Saturday, June 30, 2012

June Design Team Submissions - Up, Up and Away

Hi, guys!  Back again today to share a couple more of my June Design Team Submissions for The Ink Pad NYC.  The stamps used are all Hero Arts.  I decided to name these cards "Up, Up and Away"!  I am sure I will now be singing this song in my head for a few days.  There are worse things, as it is a happy tune!  For the first one, I decided to stamp the balloon as if it is floating over the tree tops.   I am not one to take a hot air balloon ride, but when I see them floating over vineyards on TV, I sure wish I had the nerve to try it.

For this next one, I decided to focus the attention on the balloon already in flight and cut out some fun arrows with fun travel sayings and placed them around the image.  How many times have you heard "Are we there yet?" when you are traveling?

Have a great day, everyone!  Stay cool, and stay creative!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

June Design Team Submissions - Travel Theme

Hi, guys!  Hope everyone is doing well.  We are starting another heat wave here in NYC today.  Boy, am I not a happy camper.  So, when things get hot, I stamp!  It always makes me feel better.

Today I am going to start sharing my June Design Team Submissions for The Ink Pad NYC.  We were given stamps by Hero Arts that could work well for travel and vacation.    As soon as I thought of travel, my mind went directly to ... Paris, of course.  I know, it is an obsession of mine.  You would think I have been there more than once.   I decided to stamp an Eiffel Tower in the middle of the stamped image of the Polaroid picture.  Gosh, remember those cameras?  I used my glitter pen to make it sparkle just like the tower does in real life. I was given patterned papers and thought the arrow on it that reads "The Perfect Spot" was very fitting.

I decided to name the next card "Trains, Planes, and Automobiles"!  The fun travel paper with all the various forms of trasportation had me recalling that crazy movie with Steve Martin.  I used the plane and automobile stamps and cut them out with a circle punch and distressed them with my favorite ink ... yep, distress ink!   We were given cool wooden postcards and I stamped directly on it with archival ink.

It is funny to me how my card making can make me recall so many fun memories out of the blue.  When was the last time you thought of a fun vacation you went on, or a movie from many, many years ago?

Have a great day!  Hope you find some time in your day to do something you love!  I also hope you aren't too hot where you are.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Green Thumb and Inky Fingers

Hi, guys!  Hope your weekend was a great one.  My hubby and I were busy around here.  We worked in our garden and also continued work on my stamp room.

I thought I would share with you some pictures of my garden.   This year I decided to grow some veggies in pots.  I am excited to see that my tomatoes are really growing nicely.  I also planted an herb garden.  I also am happy that so many flowers are in bloom right now.

I have been asked to show how my stamp room is progressing.  I have a picture of my new desk that my hubby assembled for me.  It is from IKEA.  As you can see, the room is a work in progress.  I will be sharing pictures of the completed room soon, I hope.  I got the chair from Staples.  It is a Sealy Posturepedic chair.  I figured I needed to be comfy while I stamp.  It was very reasonable in price, and I could adjust it to my needs.  I have an OTT light now on my desk.  I love it.  I will share the rest of the details when we are finished.

Thank you to my hubby for writing a post for me on Sunday while I was working on my room.

Have a great day!  Hope you find a few moments in the day to do something you love!I

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Most Satisfactory

Hi, guys!  Winnie’s hubby here again.

As my first post (“…enter, and sign in please”) made abundantly clear, there’s virtually nothing I can tell my wife about cooking.  She’s always the one who comes up with the fabulous recipes, whether it’s something her Mom used to make, something from the bookcase full of well-loved cookbooks in our living room, or something we spot on the Cooking Channel / Food Network that strikes our fancy and we print from their respective websites. 

However, as the old Southern expression goes, even a blind pig finds an acorn now and then, and there was one instance where I was able to show her something when it comes to cooking.  Alas, I can’t take all the credit:  that goes to one of my favorite literary detectives – the 286-pound orchid fancier and gourmand, Nero Wolfe. 

For those who aren’t avid mystery readers, or who (like Winnie) only have vague recollections of the 1980s TV show with William Conrad as Wolfe and Lee Horsley as his assistant, legman and amenuensis Archie Goodwin, let me briefly acquaint you with Mister Wolfe.  He lives in a brownstone on West Thirty-fifth Street in Manhattan, the number of which Archie, and his “literary agent,” Rex Stout, are intentionally vague about (one account, which Wolfe actually testifies to in court [in “The Next Witness”], has him at 918 West 35th, which as any New Yorker can tell you would put Wolfe’s house in the middle of the Hudson River) in order to deter curious sightseers.  Wolfe rarely leaves the house, which is why Archie does most of the investigating and reports back to Wolfe – and to us.  The brownstone has a greenhouse on the roof, where Wolfe tends to his beloved orchids with Theodore Horstmann, and a kitchen where he and chef/major domo Fritz Brenner create their daily culinary masterpieces (no doubt why Wolfe weighs in at a seventh of a ton).  And they are droolworthy.  Stout even helped create a cookbook full of recipes based on the dishes mentioned in the books.

It’s one of the dishes in one of the short stories that allowed me to wow my wife in the kitchen.  Not the eggs au beurre noir or shad roe aux fines herbes, not even the corned beef hash (with pig chitlins!), but something more basic (and more suited to my abilities): that staple of the summer, corn on the cob. 
Here’s the exchange between Wolfe and Inspector Cramer, the head of the Homicide Bureau, from the short story “Murder is Corny”:

“Do you eat sweet corn?”

“Yes.  You’re stalling.”

“No.  Who cooks it?”

“My wife.  I haven’t got a Fritz.”

“Does she cook it in water?”

“Sure.  Is yours cooked in beer?”  (Wolfe also drinks beer.  Lots and lots of it. – Hubby)

“No.  Millions of American women, and some men, commit that outrage every summer day.  They are turning a superb treat into mere provender.  Shucked and boiled in water, sweet corn is edible and nutritious; roasted in the husk in the hottest possible oven for forty minutes, shucked at the table, and buttered and salted, nothing else, it is ambrosia.  No chef’s ingenuity and imagination have ever created a finer dish.”

You can find the story in the book Trio for Blunt Instruments.

My Dad (who introduced me to the novels when I started watching the aforementioned ‘80s TV show) and I played around briefly and found the ideal temperature for the oven to be 375° F, for the forty minutes Wolfe indicated.  All you have to do is preheat the oven, leave the corn in the husks but cut the excess silk off the end, and put it in the oven.  We butter and pepper it rather than salt it.  That’s it.

Winnie was skeptical.  She and her Mom, along with those “millions of American women, and some men,” always boiled their corn on the cob.  She was afraid the corn would catch on fire and burn the house down.  She was more afraid it wouldn’t taste good, and that cooking it for so long would dry it out.

To my great delight, and her surprise, she found Wolfe’s description of “ambrosia” to be an understatement - crisp yet succulent, and cooked to perfection.  Now we don’t have corn on the cob any other way. 

Give it a try.  Trust me, it is ambrosia – food for the gods.

Now if I can only find Wolfe’s house to thank him …

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Grill or Be Grilled

Hi, guys!  Hope all is well.  We are having a major heat wave here, with temperatures in the upper 90s.  If you know me personally, you know I hate the heat.  All my new blogging friends have just learned something new about me!  I am hoping the weather breaks soon.  Nothing worse for me than trudging into the city on the subway in this heat.  The platforms are brutal and everything always seems to go wrong with the trains.  My commute today ended up extended from the usual 2 hours each way to 2.5 hours each way.  UGH!

Anyway, I thought I would pop in to tell you I haven't posted any new cards the last few days as my stamp room is out of commission while we get the new one ready.  I am hoping to be "in" my new room on the weekend and will share some new cards then.   In the meantime, I thought I would share a cookbook that I highly recommend to all those of you who love meat and are probably grilling right now!  The name of the book is "Steaks, Ribs, Chops" by Better Homes and Gardens.  I received this book many years ago from my sister when I first started cooking (okay, MANY years ago!).  I have been making some great recipes from there and highly recommend it.   Here is a picture of the grilled flank steak that I have been making using it.

The recipe calls for London Broil, but my husband and I prefer Flank or Skirt (if on sale!).   The key really is the fresh herbs in the marinade, if you ask me.  The basil, thyme, parsley and lots of garlic make it a winner.  Now that our herb garden is starting to grow, I see many marinated steaks being cooked on the grill this summer.  I have no affiliation with Better Homes and Gardens (or the Beef Council), just thought some of you may enjoy it.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Well, I'll Be Dammed!

Hi, guys!  Hope all is well!  I have been busy working on my stamp room, and working on my garden. I hope to share pictures soon of each of those.  Today I am sharing a birthday card I made for my brother's birthday.  I should preface it by telling you that I didn't make him a card originally.  I spaced on it, and each day he would look on my blog and see other cards and nothing for him.  Let's just say that I heard all about it.  I tried to use the excuse that I made him 20 thank you cards, a few Communion cards, etc., and I thought those would "count."  But, alas, he didn't buy it.  I went through my stamps and when I saw this guy, I knew it would be perfect to use for his card.  The inside says "I missed your birthday!"

Stamps: The Craft Lounge, Impression-Obsession
Paper: Sour Apple Note Card The Ink Pad NYC, Gina K Designs (White)
Ink: Distress ink, Adirondack Espresso, Memento Black, Copic Markers

I sure hope he likes this card and gets a chuckle out of it.  I will do better next year!

Hope you have a great day and find a few moments in your day to do something you love!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sharing Sympathy Cards

Hi, guys!  Hope all is well.  I hope you had a great weekend.  I had a great one.  We got to visit with friends for dinner and spent time yesterday with my father in-law and rooted for the Mets (to no avail!).
I thought I would share a pair of cards I made this week.  They are sympathy cards I made for my sister in-law and her mom.  I love card making, but making these cards is always hard for me.  I know they are necessary, and I sure hope they let the recipient know they are loved and being thought of.

Stamps: Close To My Heart
Paper: Ranger Core-dinations, Gina K Designs (White)
Ink: Stampin' Up
Misc: Tim Holtz Sanding Block, Cuttlebug embossing folder

On a lighter note, I thought I would share a picture of some of the work that my husband and I did on my stamp room this weekend.

I am starting to bring up my supplies and trying to figure out the best way to store them.  I am thrilled with the two lazy susans I found.  I decided to use one of them for my Distress Stains, and the other for my collection of spray inks.  I was able to order a new chair and pick up a floor lamp.  I will have more pictures later in the week.  I can't wait - it is starting to take shape.

Hope you have a great day!

God, Family, Country and The Pittsburgh Steelers

Hi, guys!  Hope you are having a great weekend.  My husband and I are working on my stamp room and a few other things around the house.

I thought I would share the Father's Day card I made for my father.  If you know my dad, you will know he loves a great many things.  He loves God, his family, our great country and the Pittsburgh Steelers (not to mention a beer and some chips to go along with the game!)  So when I decided to make this card I knew I had to use the Steeler colors!

Stamps: Sweet & Sassy Stamps
Ink: Memento Black Ink, Copic Markers
Paper: Stampin' Up, Gina K Designs (White and Black)
Misc.: Gems. Spellbinders Deckle Rectangle Dies

Our family always roots and cheers for the Steelers (with the exception of one of my brothers who insists on rooting for the NY Jets)  as my dad was raised in Pennsylvania.  This was a fun card to make and I know he liked it as he called to tell me so.

Wishing my dad a very Happy Father's Day and a big thank you for all you have done for me and our family.  I hope all the dads out there enjoy their special day.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!  Until next time!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Father's Day Cards, Part II

Hi, guys!  TGIF!  It is nearly Father's Day so I thought I would share a few more cards I made to celebrate various dads.

This first one I made for a friend's husband.  They are a great couple with an adorable little girl.  I thought this card would sum up her love for her husband and how great a dad he is to their daughter.

Stamps: Stampin' Up
Paper: Stampin' Up, Strathmore Watercolor Paper
Ink: Archival Black, Tim Holtz Distress Markers
Misc.: Ribbon, Cuttlebug Embossing Plate

I enjoyed watercoloring the focal image.  I am enjoying the Tim Holtz Distress Markers.  I used my water brush to paint the color on like watercolor.  It is so fun and relaxing to do.  I computer generated the sentiment for the cover.

The next card is one I made for my friend Erich's dad.  I decided to use chalks to apply color to the image of the old-time truck.

Stamps: Sweet & Sassy Stamps
Paper: Stampin' Up, Gina K Designs (White)
Ink: Stampin' Up
Misc.: Stampin' Up Chalks

I hope you have a great weekend!  Have FUN!

I'm Going To BlogHer '12!!

Hi, guys!  Hope all is well.  I am excited to write that I am going to be attending BlogHer '12 on 8/2-4 here in NYC!  It will be their 8th Annual conference with thousands of women bloggers gathering to learn, share, connect and have a good time.  Since I am a new blogger, this will be my first conference.   I couldn't pass the opportunity up since they are holding it right in NYC.  I can't wait!   If you haven't visited BlogHer online, I would recommend you do so.  They are a great organization for women bloggers.  If you are planning to attend the conference, give me a shout.  I would love to meet you!

Have a great day!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

You're A Grand Old Flag

Hi, guys!  Happy Flag Day!  Believe it or not, I send Flag Day Cards.  I am one of 6 siblings and my youngest sister inadvertently started this tradition.  My sister is rather sarcastic in nature and very flip sometimes.  When I started making cards a while back, I made her one for July 4th. She looked at me and said "You would make a card for any holiday, even for bleeping Flag Day!"  I just laughed it off.  My late hubby Charlie witnessed this exchange and for the next ten months began saving flag stickers, labels and whatever flag-related item he came across.  I didn't know this until the end of May when he presented me with an envelope of his finds.  He told me to go make a card for my sister.  I will always remember how funny that was, and, yes, I made her a Flag Day card.  She was hysterical and this is my 10th year of sending one to her.    I thought I would share it with you today.

Stamps: Stampsmith
Paper: Ranger Core-dinations, Stampin' Up
Misc.: Cuttlebug Star Embossing Folder, Spellbinders Deckle Rectangle Dies, Tim Holtz Sander

I just discovered the Stampsmith line of stamps at a stamp show a few weeks back.  I fell in love with their images.

My husband Alan liked this card.  He asked if I could add another person to my Flag Day list and send one to his friend, who is a history professor.  So now there are two people getting cards this year.

On a serious note, please take a moment to honor our flag and give it the respect that it deserves.  So many have given the ultimate sacrifice so we can live freely and fly it with pride.

Have a great day, guys!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Father Knows Best!

Hi, guys!  Father's Day is right around the corner and so I thought I would share a few cards I made for this great occasion. 

This first card I made for my father-in-law.  I used gold metal and embossed it with a fun embossing folder of various tools.  My husband told me his dad always works with tools and would love it. I sanded the metal down a bit to accentuate the embossing.

Stamps: Studio G
Paper: Ten Seconds Studio, Stampin' UP
Ink: Stampin' Up
Misc.: Craft Tools Embossing Folder

The next card I am sharing I made for a friend's father-in-law.  I decided to use the metal sheet again and emboss it with Tim Holtz's embossing folder of pocket watches.  I sanded this one, too. 

Stamps: Sweet & Sassy Stamps
Ink: Stampin' Up
Paper: Ten Seconds Studio, Stampin' Up

I am sure you noticed that I didn't share the one I have made for my dad.  I know he checks out my blog and don't want to ruin the surprise.  It is a fun one and I will share it after he receives it.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Making Progress on the Stamp Room!

Hi, guys.  Hope all is well.   I have been mentioning that my stamp room is under way.  My husband has completed the painting (pretty soft pink), and this past Sunday he assembled and anchored the book cases and cd tower we ordered from IKEA.  I thought I would share some pictures of them so you have an idea of what I have been talking about.   The biggest issue I have with my stamp space in the basement is lack of storage and organization.  I think these will help A LOT!

The assembly begins:

A wall of shelves!

The next large piece that will need assembling is the desk.  We hope to start on that sometime this week.

Hope you have a great day, and find a few moments in the day to do something you love!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Welcome, Eli Patrick!

Hi, guys!  Hope all is well.  I have been having a great weekend and a productive one!  My husband is busy putting together my furniture for my stamp room as I type this.  I go in and help him when he needs another set of hands.  The furniture was delivered this week from IKEA.  I can't wait to see it all put together.  It is so exciting!

I thought I would share a card I made for my brother.  He is the one who has been helping me non-stop with getting my blog up and running and answering my computer questions.  My brother asked for a special card to be made for a co-worker of his who is having her first baby.  He supplied me with the name of the baby so I could make it personalized.

Stamps: Stampendous
Paper: Stampin' Up
Ink: Memento Black, Vintage Photo Distress Ink
Misc.: Cuttlebug Embossing Folder, Oval Punches, Ribbon, Gems, Distress Tool

I also made a graduation card for a co-worker to give for her cousin's graduation.  I haven't shared any graduation cards yet this year so I thought this would be a great one to start with. I used a computer generated name and year.  The diplomas were all clear embossed, and the hats were stamped with black Versafine ink and clear embossed.

Stamps: Stampendous, Vap! Scrap
Paper: Stampin' Up, Gina K Designs (White, Black)
Ink: Versamark, Memento Black, Versafine Black
Misc.: Clear Embossing Powder, Oval Punches, Gems, Twine, Circle Punches

I am off to do some barbecuing with my hubby.  I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend and have a great week ahead!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I Think The World of You!

Hi, guys!  Hope you are all doing well.  I am looking forward to the weekend and am hoping that Friday zips along pretty quickly!  I thought I would share a card I made for my friend Erich's birthday.  He is such a great guy and so supportive of my crafting and card making.  He is one of my biggest fans and I am glad to call him friend.

Stamps: Stampendous Clear Stamps
Paper: Gina K Designs
Ink: Memento Black, Colorbox White,  Copics
Misc.: Adirondack Paint Dabber Silver, Glitter Pen, Tag Punches, Twine

This card was fun to make.  I really enjoyed making the moon with the paint dabber.  When it is heated it gets all crater-like on its own, and I think it was a cool effect.  The stars are made with a glitter pen.  The rockets were stamped and colored, and then cut out.  I am not one for fussy cutting, but it was worth it.

I am wishing Erich a very happy birthday, and all of you a great weekend!! Go do something fun!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

It's Birthday Time!

Hi, guys!  Hope all is well.  I have been busy making cards after work that people have requested.  I thought I would share a 5th birthday card for a co-worker's daughter.  I can't believe Jade is turning 5!  I remember when her momma was expecting her and it seems like only yesterday!

Stamps: Inky Impressions (Zoe's Birthday Cupcake)
Paper: Stampin' Up, Ranger Distress Core-dinations
Ink: Memento Black, Copics
Misc.: Tim Holtz Alpha Number, Circle Punch, Oval Punches, Pink Ribbon, Cuttlebug Embossing folder

This image grabbed me when I saw it at the stamp show (more about that tomorrow) on Saturday.  I am new to the Inky Impressions line and think they are precious.   I embossed the base, and had a blast coloring her as well.

Sure hope Jade has a Happy Birthday!

I am currently working on graduation and Father's Day cards.  I hope to share them with you this week as well.

Have a great day!  Hope you find some time in your day to do something you love!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Happy Anniversary Card - Nature Inspired

Hi, guys!  I thought I would share a card I made for a friend's husband to celebrate their second wedding anniversary.

Stamps: Stampers Anonymous
Ink: Archival Black,  Distress Ink, Dylusions Spray Inks
Paper: Watercolor Paper, Gina K Designs 
Misc.: Ribbon, Gems, Oval Punch, Computer Generated Name, Distress Tool, Heart Button

I wanted to make this different than I normally do for anniversaries.  I normally would use red, white, pink or something like that for anniversaries.  I wanted to make this look natural in feel and use a different color palette.  I thought the use of the spray inks would be fun.  I love their vibrant colors and how easy they are to use. My fingers got incredibly inky when I made this card!   I can't believe it has been two years already since my friend married Seth.  I am so happy that they found each other.

Have a great day!  I hope you find some time in your day to do something you love!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday Card & My Blog is 3 Months old today!

Hi, guys!  Hope you are having a great day!  Today my blog is 3 months old!  I just realized it this morning and it made me happy.  I am having a blast and am enjoying the blogging community.  People have been so gracious, kind, and, most of all, supportive. I can't wait to see how my blog develops with time.

I thought I would share a card I made for a friend's grandson's first birthday.  I pulled out my Crafty Secrets stamp set again but used one of the boy images this time.  I used a computer to print out his name to personalize the card for him.


Stamps: Crafty Secrets
Paper: Stampin' Up
Ink: Memento Black, Copics
Misc.: Oval Punch

I think this is one of the most fun child birthday stamp sets I own.  I love to be able to customize cards by switching up these images.

Wishing Wyatt Joseph a very happy birthday!

This weekend is going to be packed with activities.  I am heading to a stamp show in MA tomorrow for the day. I will share the details with you next week.  My husband is doing his monthly show in the city as well.  I am hoping to catch the second half of it if I am lucky with traffic.  On Sunday, I will be attending my niece Amanda's dance recital followed by a shopping spree at Ikea for furniture for my new stamp room.  I'd better take some vitamins!

Have a great weekend!