Saturday, July 23, 2011

Summer in Texas

I love the summertime! My backyard fills with hummingbirds and squirrels, my dogs run around like they are crazy, and the weather gets, ahem, warm. If you have never experienced the joy of "Summer in Texas", you should try it once. However, if you can't get to the Lone Star State this summer, here is how you can live the dream that is the Central Texas summer:

First, go purchase a heat lamp. You want the biggest one you can find. Set it up in your kitchen next to the stove (you'll understand why soon). Position it up high so that it's light covers your entire kitchen floor, with the exception of a 2 x 2 foot square of "shade" for you to stand in.

Next, you need to procur about 10 hair dryers. Mount them on your kitchen walls so that they point in all directions. Set the fan speed to high on some, low on others, but make sure the temperature on all of them is "hot". Now turn them on.

Third step: the oven! Find the highest temperature you can set your oven to and turn it on. It really helps if you have a convection style oven so that you can use that fan to really pump the heat out into the room. Make sure that any potential sources of water are completely turned off, because we wouldn't want a hint of moisture to offer you relief.

Now, set your family up in a room that is a couple of rooms away from the kitchen. Make sure that the temperature in that room will not exceed 76 degrees. Give them comfy places to sit, a nice beverage, the works. We will call these your "friends who live in places north of Kansas".

Your kitchen should be ready, so go on in and just try to do some regular daily activities.  Every now and then give yourself a "break" by stepping into your safe zone of shade.  I would tell you to enjoy the breeze from the hair dryers, but hot air swirling in all directions does nothing more than mess up your hair and make you stabby, doesn't it? 

If you still have any calm feelings in your heart, just call into the room that your family is in, and make sure you speak to the person who is "just burning up in this 76-degree heat" and see how much peace you can muster then. 

Yep.  That is summer in Texas.  And, lest you all think that I don't love my new home state, I will make sure to post in December about "winter in Texas".  It is why I make it through each July and August! 

Well, the winters, and working on Christmas cards like this one during the hot summer months: 
Card from my "Christmas in July" class

I hope you all are having a great time this summer.  Stay cool, and come make a card with me!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Some days... just want to make something that is pretty. 

I have no reason for doing it, other than maybe I feel I have neglected the girlie side of my personality, or I want to play with softer colors, but when the urge strikes to make something pretty I don't fight it.  And sometimes, what you get is something like this: 

Stamps:  Elements of Style, Four Frames
Cardstock:  Pink Pirouette, Wisteria Wonder, Watercolor Paper
Inks:  Black Staz-On, Cherry Cobbler, Pink Pirouette, Old Olive, Wisteria Wonder
Accessories:  Butterflies Die, Designer Label Punch, Pearls, Wisteria Wonder Ruffled Ribbon

This card was what we did in my Hostess Club this month.  It used a technique where you mask off part of your embossing folder in order to get some blank space in the center of it.  After that we stamped and watercolored our flowers, and then cut them out using the Big Butterflies die to make our gorgeous butterfly.  It is amazing how a few simple steps can give you something very, very pretty! 

If you would like a chance to come make some pretty things with me, just let me know!  I am always starting up new hostess clubs and having classes, too.  And, if you want to enjoy amazing friendships, expand your creativity, and earn great products while you do that, you should really go check out the $99 Starter Kit that is being offered this month only.  I would love to have you as a part of my team! 

I hope that you all find the time to make something pretty today! 

Until next time,

Happy Stamping!


Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Whale of a Tale...

...or a "Tale of Two Whale Tails", take your pick.  Either way, this is a story about celebration.  

Let me take you back in time a few years.  When Little Miss was about 18 months old, I got the bright idea that we would take her to Sea World.  She was already showing signs of loving all thing aquatic, and I thought this would be a fun way to spend a day.  A day.  Turns out, she loved it so much that if there is ever a "Sea World Docent" job opening soon, I am going to put an application in for her, she loves it that much. 

The memory that sticks in my mind as clearly as if it were yesterday is this one:  We went to see the Shamu show.  This was in the "good ole days" when the trainers were still allowed to get into the pool with the whales and basically get launched like a missile out of the water at 40 miles per hour by the orcas.  At this point in her young life, Little Miss had never seen such a sight as this:

So, imagine her surprise when Shamu jumped out of the water.  She stood bolt upright on my lap, pointed a chubby little finger towards the water, and shouted, "What's up, what's up....what's up with THAT!!!"  I was laughing, the DH was laughing, everyone around was laughing.  And, Little Miss was hooked.  She began just casually mentioning (say 20 to 30 times a day) "I was just thinkin'.......about Sea World."  Anyone who came to my house can tell you she never stopped thinkin' about Sea World.  And we kept going with season passes every year since. 

Now, fast forward to this year, last week to be exact.  We decided to brave the heat and spend a day at the park.  Little Miss still loves all things aquatic, and now has developed a love of the carnival games, too.  So we were not surprised when she wanted to go to the Midway and take her turn to try to win a prize.  Let me tell you, over the years we have amassed quite the collection of Shamus.  Big ones, little ones, you name it, we have won it.  I'm surprised that Greenpeace doesn't set up outside my house with signs saying "Free the Whales" we have so many.  But we have never, ever, won The Big Prize. 

Until this trip: 

Yes, the hubby did it.  He finally threw a little plastic ring onto the neck of a glass 2-liter bottle and captured the elusive Pink Shamu.  It now resides on the entire bed of Little Miss.  She does make this denizen of the deep go to the floor at night, but she has a couple of fish rugs from IKEA down there to "keep her company".  Daddy has confirmed his "rock star" status for at least another year around here. 

Needless to say, there was much celebration at Chateau du Williams that night, and all the next day, and pretty much every day since.  The greatest moment for me was watching as the DH was carrying his catch out to the car and we were passing by all the other folks at Sea World.  They would each say something about how magnificent his prize was, and each time Little Miss would just give him a little pat on the back and look up at him with pure adoration in her baby blue eyes. 

Then I took money out of his wallet and took the kiddo to eat ribs while he carried the whale out to the car.  Because isn't that his job?  He hunts the quarry to take care of his family. 

So, to celebrate I wanted to share this card with y'all: 

Stamp Sets:  Pennant Parade, Fabulous Phrases
Card stock:  Island Indigo, Cherry Cobbler, Pool Party, Whisper White
Ink:  Island Indigo, Cherry Cobbler, Pool Party
Accessories:  Pennant Punch, Cherry Cobbler/white baker's twine

I hope you enjoy it, and take the time to celebrate the good things that are in your life today!  Until next time, Happy Stamping!


Monday, July 4, 2011

Starter Kit Special

 Every now and then a deal comes through Stampin' Up that is so good I have to share it with everyone I know, and some that I don't know yet, too!  This month one of those deals is here.  First of all, have you seen the new catalog yet?  For those who haven't, here is what you are missing: 

It is my favorite catalog so far, and I love the multitude of amazing ideas and beautiful stamps and accessories that are in it.  You can see all of the products available, as well as special sales items in my online store anytime you want. 

Now, on to the special.  For the month of July only, Stampin' UP! is offering a mini starter kit with new products for only $99!  The kit contains two stamp sets, designer paper, ribbon, ink pads, cardstock, note cards, SNAIL, and a blender pen, as well as all the business supplies you need to get off and running.  If you have ever thought about making some money doing something you love, now is a great time to get started.  

Not only do you get the support that comes from Stampin' UP! in the form of the demo website, Stampin' Connection, and our monthly magazine, Stampin' Success, you also get training from me to help you set your goals and then reach them.  Whether you want to just have fun with your friends and earn some products for free, or if you want to supplement your family's income each month, Stampin' UP! has a way to meet your needs.   

Finally, when you sign up this month you will also receive additional products to make this gift box for free:  

This free gift includes a stamp set from the upcoming Holiday Mini Catalog, which will go live on September 1st.  The items in the free gift set total $40, so it really is a nice gift for you to receive! 

I have always enjoyed working with Stampin' UP!  It has met my needs throughout my five years, and I would love to answer any questions you may have about being a demonstrator and add you to our team.  The friendships that I have made over the past 6 years have been amazing, and it is so much fun to celebrate the successes of my team with them as they reach their goals.  If you would like to celebrate with us, just click here to go to my website.  You can read more about becoming a demonstrator, and if you are ready to have fun while earning money, you can click the "join now" link in the left column to get started. 

I hope to see you all soo, and until next time, Happy Stamping!