Saturday, November 28, 2009

Stampin' Up! Online Extravaganza!

I just wanted to take a moment to let you know about the HUGE online sale that Stampin' Up! is having right now. The sales features punches, stamp sets, decor elements, card kits, accessories and MORE -- all for 30 - 50% off!

To take advantage of these amazing offers, head directly to my website at - click on "Shop Now" and then "Online Extravaganza" to check out the sale. But HURRY! The sale ends MONDAY - November 30 (yes, THIS Monday!) at midnight.

For those of you that are new to stamping, I encourage you to check out the Ultimate Stampers Starter Kit: This kit features Best Wishes & More, Eight Great Greetings, and On a Pedestal stamp sets, plus Earth Elements Stampin’ Spots, Earth Elements assorted card stock (8-1/2” x 11”), Whisper White card stock (8-1/2” x 11”), Old Olive 1/2" striped grosgrain ribbon, and Flower Designer brads, you'll be in stamping heaven--all for 40% off the retail value!

There are lots of other great product bundles available as well - for both scrapbooking and card-making. Lots of supplies for a great price!

For those of you looking for Christmas gifts, to stock up on supplies for holiday projects, or just to treat yourself - now is the perfect time to shop! If you have questions about any of the products in the "Online Extravaganza" or otherwise, don't hesitate to drop me a line at

Happy Stamping, Friends!

Weekend Football Dip

Football season is in full swing and as the weather gets cooler, my husband spends many a weekend afternoon watching "the big game" with friends or with our puppy... : ) This is a fast, super-easy dip to throw together for a half-time snack that's a surefire crowd pleaser!


Tortilla chips (for dipping)
1 block cream cheese
1 can hormel chili - no beans
shredded cheese

Melt cream cheese in the microwave until soft and gooey.

Add chili and mix together.

Sprinkle liberally with shredded cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve hot with tortilla chips for dipping. ENJOY!

I am so close to being done with graduate school for the semester - I'm finishing up a 20 page paper that I'll present in class on Monday and then I'm FINISHED! Woo hoo! That means that starting next week you'll be seeing a lot more of me around here - so check back often for a whole lot of holiday crafty goodness!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

November Cupkins - Extra Helping!

The first Monday of the month has long since passed but Meg and I couldn't resist adding an "extra helping" of November Cupkins in honor of Thanksgiving. To see Meg's Leftover Cranberry Sauce Muffins, just click on the Cupkins logo above and hope over to her place. Yum!

For my cupcake, I made Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting!

Cupcake Ingredients
- 1 2lb can of sweet potatoes in syrup
- 1 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract

- Drain sweet potatoes and rinse with water. Mash in bowl. Measure two cups worth and set aside for cupcakes.

- Whisk dry ingredients and set aside. Cream butter and both sugars until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, then beat in the 2 cups of mashed sweet potato and the vanilla. Reduce mixer speed and add flour mixture in small batches, beat until incorporated.

- Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for approx 24-26 minutes at 400 degrees.

- Cool completely before frosting.

Frosting Ingredients

- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 12 oz cream cheese
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar (thanks for catching this omission in the original post, Lindsey!)

- Beat butter and cream cheese about 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add sugar, one cup at a time. Add vanilla. Mix until smooth. Refrigerate before piping.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Holiday Invitations 1

One thing I love about the Holidays is that they give me lots of opportunities to play host. I LOVE to play host! Travis and I are hosting a Holiday get together for his team at work, so I whipped up some invitations for him to pass out.

Instead of handwriting the text, I printed it up on my computer real quick, then used Stampin' Up! products to embellish it.

Stampin' Up! Products Used: Merry Moments Designer Series Paper, Chocolate Chip Cardstock, Real Red Cardstock, Old Olive Cardstock, Real Red Polka-Dot Grosgrain Ribbon 1/2 inch, 1 1/4 inch striped Grosgrain Ribbon Old Olive.

I hope you're all having a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Last Minute Make Up Bag...

Today is my good friend Kelly's 27th birthday. Happy Birthday, Kel!

I made last minute plans to take her to breakfast this morning (YUM!) and wanted a little gift to wish her a happy day. I was inspired by this makeup bag tutorial over at Scribbled Sentences and figured I had most of the supplies needed in my stash to whip up something similar.

Using the tutorial above as a guide, I sized my bag nine inches long by six inches tall. Everything was going really smoothly until I got to the part where I needed to add the zipper.

I've never done ANYTHING involving sewing in a zipper before! The first time I did it the zipper ended up upside down - oops! Eventually, after several pinpricks, and much use of my stitch ripper, I got the zipper in. I wish I could tell you how I did it - but I'm still not sure...

I think it turned out pretty well for my first time out. It's not perfect by any means... the zipper is not in perfectly even, and the bag itself is just a teeny bit lop sided... but I think with a couple more attempts I can get it just right. I've got a couple of ideas up my sleeve to change up the pattern a little bit.

Sorry the photos are dark... it was, ahem, 11:30pm or so when I got it finished (I didn't start until after I got back from class around 10:15pm!) and obviously the light wasn't too great! : )

Monday, November 16, 2009

Getting in the GROOVE...

Can you feel those holidays just creeping up on us? I have waaaay too many projects going at once and I'm starting to worry a little bit that I won't be able to get it all done! What I keep telling myself, though, is that once classes are over in two weeks - I'll have free days and nights to work at my leisure. It'll all get done, right?

I had an hour to spare this afternoon so I headed down to the craft studio for some pre-holiday project organization...

I hung a dry erase board and listed all of my projects with their due dates. Phew! A little overwhelming - but it feels good to have them all visually in front of me every time I walk into the studio.

I got out all of the holiday wrapping paper, gift bags, and tissue I had to see how much I had and what else I needed to get. I put it all in a box for easy access so I can grab as needed.

I've been purchasing gifts here and there since the summertime, and it's easy to forget what I bought and for who! So I labeled some paper bags with index cards and the person's name on it. I placed the appropriate gifts in bags - and will continue to add to them. I left them in plain view for easy access - and covered hubby's bag contents elaborately with tissue paper so he can't peek...

Now it's off to class - and then home to do some late night crafting... if you're paying attention you can see that two items are due TOMORROW - November 17th! Yikes! Nothing like waiting until the last minute!

How do you keep organized during the Holidays??

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sausage, lentil, and kale soup

Talk about fall/winter soup-y yumminess!

This recipe, a la Martha Stewart Everyday Food (I searched and searched for the recipe online to link to here with no avail... the recipe below is typed directly from EVERYDAY FOOD magazine) was DELICIOUS!

If you keep up with me at all - you know that my hubby is the cook in this family - and he prepared this delicious soup tonight. The smells in the house were out of this world!

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
8oz sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup dried lentils
6 cups chicken broth
1 bunch kale, torn into bite size pieces (stems removed)
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tsp red-wine vinegar

1. In a large dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high, Add sausage and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until golden brown, about five minutes. Add celery and onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add lentils, broth, and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a rapid simmer, partially cover, and cook until lentils and vegetables are tender, 25 minutes.

2. Add kale and season with salt. Return soup to a rapid simmer, cover, and cook until kale wilts, about 5 minutes. Remove soup from heat, stir in vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.

I'm so sorry for my absence this past week. There's been so much school, consulting, taking care of animals (my crazy dog, our cats, and some foster kittens!) and more that I've had ZERO time to craft and I'm just ITCHING to get down to the studio to work on projects.

I don't know about you - but I have a million holiday projects to get going on. I'll be back soon with a smattering of gift ideas...

Until then... what are YOU working on for the holidays? Do share! : )

Monday, November 9, 2009

Christmas Cards

I had some time this weekend to fiddle around with Christmas card designs and actually came up with this design that I really like! It's just a rough design... I want to experiment with embossing the main image and making several other similar cards with different color schemes / focal images to create a set. What I like about it though is that it's simple, easy to mass produce, and has a real elegant feel to it.

Are you hand-making your Christmas cards? How are your plans coming along? Do share!

If you're interested, don't forget to get registered for my Christmas Stamp A Stack in December. Check out the info HERE.

And if you need any Stampin' Up! supplies for your Holiday projects... now is the time to order! Contact me for FREE SHIPPING, or head to my demonstrator site HERE to shop online.

Finally, for all you non-stampers out there, I'll be back in a day or so with some sewing projects... so check back soon!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Merry Christmas, Noah....

Those of you in Michigan or who have a Facebook account may very well have already heard about this little boy...


Noah Biorkman is a 5 year old boy in South Lyon, MI who is in his last stages of a 2 1/2 year battle with Neuroblastoma cancer.

Noah was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma in February 2007. He went into remission in August 2007. In September 2008, Noah relapsed with lesions in his right arm and right leg. After going through six different trials, the cancer continues to spread.

This year, his family is celebrating Christmas early, and Noah loves to receive cards.

Please take some time to send Noah a Christmas card. Please do it as soon as possible and invite all of your Facebook friends to this event so they can do the same.

Noah Biorkman
1141 Fountain View Circle,
South Lyon, MI 48178 USA

He is precious:

Please see Santa's early visit to Noah and Noah's mother's request that you simply put $1.00 in your card that will be used for Neuroblastoma research and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.



Please, take a minute to watch the videos to realize the impact of this story and this Christmas card project.

I will be making a card today to send to Noah, and will be sure to put a dollar and maybe some other goodies inside. Won't you send a Christmas card to Noah as well? Let's give this boy an amazing Christmas.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Upcoming Stampin' Up! Events...

For those of you who are local, I'd love to see you at one of my upcoming Stampin' Up! events...

Quick and Easy Stamping Techniques Class - THIS SUNDAY
I am hosting a "Quick and Easy Stamping Techniques Class" at my home on Sunday November 8 from 1-3pm.

This class is ideal for beginning and experienced stampers alike and costs just $5.00 per person. I will provide cardstock, inks, stamps, and supplies, plus some snacks and door prizes! All you need to bring is yourself - and maybe a friend or two?

Stamping techniques I'll be covering will include... Masking, Stamping with Markers, Spotlighting, Shadow Stamping, Stamping with Bleach, Kissing, and Watercoloring with the Aqua Painter.

Each technique will be demonstrated, and then you'll have the chance to try for yourself - and you will take home samples that can be used as pieces for card fronts or scrapbooking pages.

Leave the husbands and boyfriends to watch football and come over for an afternoon of stamping fun!

So far there is only a couple of attendees. I'd like a minimum of four ladies to run the class. Please RSVP to me (at this e-mail address or via Facebook) if you plan on coming by no later than THURSDAY and I will make the decision to run it or not at that point - and notify everyone either way immediately. Thanks so much!

Holiday Stamp A Stack - Friday December 4 from 7-10pm
Join me at my home to create your Holiday cards. For just $20.00 each participant will create 16 cards (with envelopes) in several designs. I'll provide all the materials - just bring your own adhesive.

Have fun celebrating the season with other stampers and get your holiday cards done! I'll provide some snacks and beverages to sustain us while we work!

RSVP to me at ASAP. Space is limited.

If you already have your holiday card supplies but want to join us to work on your cards and socialize - we'd love to have you too!

And for those of you that are far away...

Demonstrator Website - CLICK HERE
It's here! My Stampin' Up! demonstrator website is online and ready to roll. Now you can order from me any time day or night, and have product shipped directly to you! I hope this makes things very convenient for those of you who live outside of Michigan! ENJOY!

November Cupkins

Meg, my collaborator over at Mega•Crafty has been a trooper this month and has pulled through with a double threat of Cupkins - both muffins and cupcakes - since I've been sick and unable to bake. She is so wonderful! Click on the Cupkins logo to head over to her place and enjoy her treats!

I'll be back in Cupkins action later this month as Meg and I offer a "second helping" of Cupkins - since November is all about the biggest food holiday of the year - THANKSGIVING!