Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Sometimes you've got lots you want to talk about but there's not really any connecting thread.  That's kinda what today's been like.  Enjoy the rambling journey thru my thoughts.  :)

- Dinner was AWESOME!  Beef enchiladas are a definite favorite ours.  I found the recipe in a Southwestern cookbook.  Here's a PDF of it.

Koenig Touches:  Add 1 can of corn, drained & 1 can of black beans, drained.   I use both red & green peppers.  Use ground beef rather than strips.  Tonight I added some Ancho Chili & Chipotle Chili powder to it - yum!  Use can of diced tomatoes - faster and easier.  :)  Put some cheese inside the enchilada before the filling.  Be generous with the cheese on top.  Tonight in addition to the cheddar there was Cotija cheese - we'll be using that a lot more I can tell you!

- How cool that Danielle gave me a shout out on her blog today?!  And used one of the Spellbinder die cut witch boots I airbrushed at a recent demo.  Gotta love the super cute card she made, the cute die cut and airbrushing. 

- I managed (finally!!) to get some things listed on Craig's List.  This has been on my to do list for way, way to long.  If you, or someone you know, is interested I listed some Copic markers & Accucut dies.

- And speaking of to do lists, I updated my Etsy shop with a number of notepads and cards.  All perfect for gift giving.  And I'm happy to combine shipping.  ;)

- Happy to have a feeling of accomplishment because I got a lot of stuff done today.  Including not only giving Davis her medicine but her shot too.  I don't know why this has become a challenge for me.  For the first 6 months I was like clockwork.  Gotta get back into the groove or we'll never be able to tell if it's helping.

- And if only my desk were clear I might feel like playing.  Feel like it or not, I've got the first Papertrey Playhouse challenge to do as well as create a card for one of the group members. 

- The new ipad is lots of fun.  I've already read one book on it and can totally see this getting expensive!  But how cool to be able to read anywhere, anytime, nearly anything??!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's On!! Again

Just got home from scheduling this awesome class at The Creative Quest!  Here are some details about the class and what supplies are needed.  This class is set for November 7.  Full details in the Events & Class Schedule or Class Projects tab.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Papertrey Ink September Blog Hop

11/25/10 - if you've arrived here from the Nov PTI Blog Hop - I goofed in Mr Linky.  :(  Please click on the home tab to see my entry for the Nov Hop.  :)

 Ok, I admit it.  Not only am I new to this whole blog thing but this is the first time I've participated in a blog hop.  What's a blog hop you may be asking.  Well, a bunch of crafty people all post something on their own blog that meets the requirement of the challenge that was issued and then link their post back to the blog that issued the challenge.  Kinda cool.  And a really neat way to find new inspiration as you hop from one link to another.  :)  So, here's to the first time I'm hopping.

THE CHALLENGE: "One of the most fun things about this hobby is the people you meet, whether in person or online, and the things you learn from them.  Now is your chance to show off any skills you might have learned from a fellow stamper, and perhaps even give them a little shout out to thank them for the inspiration they have provided.  Create a project using one of your favorite learned skills and perhaps after a little blog hopping, we will ALL learn some new tips and tricks and continue to pass on the love of this hobby!" - Nicole Heady   Papertrey Ink

I've chosen to play with variations on a theme for my entry.  Inspiration for all 3 of them came from a variety of sources - primarily the samples shared by the PTI team for the September releases.  I loved Nichole's idea of stamping the berries for the wreath, turning the stamp slightly and re-stamping to get color variation on the berries in the Wreath for all Seasons set.  I used the same concept with the twig wreath in green to give the appearance of a wreath made from long, soft pine needles.  I loved the buttons that both Dawn & Debbie used on their cards.  I changed a button for a bow on one card.  And the possibilities for the Framed set are nearly limitless.  And as soon as I got the Framed set I started looking to see what other sets or sentiments would fit it - Mega Mixed Messages is perfect!

Here are my 3 variations using PTI stamp sets & the inspiration I've gained from several of it's designers.  Thanks so much for taking the time to look at my entry.

Supplies: Stamps - Wreath for all Seasons, Framed, Mega Mixed Messages Papertrey Ink, ink - Clearly Better by TPC Studios, Cardstock - red - Core'dinations, green - Bazzill, buttons - Fancy Pants, floss - DMC, card bases & envelopes - TPC Studios, ribbon - May Arts, adhesive - ZipDry, die cuts - Spellbinders lacey square, stitching

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's On!!

I scheduled a banner class today.  Check out the class sign for info.  Class is Oct 30 at Paper Vineyard.  Details in the Events & Class schedule.

I'll update the schedule when/if more classes are scheduled.  Hope to see you in class!

Oh my stars & banners.....................

For some reason the really old fashioned saying "oh my stars & garters" has been a favorite of late.  I have no idea about the origins of this particular phrase but am guessing it's a take off on "oh my stars" and someone just felt like that wasn't enough and added "& garters" to really up the ante.

In any case, it seems kinda fitting for the project I've been working on the last two nights.  It's not totally done but I wanted to tease everyone with a few pics.  I'll be offering this as a class and as a kit.  I'll post details once they've been finalized.

Did I mention that it lights up??!! I'm so stinkin' excited about the possibilities for this one.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Success at Last!

Have you ever eaten something in a restaurant and wished you could make it at home any time you wanted?  After a trip to Buca de Beppo earlier in the year Mel & I have been trying to figure out how to make Spicy Chicken Penne.  The best Bucca server in the world, Hannah, said we'd like it.  She knows us too well.  :)  With a change of pasta and hold the peas, a new favorite was born.  We've had a semi-successful attempt at re-creating it but hadn't been able to get it just right.  Enter Mel & his peeps (aka. Google).   After some consultations Mel found it, in of all places, on a Nashville, TN tv station's website.  Thanks to me, you won't have to search so long or so hard for it.  :) 

1/4 c oil  
1/2 T crushed red pepper
1/8 t salt                                                   
1/8 t ground black pepper
1 T chopped garlic
6 oz chicken, sliced
3/4 c. Marinara sauce
1/2 c Alfredo sauce
2 t butter
1/4 c peas
1 lb Mezzi Rigatoni pasta, cooked according to package directions
Additional 1/2 t crushed red pepper (for garnish)
In a sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add crushed red pepper, salt, black pepper and garlic and sauté just long enough for garlic to caramelize and red pepper to release flavor into the oil. Add sliced chicken and sauté briefly to coat in spices and garlic.
Add Marinara Sauce first and then Alfredo Sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook until sauce thickens slightly and chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°.  Turn off flame, add butter and peas and incorporate into sauce.
Drop cooked pasta in boiling water for 3 seconds. Let drain for 15 seconds. Toss with the sauce. Place pasta and sauce in pasta bowl, reserving the majority of the chicken to be placed on top of the pasta. Using a rubber spatula, scrape any remaining sauce from the pan to the pasta. Garnish with crushed red pepper and serve.
HELPFUL HINT:Add Marinara to the pan before Alfredo Sauce. This will help keep the Alfredo Sauce from breaking down.
Koenig Touches: switch from rigatoni to penne pasta, ditch the peas, add fresh grated Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese on top, use more garlic than recipe calls for (we're all family right??!), marinate chicken with garlic & grill, use a 26 oz jar of Marinara & a 15 oz jar of Alfredo & increase all other ingredients accordingly 
 Bon appétit!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Organization - my 2nd love ..............

I love crafting.  I love getting my hands dirty and sticky and finding the bits and pieces all over the floor.  Clean up isn't much fun but we're not talking about that tonight.  Since I've packed up all of my Spellbinders dies and the new Grand Calibur as well as my air compressor and Copic markers in preparation for tomorrow's class and demos I had to find something else creative to play with tonight.   So I turned to my 2nd love - organization.

How can you play with all of the wonderful goodies, embellishments, tools and  coloring methods if you can't find them??!  Almost 3 years ago we gutted my office and started over.  After some Ikea inspiration, drawn to scale plans and a couple of trips to pick everything up (one trip had me driving an hour home with the hatchback open!) we were set.   If you'd like to see the pics I've got them all, with captions, right here.  One of the best things that came from my reorganization is the sorting and labeling of EVERYTHING. 

Which is where tonight comes in.  Lately I've been on a stamp organization bender.  It's all Nichol Heady's fault at Papertrey Ink.  Their amazing stamp sets come with CD cases to store them in.  After my first couple of sets ALL of my stamps had to be reorganized this way.  It looks really cool underneath my ink too.  The most likely to be used sets are on the CD/DVD racks (Ikea of course) and the others are in the CD/DVD boxes (want to guess where those came from??).

Tonight I continued stamping the images that aren't kept in CD cases in my little stamp binder.   Love that I can just flip thru here to see all of my images. 

So tonight's creative lesson is: Create labels for all your stuff.  Because I've got labels on everything I know exactly where it's all at.  I don't have to see it all the time - which got VERY overwhelming after awhile.  By using the same products and printing the labels in the same size and font style I've made sure that everything looks coordinated and pulled together with very little effort.  And now I use my stuff more.  If I want to play with chalk, I know right where it's at.  If I'm in a chipboard or paper flower mood I can go right to them. 

One more creative tip: It's easier to organize at the BEGINNING of your acquisition period but don't let that stop you from doing it after you've acquired nearly 200 sets of something.  The time you'll save and the products you'll actually use are well worth the effort.  Even if it means you had to go to 3 different Staples and buy out the blank CD cases from 2 of them over a weekend to put your new system into place.  :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Events Are Up!!

I've got proof that if you just keep trying you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.  It's not earth shattering but I'll take positive affirmations where ever and how ever I can get them.  My proof?  The class & events schedule you see on the left side of the blog!  Next up, a store tab with links to the stores in Arizona & Las Vegas you'll find me at.

Look for more events to go up in there soon.  I'll be scheduling the next round of Copic Club classes at The Creative Quest today and I just got a beautiful box of Fancy Pants goodness yesterday.  I'll be working on class projects that feature it as quickly as I can.

Have a fabu day!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Copics & Spellbinders & Football! Oh My!!

What a weekend!  I love being busy.  But have you ever noticed how tired it can make you??!

I had such a good time demoing the new Grand Calibur & Grand Nesties this weekend at Stamp Works, The Creative Quest, Paper Vineyard & Scrapbooks to Remember.  I was lucky enough to get some help at STR.  Brookie and her parents stopped by and in about 2 minutes Brooke was running the Grand Calibur all by herself!  And she's only 3!!!  Thank you to all the lovely ladies that came by to see the newest products from one of my favorite companies, Spellbinders. 

I'll be doing more demos soon with these.  I'll get my events info updated with all of it as soon as I can.

Saturday night was another fabulous 2SGNO.  I just love those evenings.  A chance to hang out with some of the coolest chics I know and craft.  And there was chocolate and pizza.  It pretty much can't get any better than that!

And what could be better than the first Sunday of football season?  Being able to sit in my big comfy chair with one of my pop up tables across it and coloring during the games with my Copic markers.  I was so happy to finally have the stamps I'd asked for to create my Copic Club cards for class on the 18th.  Here's a first draft of one of the images we'll be coloring.  I just picked up paper to create the cards out of this afternoon and will be finishing them off this evening.  If you'd like to learn about blending 2 colors together and using your Blender pen, there's still space available in class.

Supplies: Spellbinders Labels 1, Tsukineko ink, Impression Obsession stamp, Copics - 0, Y38, YR07,  Y21, YG03, G24, E15, B000

Mel's doing the football pool again at work this year.  I love participating in it.  At the end of the day Sun Mel & were both at 9 of 14.  Unfortunately, 3 other guys were 10 out of 14.  Looks like we're out of the money this week.  But there's a lot more football to come.  :) 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Just wanted to share something that was sent to me in an e-mail.  Totally made my night.  I wanted to post it so I always have it to go back to.

"I love your blog - I think I have read every post - but I must say, I feel kinda like I'm reading your diary by flashlight.  You are a very good writer and it definitely keeps my attention."                                          S.H.


I LOVE the image of covers over the head and a soft light shining thru so you can finish reading the last few pages.

Reading has always been one of my very favorite ways to pass the time.   Even now I need to read or play word search before I can fall asleep.  Words are powerful.  Words can fire your imagination.  One of the reasons I refuse to watch the Lord of the Rings movies.  I still read the entire book series at least once a year and I don't want my mental images of the characters ruined by Jackson's idea of what that world and characters looks like.  My favorite books continue to be from Stephen King.  I've read all of his books multiple times.  And I love to look at the bookshelf in the family room filled with his books.  For me one of the best things about King's books is that he let's your imagination do the work.  He paints the outline with his words and allows your imagination fill in the colors and details.

This photo shows how it feels to read.  Like a hug from a good friend.  I've been so focused on my scrappy magazines lately that I haven't picked up an honest to goodness book.  I need to change that.  Give me some suggestions and why you liked it.  I feel a trip to the library in my future.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Spellbinders Grand Calibur & Grand Nestabilities Demos

I'm so stinkin' excited about this.  I'll have a machine and set of dies to show off this weekend.  I'll be all over the Valley with them so as many people as possible can see them too.  Hope you'll drop in at one of these events to check them out.

The new Grand Calibur is super easy to use and will take paper 8" wide.  The cutting plates are a super sized 8 1/2 x 11 to fit the new Grand Nestabilities or tons of the Shapeabilities or regular Nesties.  And did you know that the Grand Nesties size up from the regular ones??  How cool is that??!  I've got to give the machine and dies back Monday morning so don't miss your chance to check it out up close.

Thursday 9/9 5:30 - 7:30 pm  Stamp Works  238 S Wall St Chandler, AZ  85225 
Friday 9/10   1:00 - 3:00 pm  The Creative Quest  7146 N 57th Dr Glendale, AZ  85301
Friday 9/10   5:00 - 7:00 pm  Paper Vineyard  590 N Alma School Rd #31 Chandler, AZ  85224
Saturday 9/11 11:00 - 1:00 pm  Scrapbooks to Remember 42323 N Vision Way #106 Anthem, AZ  85086

Dog day afternoon & a few musings.......

The long weekend's over & it's back to work for all of us.  *sigh*  I hope the weekend was enjoyable for everyone.
I have to say my favorite thing we did this weekend was to take Harley & Davis to Rio Vista Park yesterday - what were we thinking to do it at 12:30 in the afternoon??! though?

Mel was very reluctant.  But within a short period of time both dogs were walking with pretty much loose leashes and having a great time.  Surprising to both of us was when not only Harley, but Davis too, jumped into the water!  We'd stopped in some shade near an edge for them to get a drink and next thing you know Harley's was standing in the pond!  He was even trying to lay down.  Mel kept grabbing me afraid Harley was going to pull me in with him as he tried to go deeper.  I'd been wanting to get Davis over to the water spout area figuring she'd love it the way she goes cuckoo for the hose at home.  Not sure if it was all the kiddos or just being dog tired by that time but she couldn't have cared less.  I think Mel was surprised by the number of people and kids that wanted to pet them or asked about them.  I'm not.  Their such big, sweet goofballs.  And the trip home was pretty funny.  Both dogs in the back seat but with their heads between the front seats to get as much of the AC as possible.  Harley on top and Davis on the bottom. Luckily it was all green lights and we made it home in just about 3 minutes. And then we pulled them both into the pool.  Clothes on us, leashes on them and all.  Davis finally got to where she'd go onto the first step by herself but Harley wanted nothing to do with us once he got out.  Wish I had pics but it would have been tough working the camera and keeping up with those two.  I'm really hoping we'll be able to do that more often.  It was hot and tiring but good for all of us.

The other item of note this weekend is that Bret was asked to move out.  As difficult as it was for both of us, there were issues with house rules being adhered to.  When Bret moved back into the house in April we all agreed to some basic house rules.  If they weren't adhered to we agreed that Bret wouldn't be able to live here.  And the time came.  Didn't make it any easier.  I've ridden the world's biggest emotional roller coaster in the last few days. 

And frankly, I'm ready to get off.  Parenthood just never seems to get any easier.  And I'd never have guessed that it was as easy as it would ever be when he was little.  Things were simpler then - clean diaper, something to eat, stay comfortable and play a lot. 

In the midst of all of the self questioning and doubt and fear and everything else, I got to wondering about the blog.  Life isn't all sunshine and roses.  It ain't always pretty.  While I started this little adventure to help increase my profile online for business purposes and for when/if I start to submit or try out for design teams, I'm not sure that I can or want to ignore the real life, non crafty stuff that impacts me.  Perhaps this is the beginning of trying to find my "blog voice."  Send good vibes and positive energy our way.  We can use it for awhile.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Putzing Around....

Since getting home Wednesday afternoon, putzing around is a pretty good description of what I've been doing. :) I did get a whole bunch of work taken care of yesterday which felt really good. But today has been all putzing. Sometimes just putzing is a good thing. You need the time to recharge and let your mind just not think about anything of consequence.

Hanging in my office, pushing paper around and trying to create something. I've got 3 cards I need to get made and out as quickly as I can. Here's what I came up with.

Birthday card for my mom. She was so awesome to stay here while we went to San Fran to take care of the animals and house. Would have liked her to stay thru the weekend and have her birthday with us but she had appointments that couldn't be changed. I'm diggin' mixing and matching stuff more lately. Definitely inspired by Mish.   

Supply List: Autumn Leaves Foof A La text patterned paper, Core'dinations Core Impressions cardstock, stitching, parcel tag, Melissa Frances ledger patterned paper, Spellbinders Label 1 die, Papertrey Ink Bloomers stamp (designed by Mish herself), TPC Studios & Ranger inks, Making Memories artists safety pin, butterfly charm unknown, ribbon unknown, stitching, Beacon Adhesives ZipDry, Spellbinders Wizard die cutting machine, Copics - colors shown in photo 

My grandparents celebrated their anniversary while we were gone.  Here's the card I'm sending them. I just need to figure out how I want to add the anniversary sentiment to it.  Papertrey Ink has the perfect stamp set for it but I don't want to wait for it to get to me.  :)

Supply List: Chatterbox floral patterned papers & cardstock, old book paper, TPC Studios flat scalloped card, Tim Holtz Texture Fade by Sizzix, Heidi Grace Designs flowers, Papertrey Ink lable die & stamp, Spellbinders Label 1 die, stitching, ink - various, Spellbinders Wizard die cutting machine


And last, but not least, is a thank you card for the lovely hospitality we were shown by the Moore family when we visited.  Hope each of these bring a smile to the recipients faces.

Supply List: Chatterbox floral & dot patterened paper, WorldWin cardstock, Prima flower, stitching, TPC Studios flat scallop card, Tim Holtz Texture Fades by Sizzix, ink - various, Fiskars stamp, Spellbinders Wizard machine

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Third, or fourth, times the charm??

Hoping that this will work this time. If not you may just get bored to death by my detailed descriptions of them. Getting frustrated with the whole bloody process. This was supposed to be fun and entertaining, not another thing to piss me off. Sorry about the wacky advertising on the slide show, I had fun & funny info on each picture that you can't see because of it.

Got home this afternoon. Nice to be back here. Loved the weather and loved visiting. But I REALLY love my very own bed! Mel & I were tossing & turning on the very small queen sized regular bed in our room. In fact I nearly fell out a couple of times. My poor back! May have to see about finally using my massage gift certificate from Christmas.

Some of my highlights from the trip:
- I really loved all the different live music that was everywhere.
- riding the cable car. Only rode one and for just a short distance but it was so cool. I made sure to stand on the back platform & hung off the side with only one hand to get the photo in the slide show. I'd ride those things ALL THE TIME if I lived there.
- Harris' - was recommended to me by the cable car operator on my first trip. San Fran has all kinds of food but isn't much of a meat & potatoes kinda place. Since Mel & I treated ourselves to a high dollar steak I was glad to go somewhere with a local's recommendation.
- the sourdough factory. OMG! Heaven! So wanted to bring some home but no room in the suitcase.
- the redwoods - we didn't even get to see the real giant sequoia's but what we did see was just amazing. Seeing major events in human history noted in the corresponding area on the rings of a fallen tree & how far from when the tree sprouted was really mind blowing
- had a great time on the bus tour - many thanks to Patricia & our wonderful driver, Joe - for a great day. Mel even enjoyed it when he hopped on.
- visiting with the Moore family. Was so nice to see them. Had a blast with the wine tastings - gotta find a way to do that some more! My 2 faves - Mutt Lynch & Armida I'll be ordering from both of these places.
- loved not having any set plans and just going with the flow. Got to wander around (and around) on Monday. Managed to navigate with my Droid and maps to a specific store and then back to the hotel with no help.

We'll be going back for sure. Can't wait til we do as I already know several things I want to make sure to see or do!