Thursday, July 31, 2008

Catalog Spoiler.... not read this if you don't want to know some of the things that have made it to the new catalog!!!

OK, for those of you still with me, this information has been collected after blog-surfing off and on all day long (when I should have been doing a ton of other more useful things). Also, this information is straight off of Dannie Graves' blog...bless her for letting me know what I could pull out of my "retired" bins and put back into circulation! I will take credit for the side comments though...those are all me!

Here is a list of some of the things that you have seen before and will be seeing again in the new catalog:

Holy Triptych stamp set--I missed this the first time around...that won't happen again!
Tart and Tangy stamp set--WooHoo! WooHoo!
Bloomin' Beautiful stamp set--I'm so happy about this one I could cry.
Summer Picnic designer series paper--Matches so well with Tart and Tangy! I can see gifts for the preschool teachers already
A Perfect Day Rub-ons
Styled Silver Hodgepodge Hardware--This is so pretty---can't wait to get more!
Mini Library Clips
Chunky Sprinkles Glitter--Girls, this is the one we played with in my class on Tuesday! So you will have more color selections than just red, black, white, and silver!
Die Cut Blooms

Items we've seen before but small changes have been made:

An additional set of Die Cut blooms in baja breeze, very vanilla, close to cocoa, & kiwi kiss

Carousel Notes in ruby red, kiwi kiss & baja breeze. The envelopes are still Chocolate Chip

Scallop Notes in pink pirouette, baja breeze, & chocolate chip with very vanilla envelopes

Gift notes in kiwi kiss, riding hood red, & kraft

*Textured* love notes in tangerine tango, bashful blue & old olive

Green Tea designer series paper--same print as Ginger Blossom DSP except the colors are changed to old olive, certainly celery, & baja breeze (I loved, loved, loved Ginger Blossom the first time around...can't wait to see this color scheme with those designs!) (also...I have seen another "Eastern" set in the new catty...very pretty!)

Junior Varsity designer series paper--same print as East Coast Prep DSP except the colors are changed to rose red, old olive, bashful blue & so saffron

Pina Colada simply scrappin' kit--same print and design as the Summer Days simply scrappin kit except the colors are changed to riding hood red, tangerine tango, old olive & so saffron

Flower Fusion--we still have the first set, but they've added another set of flowers in pink pirouette, baja breeze, & chocolate chip (yeah!)

Styled Vanilla Hodgepodge Hardware--just like the silver styled hodgepodge hardware except with a vanilla colored finish

Ribbon--this deserves a whole section by itself! I'm only listing the new colors added to what we already have. We no longer sell any packs of ribbon origionals.
1/4 " grosgrain--added Rose Red, Sage Shadow, Old Olive, & Chocolate Chip (yeah, they brought it back!)

1 1/4" Pink Pirouette Grosgrain ribbon

7/8" So Saffron Poly-twill ribbon

3/8" Kiwi Kiss/Very Vanilla Satin ribbon--very vanilla on one side and kiwi kiss on the other

Riding Hood Red Taffeta ribbon

1" Double-stitched Grosgrain ribbon (this looks like the wide Rose Red grosgrain ribbon that is currently in the Fairy Tale ribbon originals)--Rose Red, Baja Breeze, Bashful Blue, Chocolate Chip. The stitching is white.

5/8" Striped Grosgrain ribbon (this looks just like the black ribbon with the two white strips going down the middle that's in the Jersey Ribbon Originals)--riding hood red, pink pirouette, baja breeze, pacific point, kiwi kiss, tangerine tango. The stripes are white.

New Punches
Scalloped Edge (if you have been to a class at my have played with this punch)
1 3/4" Circle
Wide Oval
Scalloped Square
Curly Label Punch Box--the punch looks like this { } on all four sides. It comes with a set of four stamps.

OK, so that is all I know for now. I am still praying for some type of miracle that I will be looking at cases of catalogs on my doorstep tomorrow, since my flight leaves very early Saturday morning. My neighbor who is watching our house has been threatened with a horrible fate if he lets anything happen to my! I'm thinking it will involve me filling his aquarium with pregnant guppies the next time they go on vacation and not saying anything until he has 400 fish in a 10 gallon tank.

Also, I have updated my SU! site with the August schedule (sorry it is so limited everyone....I promise there will be a full schedule coming in September and the rest of the year!) There are also pictures of the Christmas cards for August and one of the sneak peek cards that I posted on here awhile back.

I hope everyone has a great night! If some of you other blog surfers come upon any good sneak peeks, post a comment and let us all know where to go look to see some new stuff! I promise the release party on the 22nd at my house will be fun, so plan on coming by that evening for some snacks, a little stamping, and a new catalog.

If I don't get a chance to post tomorrow, I'll be thinking of y'all while we are in Florida! I promise to come home with many funny tales involving Little Miss (how could I not?). Until next time...Happy Stamping!


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The STAMPeders...

...are up and running! Well, some of us will be walking, but you can run if you want to. You can dance if you want to. You can leave your friends behind. (Name that tune and I'll give you a lollipop!)

So, you know in my earlier post here I told you about Race for the Cure and what I would offer up to anyone who signs up to be a member of my team. Well, the team site is up, just click on STAMPeders and it will take you to the team's page. From there if you click on the "Join Kimberly's team" in the right upper corner right above the goal statistics you will be taken to the page where you can sign up to be a part of our team.

Now, a little reminder. You don't have to be Flo-Jo to participate. Come on! I do this. If you want to run, I promise I will cheer for you until you are out of sight and then I will put all of my energy back into walking. You get to decide how much effort you put into the actual race. For those of you that are in great shape and like to run, or if you hubby/boyfriend/significant other is a runner but wants to sign up under our team to help out, they can still participate in the CHIP timed run. Heck, you can even Sleep in for the Cure (although that costs a bit extra but you do still get the T-shirt).

The rest of us are going to walk and talk and laugh and take pictures. Well, I will take pictures, because that means that I don't have to be in them.

So, click on over, take a look around, and sign up! It is a great cause to support, and I promise, you will have fun! Plus, if we get 5 team members signed up by September 15th, we will get a priority packet pickup! This means that I can pick up the entire set of team packets a full week before the general population can, with my own set appointment. If we make this small first goal, we will be guaranteed the correct t-shirt sizes because they won't all be gone, plus I won't have to stand in a long line with a cranky 4-year old. And that is always a good thing.

Thanks again to everyone who has already said they are going to sign up. I can't wait to see you all on race day!

Until next time...Happy Stamping (and walking, too!)



...a little dream of boxes and boxes of brand new catalogs arriving at my house any second now. Please dream this dream. Because I would (almost) auction off my hubby to the highest bidder to get my greedy hands on a catty before I leave for vacation on Saturday. Well, I guess I wouldn't really auction him off. After all, he is taking me to the happiest place on earth. No, not Sea World, that is the Happiest Place on Earth for Little Miss. We are going to Disney! But don't tell my darling little one if you see her, ok? If you do she will make a sound that only dogs and dolphins can hear and then all I will hear for the next week is, "Are we going today?".

So, let's look at a card instead, ok? How about this one?

I was strolling through Michaels the other day stocking up on stickers for the kiddo because I am out of rubber scraps for her to make art with, when I passed down the Martha Stewart aisle. I happened to see the ribbon that is on the left of my card, and after my friend Lydia used it so effectively, thereby enabling me, I had to try some out. Thanks, Lydia...for making such adorable creations that I feel the need to go in search of more ribbon, because that is what my stamping area needs, more ribbon!

But this ribbon is special, because it is self-adhesive ribbon. Do you know what that is like for a ribbon-challenged gal like myself? It is like figuring out how to use the Force, finding the One Ring, getting beamed out of the Borg ship just in the nick of....

....sorry, folks! Had a little sci-fi freaky teen flashback there. Hey, it's not like I ever actually went to a Star Trek convention and wore a Bajoran earring and stood in line to meet Michael Dorn and squealed like a school girl when he actually touched my arm or anything like that. And it's certainly not like I did that when I was, say, 23 years old or so. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Back to the topic at hand...the ribbon. It is really pretty and so easy to work with, you will want to fly with me to Salt Lake City and beg Shelli Gardner to please, please use her powers for the good of all stampers and give us some SU ribbon like this. Anyway, I was drawn to the pretty orange toned ribbons in the pack (you get 4 designs...this pack had the two you see on the card, plus a wide orange print ribbon and another of the sand colored ones as well). Here are more details on the card:

Stamp set: Happiness Always (new Level 3 hostess set coming August 11)
Cardstock: River Rock (base), Tangerine Tango (new In Color), Cameo Coral, and Natural White
Ink: Cameo Coral, Tangerine Tango, and Ruby Red
Extras: Martha Stewart Self-Adhesive "tape" (that is her name for it, not mine)

Just goes to prove the theory, if you give me a lever long enough, I can move the world. But if you give me a stamp-a-ma-jig, I can move it to the exact spot I want it!

*****Susan G. Komen update*****

I am registering our team name as soon as I finish this post. Cecile, you clever girl! I asked for team name help and Cecile had her thinking cap on when she came up with the STAMPeders. LOVE IT!!! That will be the team name and I will put details on here about how to register so anyone that wants to come join us on November 2nd at a very early hour in the morning can! Or you can pay extra and sleep in for the cure if you want.

I hope everyone has a great day, and until next time...Happy Stamping!


Monday, July 28, 2008

Whiff of Joy

No, I haven't gotten high on the fumes from all the cleaning products I've been using today...this is the name of a brand new stamp company in Switzerland that is about to have its first release.

The company, Whiff of Joy looks to have some very cute images. If you click on their name you will see that their website isn't completely up yet, but you can then click on the Whiff of Joy Blog to get to the company owner's blog where you can see some of the images that will be released.

So why am I telling you all of this? Well, first of all, I think that they are pretty cute, and secondly, I get a chance to win some for free by telling you! And if I win some for free, you may all come over to my house and play with them. (Just not everyone at once, ok?) :-)

After the great computer/internet crash of '08 yesterday I am happy to announce that I am up and running again in a brand new location--my living room! Around 10 p.m. I was beyond frustrated that my wireless would not come back so I moved a bunch of furniture around to get my desk into a location where my DH could hard wire my internet connection. The good news: my computer is now incredibly fast. I'm talking Bionic Man kind of fast. The bad news? I'm afraid it is going to turn into HAL and become all self-aware, and one day I'll just be sitting here, posting a blog or ordering some stamps and I'll hear, "What are you doing, Kim? Close the browser, Kim." (For those of you that don't catch the reference, get thee to the video store and rent 2001: A Space Odyssey.)

So, off to finish cleaning, laundry, helping Keli plant some bamboo (what a brave soul...trusting me around a plant!), then back home to wash the car and then--STAMPING!!!

Hope everyone has a great day, until next time, Happy Stamping!!


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Believe.. the name of the incredible killer whale show at SeaWorld. It is a beautiful show, complete with a wonderful soundtrack and completely brave (or insane, depending on your view) trainers who get into a 4.5 million gallon pool set at 52 degrees with the top predator of the ocean. When you see it, you can't help but get a tear in your eye from the majesty of it all. When you have seen it 8 times this year alone, well....

Ok, I still will tear up a little but the point is my daughter is completely addicted to SeaWorld and I am her enabler. We go there quite a bit (doesn't hurt that the hubby is in San Antonio a lot, so I guess he gets "enabler" status as well). I should get a stipend or something from Anheiser-Busch, oops, sorry, InBev now, for the number of tourists I have helped out in the park. Even Little Miss A can tell people exactly where the attraction they are looking for is located and the best place to get a Dippin' Dots on the way to it. So, here are a few musings of mine about SeaWorld based on their theme of "Believe".

I Believe...

...that a cup of stinkin' Dippin Dots should not cost $6. Come on folks! This is Texas and it is always hovering on 100 degrees outside and of course the kid wants an ice cream. For $6 I should get to dip her sweaty little body directly into the vat o' Dots and let her lick them off herself, since most of them roll off her spoon onto her and that is how she eats them anyway. It would be a lot more fun to watch, and maybe the video would win me $10K on America's Funniest Home Videos.

...that the dolphins in the feeding/petting area know my daughter on sight. I have talked about this before, but I promise you the second that kid walks up to the pool they all swim over to her like she is a lost little dolphin from their pod that somehow managed to turn her tail into legs ala "Ariel" and has finally returned home. Don't even get me going on what happens when she produces a couple of fish to feed them. Let's just say you get a lot of pictures like this:

...that the right attitude is of paramount importance when visiting a theme park on a rainy day. Or a hurricany day. Like Thursday. We were in San Antonio and I had promised the child that we would go to the most magical place in the world, and being a woman of my promises I packed her up with a couple of towels, an umbrella, and the decision that we were going to get wet anyway, so what is a little rain, right? Besides, Hurricane Dolly made landfall way down south near Brownsville, so what is the worst that could happen?
I got Little Miss a poncho (says "SeaWorld" right on it, surprising, no?) and a stroller and managed to hold the umbrella with one hand while pushing her with the other. Now, the great thing about SW when the crowds are light and it is raining is they try to do extra stuff for the guests. This is why we were able to go onstage at the Clyde and Seymour show and get our picture made with a real live (huge) sea lion. This will be important a bit later in our story. So, we take the picture with my darling baby's hand lovingly on the neck of this beast that I am sure is going to take her into the pool had it not been for the great staff of trainers that were keeping it at bay, and we go on about the rest of our day. I explain to the child that we will get the picture as we leave the park, because it is "sprinkling", i.e. raining cats and dogs, and I don't want the picture to get ruined.

We go to the Viva stadium to see the dolphin and beluga show (man, this is always a good one!) which gets cancelled due to inclement weather. Again, I look up and all I see is rain falling, nothing scary about that, but I figure that maybe the wind is blowing too much for the crazy-insane diver guys to jump off of their 32-foot high platforms. So I tell the darling child that we will go shop for a few minutes and then see Shamu. Nothing like a Shamu Shampoo to wash all the rain off of you!!

We go into the Shamu Emporium (yes, it really is named that. And there is a coupon for it on page 27 of your season pass book. I'm waiting for my commission check, InBev!) We come out about 20 minutes before the Shamu show is to begin and there IS NOT ONE LIVING SOUL IN THE PARK! It was completely deserted and very eerie, to say the least. Little Miss looked up from her octopus lollipop and said, "Where is everyone, mommy?" Not wanting to sound overly concerned but at the same time wondering where is the world did all the humans go I tell her to get into the stroller and we'll just "walk around a bit", which is code for "mommy is going to run like the wind with you to the front entrance and pray we are not locked in here for the night."

Now, point of note here, it is 2:30 in the afternoon, so we aren't talking about closing time. As I am making my way back around to the front I see someone in the trademark light blue polo shirt that all of the teenagers wear at SeaWorld, and she says, "Ma'am? Didn't you hear the announcement?!? The park closed like 20 minutes ago because there is a tornado warning!!!!" Great! Now I have to swallow my fear of being sucked up into a funnel cloud with any number of beasties that could eat me and my daughter before being slammed into the ground at 200 miles per hour. Oh, and thanks for saying it in a way that Little Miss could read your fear like a picture book on whales so now she is upset. I really appreciate that added touch.

Now, remember the part about the picture? The one I promised my darling that we would at least look at, if not buy, that chronicles the fact that she was actually on the stage of one of the shows petting a sea lion? Well, as I sprinted toward the front of the park the last thing I notice is that Adventure Photo is closed up, and there will be no seeing the picture. This just put her over the edge, and all I can say is, thank goodness there is a McDonald's on the way out of the park because at least I was able to quell the crying with a hamburger and some chocolate milk. We got back to the hotel just in time to see the weather radar, "Look at all the pretty red, Mommy!" and let the worst of it blow over so we could go eat supper.


postscript---I took her back the next day to get the picture and see Shamu. What?? It was sunny the next day! You would have done the same thing!

Finally, I believe that I will probably get to see Shamu in person more than all of my friends combined as we raise up this little one, and I am going to be ok with that. Time is already fleeting and if she wants to live in a world that is dolphins and whales and Dippin' Dots, well, I'm going to hold onto that for as long as I can. Because I am her enabler, and she is mine. My true addiction in life is her and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Am I the only one...

...that gets "designer block" and ends up not getting a project done until the very last minute? That was me this week. I am teaching a class tonight and I could not get the last couple of cards done. I got the first ones out of the way really quickly, I mean, I had to get some pictures up on my website to attract the customers my way. more mojo. Gone. I tried working on a totally different project for awhile. No help. Tried reorganizing my papers, moving all of my retiring papers out of my "current" paper organizer (which now only has Bella Rosa in it, I feel a huge order coming up in August). Still, nada. So, I turned to what got me through all 4 years of college with a pretty decent GPA and a Bachelor's of Science in Education, I crammed last night to finish up. And here is what came out of it:

This is part of my "Pun Fun" class that I am teaching tonight. The girls will be making 8 cards, one for each of the stamps in the set. For this one I used the new Pacific Point and Baja Breeze. I had to put the lighter blue through the Tiny Bubbles Cuttlebug folder, then sponged on some of the Pacific Point ink over the top. The whale was stamped and colored using reinkers and an aquapainter, then punched using one of my Marvy giga punches.

I cut a larger mat for the whale with the Pacific Point cardstock and lined all 4 edges of it with Sticky Strip, then added some of SU's double beads. When you do this always remember to add your larger beads first, then the microbeads to fill in the gaps. Did you know that the word "microbeads" comes from the Latin, micronus beadius rollius, which translates to, "beads that are going to roll all over the place". Seriously. WHAT?!? I already told you I have a Bachelor's degree, you think I would make that up? Yeah, I guess I probably would.

So this is the other card I came up with after many hours of flogging myself. (I know the first picture is a little dark, but that was because I took it at 2 a.m. and had no natural light helping me out.) I think that this little stamp is one of my favorites in the set, and I wanted to do it right. I used bright colors (Yo-yo Yellow, Real Red, and Tempting Turquoise). I used a star stamp from Haunting Halloween to stamp the background onto the yellow cardstock using Only Orange ink.
After stamping the rocket ship I colored it using my Watercolor Wonder crayons, then used my Diamond Stickles to add a little sparkle to the stars around the rocket and the little accent dots on it. Then I wanted to add something that would convey the sparks and flames that a rocket has shooting out from behind it on lift-off, so I set 3 eyelets into the Turquoise paper and used some of my retired Silver cording to give it a little something extra. I haven't cut the extra cording yet, I was waiting to see what I felt like this morning to decide if I was going to leave it really long or trim it off.

I know, I'll wait until about 2 minutes before the class and then decide. You know, since that seems to be my M.O. today. I hope everyone has a great day today. I will be making the sacred journey to SeaWorld with Little Miss tomorrow, so I am sure that there will be a funny story or two to share come Friday. Until then, Happy Stamping!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Something more important...

...than a card right now.

I try my very best to participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure each year, although I did miss the year that I was 20 1/2 months pregnant and last year (since I was recovering from a badly broken ankle and subsequent surgery).

So, when I got my "it's time to register" email, I had an idea. I know a lot of you support this great endeavor as well, and participate in the race. I think we should make a team and walk/run this together. Let me be first to say that I will lead the walking group, one of you more avid runners can stick with!

First of all, we need a team name, and I am up for suggestions. I thought about "The Stamping Sweethearts", but I would love to hear your suggestions. So please leave me a comment with your thoughts on a great team name for us.

Now, here are a couple of details. The race is November 2nd (Sunday) and starts at 8 a.m. I am usually there very early, and if we are doing this as a team we can go early and get a team picture taken. The cost is $30 for online registration and includes your T-shirt and run number. If you want to be timed (with a CHIP) it is $8 for the chip and $3 for timing services. After we get a team name set I will register it and then everyone can sign up under that team name.

You can also "Sleep in for the Cure" for $50...information on this is on the Komen page. But come on, walking with us will be a lot more fun.

Finally, as an added incentive here is what I want to do. Everyone that signs up to be on our team for this will get (from me) one free class in either October or November and 10% of additional merchandise added to any order for you in either October or November. (You place a $100 dollar order, for example, and I will get you an additional $10 of merchadise of your choosing.) You have to be confirmed as being on the team to claim these wonderful goodies.

So, if doing something to help a great organization wasn't enough incentive, then think about the additional benefit of a free class and free merchandise to boot.

I hope everyone has a great day! Give me some team name ideas and I'll get us started by Monday and repost here so y'all can sign up under our team. And I promise there will be a new card or two on here a bit later on today!

Until next time, Happy Stamping!


Friday, July 18, 2008

Cowboy Riley....

...says "Howdy"! I actually got some time to not only get my August Christmas card designs done today (you'll be seeing them a bit further down, just be patient!), but I also played with my new Cowboy Riley as well. He is a cutie, even if he did almost buy the big one, what with the arrow through his hat and all! The "Howdy" next to him was stamped with my Martha Stewart Ornamental Alphabet, which was just western enough to work with this Riley. So, here are the details for this one. I stamped Riley using Basic Black on Whisper White Cardstock and colored his body and antlers using Copic markers. His clothes and hat I colored in using SU pads and a blender pen. The base of the card is the new Baja Breeze, and the patterned paper is from my huge My Mind's Eye slab, which I have to say matches the Baja Breeze perfectly on this one! The mats around Riley are Not Quite Navy, Close to Cocoa, and River Rock, and the brads are a copper brad I found at Michaels. I used Chocolate Chip ink to stamp the word onto the card, and distressed just the edges of the patterned paper by sponging on some Close to Cocoa ink. Tomorrow I am going to get all Carribbean with my new Pirate Riley!

Here is a little closer look at the coloring on Riley. I am still looking for the right combo of Copics to shade him in. I actually do much better with his shading when I use ink pads and an aquapainter, but I'm trying to learn the ins and outs of my Copics so I can get the best out of them.

Now, onto the peek at my "Christmas in August" cards. If you follow my calendar on my Stampin' Up site, you know that I am running a Christmas card class every month from now until December so that everyone can get a jump on their cards and maybe find a design that they really like and feel like mass producing a ton of. It also helps keep me from trying to make 80 or so cards right before the holidays as well, so I figure this is a win-win situation. So, next month the cards will be these:

We will again be turning to some retired Christmas sets for our inspiration, but they are too cute to just let sit in the boxes, so out they come for a command performance. I know that you can't tell it from these pictures, but the card on the right has iridescent ice embossing on it as well as the regular stamping, so it is extra sparkly and cute. I'll be putting these up over on my other site sometime tomorrow, so y'all can check out the details of this class if you are interested.

I hope everyone enjoys these and has a great weekend! Until next time...Happy Stamping!


There's no need to fear...

...Underdog is here!

So, here is the story of this little creation. I ordered a multitude of stamp sets with my Sale-a-Bration benefits after seeing which ones made the cut through the retiring list. Of course, these sets required cutting and setting, so I put myself to the task of cutting out the rubber and getting them onto their blocks. Now, Little Miss A has always been creative. She loves to draw and play with stickers, paint, color, stamp, you name it, she does it. She is keeping me and company while I am busy cutting all this rubber and she asks me if she can play with the rubber pieces I am putting in my stamp room garbage can. I don't see any harm in it so I tell her as long as she only sticks them to a piece of paper that is fine. I fetch her a big piece of her drawing paper and get back to work.

Now, a little inside information about the child. She gets on kicks about any number of topics. She has always had a thing for all topics aquatic, and will wax poetic for days on end about Shamu and SeaWorld and sharks until you want to rupture your own eardrums just to make it stop. The only CD I have heard in my vehicle for the past 2 months is the soundtrack to "Believe", which is the current Shamu show at SeaWorld. Luckily I enjoy it as well, and hearing her rendition of it is hilarious, but to the uninitiated it can sort of feel like indoctrination into some sort of sea-faring mammal cult. I'm just saying, don't drink the Kool-Aid.

Anyway, one of her current movie kicks is Underdog (the new version), thanks to the fact that her daddy gave me a $20 the other night and sent me to the movies and stayed home and watched Underdog with our child and fed her ice cream and maybe, and I can't confirm or deny this, maybe let her paint his toenails. I'm just saying, he's a pretty good daddy to her. (OK, so I'm just kidding about the toenails part. Or am I?)

OK, tangent is over. So, about 5 minutes after raiding my trash can of all the rubber scraps she could fit into her Handy Manny construction hat, she holds up her paper and says, "Hey Mommy, it's Underdog!" And you know what? I think it was pretty worthy for a kid who isn't even an entire hand old yet. So I decided to share with you. Because I'm a giver. And because she didn't even get melty once while she was making it, and that is always a good thing!

I hope everyone has a great day! Until next time, Happy Stamping!!


Some good news, and some bad...

It is with a tear in my eye and a caffeine deprived hand that I pass along the news that I found waiting for me this morning when I checked the web. Lydia, you may want to just look away and not read this. I'm not sure if this is even your favorite Starbucks to go to, but it had quickly become mine since it is the absolute closest to my house. What really upsets me is the darn thing has only been open for a few months and hasn't been given a chance. Stupid downsizing.

OK. It will all be ok. Especially since I got this in the mail yesterday:

Next to a visit from Mr. Brown (and I will be seeing you later today, Mr. Brown!), there is no happier moment than when my man in blue brings me a little box from Michigan with this label on it. Why, you may ask? Well, because inside the box, you see the cutest packaging in all of stamping history, equal only to the little blue box that comes from Tiffany's in my book. It looks something like this:

I keep telling myself that one day I am going to turn that cute tissue into a card, but I haven't done it quite yet.

Anyway, inside this sweet soft blue wrapped package I knew that I could look forward to some new stamps. More specifically, I great set of Hannas that I had been eyeing for some time as well as my ultimate favorites, Riley Moose. Multiple mooses. Meeses even. Well, here they are for your enjoyment:

I love all of my meeses to pieces! And I have quite a collection of them at this point. I am kicking myself for not ordering the vampire Riley, because he was about as adorable as you can imagine a moose with fangs being, but I will be content for now with the Pirate and Cowboy. So, my goal today is to bring you some stellar creations with the new stamps. And, because Lydia drags me kicking and screaming into the 21st century of bloggers, you can now know when I do update my blog by subscribing to my email updates. Because I know you hang on my every keystroke.
Wow. I'm absolutely intoxicated with my own power right now. That must mean that someone is about to show me exactly where I fall on the food!
I hope everyone has a great day....and until next time (very soon!) Happy Stamping!

Monday, July 14, 2008

New stuff is fun...

...especially when it comes to new stamps and new colors!

If you haven't been looking at anyone's blogs lately or just don't know what time of year it is, we are at T-minus 27 days until the new Stampin' Up! catalog comes out. Otherwise known as "The Gauntlet" over at Mr. Brown headquarters. Every demonstrator I know has been one grabby moment short of assault charges as they for their respective UPS guys to show up with their preorders. Except me. I would never dream of that type of behavior. Oh, and if you are just finding my blog...please don't read my previous post about the UPS guy. I don't know who put that on my site. She has to be crazy!

So, back to the whole "new stuff" part. Here is a card that I made with the new In Colors and a brand new stamp set, "Dreams du Jour". This one starts with a long base of Tangerine Tango and mats done in Baja Breeze and Kiwi Kiss. The images were stamped on Shimmery White (the picture just can't do it justice) and then colored in with a blender pen and the new ink colors.

I wanted to really make the butterflies look like those gorgeous specimens you see on those "Animal Planet" specials, so I blended the Baja Breeze all the way through the wings and then added some Pacific Point highlights to the darker areas. I am sure I will be going through several dozen packs of paper in these new colors during the next few months.

This card was made with an older set that I finally bought for myself after quite the internal struggle. I am so glad I got it, because (don't tell anyone I told you this), my husband actually LIKES this one. Really, really likes it. The way the Academy liked Sally Field back in 1985. (You did see Norma Rae, right?)

So, this one features the new Pink Pirouette and Riding Hood Red, with some Chocolate Chip thrown in for balance. I stamped the main image using Chocolate Chip ink, then just kept on moving the stamp up and to the left in small increments without reinking it to get the running shadow. The "Wanted" was stamped using versamark and then embossed with white EP. After setting that I took some Tim Holz distress ink directly to the red piece of cardstock and swiped it all over, then rubbed it off of the embossed area. The stars on the side were stamped using Riding Hood Red and Close to Cocoa. I wanted to add a little something extra and figured that this would be the perfect place to add some hemp twine. Overall it got a thumbs up from Little Miss A and the DH, so I guess it is a keeper.

I hope that you all are having a great week, and getting excited about the new release coming up. Remember to check my schedule over at my Stampin' UP! site for my open house and other classes this month as well.

Until next time, Happy Stamping!


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Mr. UPS....

....will you marry me?

OK, OK, so things aren't that serious between me and Mr. Brown, but I could have kissed him for the incredible box of goodies that he brought to my door yesterday. I did not manage to take any pictures of me opening said box, because well, this is more of a "family" oriented sight and I did not want the carnage to traumatize anyone. I am pretty sure that I blacked out for a couple of seconds there, because one minute all my pretty new paper was in its packaging and the next it was opened, sorted, and in my paper files waiting to be cut and stamped.

So, this morning I found some quiet time to do this:

Honestly, the picture does not do the colors justice here. I used the new Kiwi Kiss for the main piece, and the image is stamped and matted with Baja Breeze and Pacific Point. I also swiped a little Kiwi Kiss ink on the edges of the white cardstock to give them a little more depth. The butterflies and flowers on the main card are from the new Level 3 Hostess Set "Happiness Always", and the sentiment is from the new catalog and is called "Heard from the Heart".

This will be one of the cards I have on display during my open house/catalog release party on August 22nd. I will also have a couple of Make and Takes for everyone who comes out to the party. I hope that everyone has a great weekend, and pop over to Lydia's blog for a chance at some great blog candy! She is giving away "Infinite Goodness", and trust me, if I didn't have that one already I would be trying to win it!

Until next time, Happy Stamping!


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I think... UPS man is onto me. Let's face it, he is no fool, he's been around the Stampin' Up block a time or two. He knows that there is a new release right about can see the tension in his eyes. I know I am not the only demo in my area, so I can only assume that this scenario plays itself out more than a few times a day for Mr. Brown. Tell me if any of the following sound familiar to you girls:

I have been (not very patiently) waiting for my pre-order goodies to arrive. I have been commiserating with other demos around me (Lydia, I promise if I see your sock monkey I will personally assault Mr. Brown and grab it for you!) and they all feel the same way. But my Mr. Brown, well, let's just put it this way.

Do you ever watch Discovery Channel? Or how about Animal Planet? You know that plaintive look the little gazelle gets when he is approaching the watering hole full of hungry crocodiles, or how all the little penguins just line up nervously waiting to see who is going to be first to jump into the killer whale infested waters? That is the exact same look on Mr. Brown's face these days when he pulls up in front of my house.

First of all, he either is running a hybrid engine or he shuts the thing off and coasts in to my place because you never hear the engine running. Oh no, that might tip you off that he is actually here. I have gotten smarter and make sure to put my dogs outside on UPS day to get an early warning, but with the summer heat they mostly just nap in the breezeway instead of stand guard like they are supposed to. (Oh sure, they can hear me open the very cabinet that the doggy cookies are in and come barking, but they can't hear that giant truck? Not a coincidence, folks!)

So, after stealthily approaching my house, I have noticed the following behavior. First, he will go hide in the back of his truck for a few minutes. I can only assume that he is steeling his nerve, perhaps scrawling a hasty "I love you honey, remember I tried my best" goodbye note on a packing slip or something. Then, he comes to the door of the truck. He looks furtively at my door like I have land mines planted in my yard or something, then decides to take a small "test step" outside of the van. Trust me, not since the great Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon did one man do so much with one step. Why do I say this? Well, in Kim's world once his foot hits my yard, it's on.

The man wears the cute little brown shorts and running shoes. This isn't his first rodeo. He knows that he is likely to be attacked by me at any second (well, my package could be attacked by me, he will just be collateral damage) and so he does not waste any time. He sprints to my door, and if the coast is clear, he tries to quietly put my package(s) down and make a run for it. However, I can attest to the fact that if he senses I am behind the door, if I make the slightest peep of a sound at all, he will raise his head up like one of those cute little meerkats looking for a hyenna and then throw my package and bolt. Once he is about halfway to the truck you see him relax and even smile a little bit, because he has once again ran the gauntlet and survived with nary a scratch.

I usually let him get a good 10 feet from the door before I fling it open and shout "Thank you!" then grab my box and head inside. But sometimes, well, sometimes I just feel like making the poor guy suffer. Take yesterday for instance. I had ordered some things for a customer and they were going to be delivered on Tuesday. Now, thanks to modern technology, I know that I am getting my SAB order on Thursday and my pre-order on Friday. So, when I opened the door yesterday instead of yelling my usual to Mr. Brown I said, "Thank you...see you on Thursday! Oh, and Friday too!" I promise, you could see the smile just melt off his face. He looked like a little boy who just dropped his ice cream in the dirt. Poor, poor Mr. Brown. Now he knows he has to come back here two more times this week and face me down.

Maybe this week he will decide to take a personal day and I will have a (cue dramatic music here) Substitute Driver. Poor sap, it will probably be some fresh-out-of-UPS school kid that hasn't yet learned the power of the Stampin' Up box. Don't you just love that kind? There so cute when they are young! Such easy pickings...

Well, excuse me, I have to see if I have any makeup that will double for mottled brick camo and get my game face on. After all, there are new stamps coming this week, and possibly a new driver to train up in the ways of the demonstrator who is waiting for her order. So much to teach, so little time grasshopper.

Until next time...Happy Stamping!


Happy Birthday... my sweet little niece, Haley, who turns three this Friday! Here is the card I made for her (and actually mailed on Monday, I would like to add). I have to put that disclaimer in because, well, I have an "issue" with getting cards sent off on time to arrive before the actual event.

Hello, my name is Kim, and I am a card-sending procrastinator. It is a well known fact within my family that if your card arrives within two weeks of your birthday, anniversary, or other special event then you have officially gotten an "on-time" card from me. It isn't that I don't care enough to send the very best, it is just that there is some missing switch in my brain that just physically prevents me from getting it into the mailbox on time. Call it "postal bravado" if you will, but I feel that I will always have time to mail it, then I realize that the card cannot physically travel from Austin to Alabama in 12 hours. Then, I will rationalize, if it is going to be late, might as well be really late. That way, it is like a little extra celebration for the recipient after their special day. So see, I love them more than the rest of my on time family. I want to extend their fun right on through the next couple of weeks. Because I'm a giver. Yeah, that's it!

So, back to the card. I usually try to shoot my pictures without flash because I get a really bad glare on my photos...mostly because I set my camera to "macro" to get those tight shots, but this time I had to add some flash so you could get an idea of how sparkly and cute this little "h" is. I know my girly-girl niece will love a sparkly "h" on her card, so I had to give her one. The image is from the retired set "Hip Hip Hooray" which I loved from the get go. I stamped the little critters using Basic Black and let them dry a couple of minutes before taking the blender pen and ink pads to them to color them in. I drew the colors for the image from the cardstock colors that I used, Pixie Pink, Green Galore, and Lavender Lace.

I stamped the main piece of cardstock all over with the cupcake and party hat images then added the "Happy Birthday" using Pink Passion over the top. I had to do a little bit of masking on the squirrel's head to keep the balloon lines from cutting right through it, but it was quick and easy. Then for the sticky cut letter I mounted it to a piece of Lavender Lace cardstock and cut it out before applying the glitter to it. I have to say, if you have not played with the sticky cuts yet they are way too much fun! I have never had such an easy time putting glitter on something as I did on this.

After finishing the card I ran it by Little Miss A for the final seal of approval. It got a "Mommy, it is gorgeous...did you make this one?" which is a compliment from her so I knew that I could put a stamp on it and send it on its way to my home state and my sweet niece.

On another line...I am going to take the child to SeaWorld on Thursday. Those of you who spent any time at my house about 2 years ago (when she was 2 1/2 years old) know that this is her most favorite place in the entire world. We go so often that the dolphins in the big petting/feeding tank know my daughter. I am not saying this indiscriminately either. She can walk up to the tank without one of those french-fry boats that the fish to feed the dolphins are kept in, and they will swim right to her. Every time. It is great fun for us, and everyone wonders how she does it, but I promise you, it is like they think she is a missing dolphin baby that has made it back to the pod. If it wasn't so darn cute I would be sort of creeped out by it.

She also makes a point to explain the difference between male and female killer whales to everyone around us at the "Believe" show (for those of you who don't know, male whale's dorsal fins stand straight up, the female's fins sort of curve over back toward the water) and she can sing all the lyrics to the songs of said show. I just know in my heart that one day she is going to work at SeaWorld in that dang tank full of potentially child-eating KILLER WHALES (they don't call them that because they are cuddly, people!) and I will have to stand watch at SeaWorld every single day to make sure that my child is not injured. I can feel the gray hairs popping up already. I wonder if you can color your hair with copic markers? If not, purchase Miss Clairol stock now girls, 'cuz I am going to make you rich one day.

I hope that everyone has a great day! Check out my schedule over at my Stampin' UP! website for my July events, and until next time....Happy Stamping!


Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!!

I hope that everyone is having a great 4th of July! We are having a great time around Chateau du Williams today. I took Little Miss A to the parade as promised and she had a blast. It is hard to tell from the blank expression on her face in this picture, but really, she is having fun on the! I don't know if you can see the red, white, and blue feather boa that I am holding, but it ended up on the crossbar of my bike to help give it that extra "flare".

Here is a happier looking child! We are all lined up and waiting for the parade to get started and some other kids in the line up gave her some candy. This is why she can now cheese it up for the camera, she is getting her sugar rush going. I am just grateful that we got to line up in the shade, lest her knees get all bendy, and her head get all melty. The most funny part was, after the parade (that I did all the pedalling in) she told me that she needed to come home and get a bath because her " got a little sweaty in the back." Oh yes, I know how riding in the trailer while mommy dodges 5 year-olds trying to score some candy in the parade can make your hair "sweaty in the back". My hair was definitely "sweaty in the back" as well. And then I still had to get us home...

So, once I got home, here is what I worked on in between cooking:

This little guy is another one of those extra cute Stampendous Bees....Watermelon Bee! I stamped him on GP white and colored him in with Copics. The patterned paper is from that huge My Mind's Eye pack I got last week. I embossed over it with Hologram Highlights. I think I might have actually cried when that EP retired from Stampin' Up awhile back. The main body of the card is done with Blue Bayou, and the mats are Real Red and Soft Sky. The little sunshine and the sentiment were from a pack of $1 stamps from Michaels. Here are the close ups of the sentiment as well as some of the stars. They are from the "Stars and Swirls" set that is retired SU as well. It is kind of hard to see on these pictures, but I did some blending with my colorless blender pen to give the watermelon some actual melon looking shading. I think I am going to go back and add some stickles to the bee's antennae as well.

Well, it is time to go man the grill. The DH is working today and hopefully will be home soon to enjoy a tasty burger, some pasta salad, cold watermelon and brownies to boot! I hope that everyone has a fun, safe celebration today. Until next time, Happy Stamping!


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Some summer fun...

...with Pun Fun, that is! These are the first two in a set of eight cards that will be made at my upcoming "Pun Fun Class". This little set is so much fun to play with, and really versatile as well. I love silly puns to begin with, so this set works really well for me.
My true acid test for whether or not a card will work during a class or workshop is to show it to Little Miss A. If I hear, "Oh Mommy, it is gorgeous, I LOVE IT," then I know I have a winner. If I hear, "Oh, that's nice." then I know it is time to
hit the drawing board again. Of course, to her credit, she will try to tell me something that she likes about a card that she doesn't care for, so I guess I can put "empathy" pretty high on her personality list, even if she is a monkey with her hair on fire most of the time.
So, something else completely unrelated. Tomorrow I am going to bike with Little Miss in the annual Shady Hollow 4th of July parade. They always have a few floats, lots of pets, and some folks riding on their bikes. I checked the tires tonight to make sure that we don't have a replay of the "Melty" walk home from the pool a couple of weeks ago. The little one is excited about actually being in the parade, and I promise I will try to take photos before and after to show everyone.
After that it is back home for me to drink 3 gallons of water (again, remember what I have said about biking and me? Not the best fit in the world, but a girl has to start somewhere.) Then I'll fire up the grill to cook some hamburgers and hotdogs and after we stuff ourselves it is over to the neighbor's house for fireworks. Yes, I said fireworks. Living "in the county" instead of "in the city" has it's advantages. We aren't talking sparklers here, folks, we are talking some serious fireworks that will be exploding over our parched lawns. Good times, good times.
So, y'all have a safe and happy 4th, eat lots of great food and have fun! And, until next time, Happy Stamping!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Time to rock the vote...

...for my friend Lydia!! She has entered a craft contest at Mind Bites and needs some votes. She has two entries, one for her "Glittery Love Note and Celebrate Today" card and the other for "Handmade Patriotic & Monochromatic card". You have to register with the site to vote (it is free) and you can only vote once per day. Here is my plan....since you can only vote once a day for her projects, I would love to see everyone that checks out my blog to vote for her "Glittery Love Note" project. That way we can maximize her chance at winning this thing. You can still click on the other project to watch the video, or tune in to Channel 11 (Time Warner Cable in Austin) on Tuesday at 1 p.m. to watch her show.

I am getting excited because I placed my order yesterday for all the new In Colors as well as some new stamp sets and I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will be here by next Friday. Yes, you heard me correctly, not this Friday, next Friday. Why so long, you ask? Well, imagine me and 100,000 other demonstrators all slamming Stampin' Up! with orders all at one time. The picking time that they post went to 4 to 5 days, which is the longest I have ever seen it, instantly. So, I figure they will get my order picked by Monday the 7th, then ship it out to me. And, if my UPS guy happens upon this blog (hey, Mr. Brown, how you doin'?....said in my best Joey Tribianni voice), well, you better be ready for me to tackle you at the truck. But I promise, I'll be gentle. Wouldn't want to wrinkle my paper or anything like that.

I wonder if anyone at UPS has figured out the catalog cycle for Stampin' Up yet? Do you think they have delivery drivers calling in sick on those days because they know that there are thousands of us just waiting for those brown boxes of stamping goodness to come our way? I bet someone there has it figured out. My UPS driver has a system in which he leaves my box at the door, pulls out a 6 foot pole to ring the bell (so he is already half-way to the truck), then makes a run for it. I kid you not. This guy could give Flo-Jo a run for her money. So, to counteract this I now put my dogs out in the yard on "Mr. Brown" day so I can hear them start to bark when he pulls up in front of the house. I think I almost gave him a coronary the last time he was here, since I was waiting with my hand on the doorknob. When I heard the first "thunk" of a box being put down I threw the door open and said, "Hey! How you doin'?" Not really, I think I just told him "thank you" but you could see the fear in his eyes.

Honestly, I have a great UPS guy, and he is perfectly safe coming here. But, he might want to be extra careful when the new catalogs arrive, for I fear that I have customers that are going to be staking out the place to make sure that they get their's as soon as possible, all because I am going to be on stinkin' vacation when the new catty is delivered. I really have to start planning these things a bit better.

That's all for now, off to stamp and post a card in a bit. Have a great day, and until next time, Happy Stamping!!