stampin' Up (11 years ago), Carol was great about letting me borrow her stamps until I figured out which ones I wanted to get.


This Bear Hugs set is on page 40 of the Occasions Catalog and comes with matching Framelets.  You can purchase them as a Bundle too.

Here is the inside of the card:

I did not do so good today on my Weight Watchers!  Today was our Southern Living luncheon.  We had 20 ladies - each making a recipe from Southern Living.  If you have ever made recipes from that magazine, you know they are usually labor intensive as well as using a lot of cream, butter, etc. that is not good for a dieter.  I just took a small portion of each dish and was doing pretty good until they pulled out the desserts!  Too bad I wasn't my daughter today - she does not like chocolate.  Out of 6 or 7 desserts, only one was not chocolate!  We had Chocolate Peanut Butter bars, Chocolate Amaretta Pie (with real whipped cream), Texas Sheet Cake (chocolate), Chocolate Pecan Pie ..... the list goes on and on!  It was all really good but I didn't have breakfast today and now guess I'm skipping dinner too!  I did so well last week (lost 4 lbs.) but not sure what the scales will say next week when I weigh in.  We have out of town friends coming next week so not sure I'll do that great next week though.  We'll see!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Put Your Party Pants On!

Just a day left for free products during Sale-a-bration!  There were so many cute stamp sets this time.  I am going to sad to see them retire (although you'll still see me using them occasionally.)

This little chick is a favorite of mine.  He was great for Easter cards but even better for birthday cards!  I love the saying "put your party pants on" from Party Pants (another Sale-a-bration set.) Wonder what his party pants would look like???  The DSP is also from Sale-a-bration.  The colors I used on this card are Cucumber Crush, Melon Mambo and So Saffron.  I have not used Cucumber Crush much but I really like the bright green - very spring-like.

I have to share a picture with you.  I was at Wal-Mart yesterday buying chicken when I saw these Chicken Paws!  What would you do with them????  I've heard they are good in making chicken broth.  I am not buying them though!


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Birthday Blog Hop

Welcome to the March NC Demos Blog Hop.  We are a group of Stampin' Up demonstrators who live in North Carolina who love to share what we create with you.  All you have to do to follow along is to click on the links at the bottom of each post.  We love comments on our blogs so please, show us some love!!

Our theme this month is birthdays.  Everyone has one so you should make sure you have a stash of birthday cards on hand.  I think you will find a lot of inspiration on our blog hop this month.  I chose to do a Happy Birthday ensemble.

Let's look at each item by itself.  First is the framed birthday collage.  I love this and need to give a big thanks to Allison Barber (another NC Demo) for this collage.  Allison is so sweet and invites my sister and I to come to her demo meetings.  She always has a great project for us to make after we discuss business.  This was what we made in February.  I made two of them and by switching up the colors and DSP, you get a different look.  This collage uses DSP from It's My Party Paper Stack (pg 5).  This is a great pack of paper - you get 4 each of 12 double-sided designs, 12" x 12".   The paper doesn't have to all be used for birthdays though.  As well as candles and balloons, the pack also has stripes, polka dots, and other non-birthday designs.

The stamp set(s) that I used on this project are Party Wishes (Occasions, pg 5) and Fabulous Four (annual pg. 58).  I also used the Party Punch Pack that comes bundled with the stamp set.

Next, I made a cute little birthday survival kit.  There is a hole punched in the top for the party horn to fit into.  Inside the triangular box is a crayon, rubber band, candle and candy.  See the poem on the Birthday Survival Kit for details.  Any type of small box would work for this.  I don't have instructions for this one as I took a triangular box apart that someone gave me years ago and used it for a pattern for this one.  I used Mint Macaron card stock for the box and stamped all over it with the balloon stamp from Party Wishes.  The candles are punched out with the Party Punch Pack (pg 4, Occasions).

Next, is my tri-fold birthday card.  This was a fun card to make!  If you want instructions, check back on my blog next week and I will be sharing another card like this along with instructions.

I used the balloon stamp from Balloon Celebration (pg 12, Occasions) and the large balloons from Celebrate Today in the annual catalog.  I punched the small balloons with the Balloons Punch and die cut the large balloons (and the bows on them) using the Balloon Framelits.  I made my own DSP using the circle stamp from Work of Art.  The colors on the card are Melon Mambo, Crushed Curry and Mint Macaron.

The sentiment on the inside of the card is from Party Pants, a new Sale-a-bration set

I hope you enjoyed all my birthday projects and will leave me a comment!

Now hop on over to Laurie Meier's blog and see what she has made for you to enjoy.  Any time you get lost hopping along, here is the full list of participants for this month.

Happy Easter - Spring has Sprung!

There is a lot of confusion regarding what Easter Sunday is all about.  For some it means decorating eggs and looking for the Easter Bunny.  Most people are confused as to how the resurrection of Christ is related to the Easter eggs and bunny!  Are you?  I was so I decided to look for an answer. Biblically speaking, there is no connection between the resurrection of Jesus and the common traditions related to Easter.  Essentially what happened is that in order to make Christianity more attractive to non-Christians, the ancient Roman Catholic Church mixed the celebration of Jesus with celebrations that involved spring fertility rituals.  Those rituals are the source of the egg and bunny traditions.  Hopefully when you celebrate today with your loved ones, you will remember what the day is all about while having fun looking for Easter eggs!

Spring is springing up all around me.  While I was out last week, I snapped several pictures of the beginnings of Spring in North Carolina.

These are the trees blooming at the entrance to my neighborhood.  While I was taking the picture, it looked like it was snowing as the flowers were blowing off the trees.

This gorgeous tree is in my Mom's yard.  (That is her house in the background.)  What makes me so sad is that Mom's eyes have deteriorated so much that she can't see this tree and enjoy it's beauty.

I took this picture underneath the tree looking up to the sky.

Can you spot the dogwood just starting to bloom:

This is one of my favorite flowers / trees.  The dogwood tree means rebirth and resurrection and Christianity as a whole.

I don't know what this is called but it is really pretty.  This is right beside my driveway so I get to see it every day.  This is the best it has looked in our ten years here.

I wish this was in my yard!  It is in my neighborhood and I had to stop and take a picture.  I have always loved a Forsythis (or as many Southerners call it, a Yellow Bell).  I planted one when we lived in Texas and in Washington.  Don't know why I haven't done so here!!  I'll have to get Sonny on it.

Last but not least are these pretty Hellebores (or Lenten Roses).  You'll have to take my word for it that they are pretty.  Guess they are just shy and like to be droopy.  I like to cut them and float them in a crystal bowl of water.

Hope you have enjoyed my little bit of spring and have a wonderful Easter!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Easter Gifts

It's almost time for Easter!  It is really early this year.  I sure hope the weather gets warmer by Sunday.  March always has such crazy weather.  We went to the beach for a long weekend last Friday. It was nice weather on Friday and Saturday but Sunday was miserable.  It was rainy and I don't think the temps got out of the 40s!  The sun broke through around noon so Sonny went to the driving range and hit some golf bags and I went for a walk on the beach.  It was a short walk though - that wind was blowing right threw me!  Think I only walked about 1 1/2 miles.  I was proud of myself that I exercised every day I was there.  On Friday, Sonny and I walked a couple of miles but on the road.  He didn't want to get sand in his shoes!!  He never set foot on the beach the whole time we were there!  I walked every morning 1 - 2 miles.  I have this great app on my phone that Ashley told me about called Runmaker.  It tracks your walking (or running) and gives audio cues along the way of distance, time, average speed, etc.  Plus you can also listen to music while you are walking.  I use Spotify for my music app.  It has made me get out and walk more.  

Anyway, here are a few things I have made for Easter.  I love the Easter Lamb single stamp in the Occasions catalog!

This little bag/box was easy to make.  The bag uses 3 1/4" x 10" card stock scored at 4 1/4" and 5 3/4".  I embossed the back of the bag and then added a strip of DSP across the front (just on the bottom).
The box that fits inside uses a piece of card stock 3 3/8" x 5", scored at 1" on all four sides.  I used Red Line Tape to adhere it to the bottom of the bag.

Next are the chalkboards!  What a find!  I happened to be at Target at the right time.  Usually when I check out their Dollar Spot, it is pretty picked over.  But I found these several weeks ago for $3 each and bought all they had!  I embossed the little lamb in the corner and used a strip of DSP as a belly band.  I had some note pages stashed away so I used a clip that I also decorated with DSP to hold it to the top of the chalkboard with a ribbon tied on.  The notepad can be removed to write on the chalkboard.  I bought some chalk to go with them but do you think I can find that chalk???

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Hostess Code for March is 3YZSNHHC

If you place an on-line order with me, I would appreciate you using this code!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

St. Paddy's Day and Stamp Club

Happy St. Paddy's Day!!
We celebrated St. Patrick's Day a few days early.  Our favorite Irish restaurant/bar had a big celebration on Saturday with bands, vendors, food and of course, your favorite beverage.  It was a free event with the option to buy a VIP ticket.  We decided to purchase the tickets since they included 2 beverages, a meal, tee shirts and access to the VIP toilets each.  Well, maybe I should say the VIP Porta-Potties!!  We didn't have to stand in line in the restaurant for the toilets but by the end of the night, I was standing in line inside!!  

We ran into our leprechaun friend that we had met at the celebration a couple of years ago.  This guy comes dressed like a leprechaun every year!  I didn't get a great picture of him this year but here is his picture from 2012 when we met him - Bob, the Leprechaun

There are all kinds of people at this event!  This couple was really OLD!  They sure went all out with their costume - wig, beard, a tutu that had lights attached!  Oh my!  There were several young people there also with tutus on and tights underneath.  Believe me, their outfits were not flattering!!  Don't people look in the mirror when they leave home????

This was also Stamp Club week for me.  We made a few Easter cards.

I just love this little Easter Lamb single stamp (only $10). 

Isn't this the cutest?  I CASE-d this from Judy Marshall's blog, Brown Paper Packages, where you can download the seed packet template.  This chick is from a Sale-a-bration set called Honeycomb Happiness.  He is super cute!  She has a few other templates on her blog as well.

This card was another CASE - this time from Frenchie (Stamp and Scrap with Frenchie).  I used the DSP from Sale-a-bration for the pants - using the Washi Tape Label Punch.  I used the glitter tape to decorate tem along with a few other items I had in my stash.  The sentiment is stamped on white paper and cut out with the new Balloon Punch. 

And an Easter cross card that I have already shared with you HERE.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Paper Players Color Challenge

I made this card today for a color challenge on the Paper Players blog site.  These are such great colors and the little bit of black makes them really pop.  I used Timeless Textures for my background and stamped it in white.  This stamp set is a great one for backgrounds.  I also used one of my favorite stamps from the Occasions Catalog, Picture Perfect, for the starfish.  And of course, I had to add Wink of Stella all over the starfish!!   I die cut "hello" and stamped on top of it with my white ink.  It is so easy to adhere that tiny die to the card using the Fine Tip Glue Pen - another favorite product!!

Be sure to check out the rest of the projects for this challenge!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Brayer Power

This card is a little out of my comfort zone but it turned out ok.  I was going through some of my "stuff" and found this package of Stampin' Up Coaster Board (pg 148) that I had never used but I have had it about 2 years!  The Coaster Board is thinner than chipboard, but sturdier than cardstock.  It's great for die cutting and embossing.  

I ran it through my Lovely Lace embossing folder.  Next I inked up my brayer (which I probably have not used in several years) with Watermelon Wonder ink and rolled it over the coaster board. This is the debossed side.  I brayer-ed both sides but I liked this side the best.  It's neat how the raised portion takes the ink and the debossed areas stay white.  You can't press real hard on the brayer though.  I stamped the cake with Watermelon also and punched it out with the 2 1/2" punch.  I love the sentiment from Party Wishes (Occasions Catalog, pg. 5).  I tucked some of the Dotted Lace Trim behind the circle.  

Sonny and I went to the movies today and saw Eddie the Eagle.  It was very good.  I would recommend it to you.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Pedal Pusher Love

It is still not too late to spend $50 with Stampin' Up and receive a free stamp set (or paper, Project Life item, washi tape, etc.).  This bicycle set is one of the new stamps for Sale-a-Bration - Pedal Pusher.  I think it is so cute and can be used for a lot of occasions.   I decided to send it to someone special.

I stamped the bike with black Memento ink and used markers to color it so it would match the Lost Lagoon card.  Oh how I am going to miss Lost Lagoon when it retires in June!  I just realized that when I took the picture of the card, I had not adhered the panel to the card.  Rest assured, I did glue it down before mailing it!  The DSP flag that is peeking out of the side and the DSP background piece are both from Sale-a-Bration also (Wildflower Fields, pg. 12).  The "love" sentiment is from a great stamp set in the annual catalog, Something to Say (pg. 108).

Image result for pedal pusher, stampin' up

Saturday, March 5, 2016

American Idol Recap

Here's my quick run down of the Top 10 from Thursday night.  There was a double elimination this week.  The bottom three performed at the end of the show and the judges voted to keep one of them.

  1. Dalton Rapatoni sang "Radioactive"  I thought it was good but he usually changes up the songs that he sings and he did not do that with this one.  The judges were not blown away with his song choice.
  2. Lee Jean sang "Use Somebody"  I was so happy that he was not in the bottom three!  He is just so cute and talented for a 15 year old.  He played the electric guitar also while singing his song. I liked his performance.  
  3. Sonika Vaid sang "Since You Be Gone," a Kelly Clarkson song.  She didn't do a lot for me with her performance.  The song is about an "angry girl" and she didn't give it the attitude she should have.
  4. MacKenzie Bourg sang "I Wanna Dance with Somebody," by Whitney Houston.  Love that song and he definitely made it his own.  It was just different to hear a guy sing this song.
  5. La'Porsha Renae sang "Halo" by Beyonce.  This girl is going to be the next American Idol!  Her voice is so beautiful.  She has some crazy hair and was funny when she was in the dressing room and they were doing her hair.  She said no one had ever touched her hair except her or her mom so it was a traumatic experience for her.
  6. Trent Harmon sang "When a Man Loves a Woman" by Percy Sledge - one of my favorite songs!  He had been working hard on not making the funny faces he usually does.  I liked his performance.
  7. Tristen MacIntosh was the last one to snag a spot outside of the bottom three who had to compete for their spot.  She sang a Vince Gill song and accompanied herself on the piano.  She got a standing ovation from Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban!
Bottom three:
  1. Avalon Young sang "Earned It"  I was not familiar with this song but she sang it great!  
  2. Olivia Rox sang a song by Pink.  She was not bad but not as good as Avalon.
  3. Gianna Isabella sang an Alicia Key song and didn't stand a chance.

So that is the top 10.

Here is the video from Kelly Clarkson's emotional song that she sang last week.  Have a tissue ready!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Easter Cross

Easter is early this year - March 27th - so I thought I'd better start on my Easter cards.  This is the first one I made and I love it!  By changing the sentiment, this card could also be used for sympathy, get well, etc.

I CASEd a card from Pinterest by Angie Pyjas.

I used the Hardwood background stamp for the cross.  I stamped with Early Espresso onto Crumb Cake card stock and just cut two of the panels for the cross.  I added brown brads to each end.  (When was the last time you used a brad??)  The wreath is stamped with Wondrous Wreath stamp set and cut out with the matching framelets.  That stamp is not just for Christmas!!  The flowers (Perfect Plum and Watermelon Wonder) are also from the Wondrous Wreath and cut out with the framelets.  I used the Softly Falling embossing folder on the Wisteria Wonder card.  Happy Easter is from Teeny Tiny Wishes and cut out with the Bitty Banners framelets.

Thought I'd share a picture I took with my sister (Marianne) in mind while at one of the Smithsonians last week.  She HATES spiders!!  This one was a big hairy tarantula.  I'm just glad there was glass protecting me from him!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

American Idol Recap

Do you watch American Idol?  I have watched it for years.  I didn't watch the first two years but after that, I was hooked.  Kinda sad that this is their last year but I do think it is time.  Ashley and I were discussing it last weekend and the fact that the judges (or no one actually) coaches them before they go on stage makes it hard for these kids to know what they should and should not do.  The judges are famous for telling them they picked the wrong song.  Well, they are kids - why doesn't someone on the show help them pick a song that would be good for them.  I prefer The Voice so much more than Idol now where the contestants are helped and mentored.

Since I have been out of town for the past week, I am just now watching the taped shows and catching up on my TV time.  There is some really strong talent this year and some really young ones too!  It will be fun to watch the artists get pared them down to one.  A few years ago, I kept a running commentary on my blog as the artists performed each week.  I thought I'd try it again since this is the last year.  Here are my thoughts for this week's Top Ten:

1.  Olivia Rox singing "Unconditionally" by Kathy Perry - Thought she did a great job with the song and has a really good voice.
2.  Gianna Isabella singing "Listen" by Beyonce.  Yuck!  I think she is in trouble next week and may be the one going home.  She was off pitch throughout.
3.  Lee Jean (don't you love his name?) singing "Skinny Love" by Birdy - I don't know this song but I love Lee! I liked it but I don't think the judges were sold.
4.  Avalon Young sang "Stitches" by Shawn Mendes (another one I've never heard!)  I didn't much care for this one either.  The judges didn't like it either except for the guest judge, Kelly Clarkson.
5.  Dalton Rapattoni sang "Hey There Delilah" by Plain White Ts.  Yey - a song I know and like!!  He is really comfortable on stage and has gorgeous blue eyes.  He also wears eyeliner! He said that he applies it the night before and sleeps with it on so it will be smudged just right.  He will go far in the competition.
6.  Tristan McIntosh sang "Somethin' About You" by Dan and Shay. She grabbed my heart from the very beginning of Idol.  When she tried out, they surprised her with an appearance of her mom who is in the military and was deployed.  It made me cry.  I liked the song that she sang but unfortunately, she mumbled some of the words.  She did seem very comfortable on stage for being 15 years old.
7.  Mackenzie Borg sang "I See Fire" by Ed Sheeran.  He did a good job with the song.  I think he will be back next week.
8.  La'Porsha Renae sang "Diamonds" by Rhianna.  This girl has the most amazing voice!!  The judges and the audience were on their feet at the end and it took a while for the audience to quiet down. I think she may be the final American Idol.  She has a mature voice and sings circles around all the other kids.
9.  Sonika Vaid sang "Bring Me to Life" by Evanescence.  Another song I don't know but her voice is wonderful and she looked beautiful.  She will be safe this week for sure.  Another standing ovation!
10.  Trent Harmon sang "Like I Can" by Sam Smith.  I love this guy and I loved the song.  I believe he picked the right song for his voice!

The highlight of the night was Kelly Clarkson!  She was funny all during the show referring to her pregnancy (only 7 weeks to go) but her performance at the end had me crying - along with Keith Urban and Jennifer.  What a great song.  Poor Kelly had trouble making it through the song as it was so emotional.  If you haven't heard "Piece by Piece", you need to find it and listen to it!

This is going to be a tough year for Idol.  This week I hope Lee Jean doesn't go home.  The ones I think are in trouble are Gianna Isabella, Avalon Young, Tristan McIntosh and Lee Jean.   They will pare the group down to 8 on Thursday night.  Vote for your favorite!