Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Blessings Everywhere You Go...

Hi! Just had to share with you to a little something I recently treated myself to (late Valentine's? early birthday?) but it is really more of reminder and an "outlook" than a gift or indulgence. After leaving Bible study the previous week, I was driving home and thinking about a few things from the lesson, video, and devotionals I've read lately, basically all pointing to all the miracles in life, great and small, remembering not to forget how greatly blessed we have been, and how God is working for your good...
Well, anyway, since I was in my car, I remembered how I always thought those little vases with a flower in VW Bugs were so cute, and that I should get in on that action and keep a rose* in my car as a constant reminder of God's love for me and all the beauty around me and great things He has done, and continues to do, in my life! (and, of course, the flowers reminds me of my book) ;) I ordered it and the flower from this site (hey, free shipping over $10, so picking out a flower to go with is a great deal! Love their daisies, too) and by golly, if it doesn't just brighten my day and make me feel like a princess driving around now!

Who knows, it just might even push me to keep the rest of my car a *bit* cleaner, what a bonus that would be!

I think YOU should get one, too! :)

Hugs to you! Fun hop with new toys tomorrow, see you bright and early!

* I got the silver clip and red cream (but just might need to go back get a yellow daisy when it warms up a bit, plus another vase for a friend, I honestly think everyone should have one, fun gift people probably don't have!)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Whatever is TRUE

Good morning, I hope you had a terrific weekend! If you are coming over from the CardMaker blog, thanks for visiting! The past few days I have been stamping for our new Gina K Designs release as well as preparing for a blog hop Thursday, so I don't have any cards I can share just yet, but please scroll down to see some designs I've done with my latest floral set "Stately Flowers 3"! Lots of new samples and goodies coming up, so I hope you'll subscribe to my blog or stop back soon! :)
For today: I am SO glad all you readers enjoyed "the list" I shared a few days ago from Girlfriends in God, it reminded me that I have been meaning to share another terrific resource I received from my mentor in Bible Study last year. She printed out cards for each of us from a site called True that each have an affirmation on one side and scripture (from different translations of the Bible) on the back that I keep on my mirror, fridge, wallet, car etc, so throughout my day (in these strategic places where I am prone falling into traps of temptation, negative thinking or doubt) I am reminded of what is TRUE. They show another side of beauty, identity, and body image, and you can print out these cards, too, in color or black and white, it is a free pdf. (I also recommend checking out some of the videos on their site, many of you might remember the one sponsored by Dove a couple years ago that shows the "magic" of photo retouching to understand how magazine standards just aren't real life!)
I hope these bless you the way they have me! Please share with your children and girlfriends! I can't share them all today, but I think I will share them one at a time with you in case you won't be printing them out. This one pictured (front and back) is not the one I read most often, but you can tell from the edges it is well loved. :)

My post title today is from scripture and the focus of one of the cards:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

I actually memorized this verse for the first time two summers ago with my kids at VBS. It is one I repeat often, and it has really changed what I now choose to read, listen to, etc. (For the better!)

Finally, thanks everyone for all the feedback over the weekend about my posts, very helpful! I will take it all into account, but of course I suspected (correctly!) you'd all have very different preferences, lol! So, I will try to change it up to give you a little bit of everything and incorporate different methods of listing materials, directions, etc in the way that makes most sense (and what i have time for!) for that particular post.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

What do YOU think?

Happy Sunday! A few questions to help with me planning posts, there are hundreds of you reading but only a few who consistently comment so I would love to hear from more of you what you like best, want to see and is most helpful. Thanks in advance for reading and your answers in the comment section below!

1. Do you prefer a list of materials or listing materials as I go through description of card?

2. Do you like conversational directions or numbered, concise directions?

3. Do you like tons of samples with new stuff in the first month released, or a variety of past sets and newest during the month?

4. Do you need step by step coloring photos with Copics, or a separate photo showing which colors go where?

5. Do you read the whole post (or just go straight to the card)?

6. Do you want more than one post a day? (example: post quotes, family stuff in the same post with card for a longer post, or have them separate)

Okay, that's all I can think of right now! Again, I appreciate your feedback, feel free to only answer the ones that are most important to you or have an opinion about.

Have a great day!

PS LOTS of fun stuff coming up! New stamps, sponsoring a challenge, CardMaker hop, etc, I'd better get busy!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Out and About: Book Sighting!

So I'd been planning to make a little trip (15 minute drive) up to Archiver's sometime soon (click on that link to find a location near you), ever since I learned that all the Archiver's locations across the country (map above shows their 40+ locations) would be stocking my book! (Just had to see it there in person, you know?) These are terrific brick and mortar stores for things stampy and scrappy, check to see if there is one near you if you have not yet been! Well, anyway, it's not showing up in their online catalog, BUT the lovely and talented Christine Monzingo emailed last week and said she saw it at the Cedar Park location* and after telling them I live I Austin, they said they might be interested in having me do a book signing, squeal! I will keep you all updated on that and would love for you to swing by if you are in or around the Austin area (or beyond the Austin area if you are willing to travel for that, God bless!) so I can meet you if that happens. I'm praying it will!

SO I just had to go the next day, of course (hee hee, why wait any longer?) Yep, there it was, only two copies left! Honestly, I was more than a little tempted to take a picture of it sitting on the shelf (in Archiver's! ARCHIVER'S!!) but you know, I didn't... trying to play it cool... ; (this photo is from their website, I did not whip out my phone!)

Now, the cooler part of this story, after browsing around for a few more minutes, I took some adhesive** to the counter to purchase, and what do you know, two ladies were there at the register browsing through... MY book! One bought it (and both told the employee to order the stamp sets for the store! squeeeeal) so I signed it for her. She'd never been to my blog before, but I do hope she stops by in the future! Thank you, Jane, for your purchase, (waving!) it was SO nice to meet you and I hope to see you again! :)

* How blessed am I to live so close to one of only two stores in Texas?

** Vellum adhesive! Goes on clear so you don't see, it sounds like magic to me! Never seen it before, will be sure to let you know how i like it (I do have vellum designs in the book by the way!) :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Secrets to Staying Young

Good morning! Just wanted to share a wonderful "to do" list I got my email inbox today from Mary Southerland. You can subscribe to to receive terrific inspiration, stories and Bible verses daily from Girlfriends in God. I believe I've mentioned it before, but if not, thought this would be a wonderful way to start your day and let you know (or someone YOU know!) who might be interested in subscribing also. Today's truth is based on the verse:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10, NIV). the author reflects on her 61 years of living and what she's learned. (She said she came across this list, so I do not know who the original author is) My 39th birthday is around the corner (not that I'm sweating it) and I thought all these things practical suggestions are a really great way to approach this next year of abundant living! Enjoy! (Bold is emphasis is mine, things I especially need to remind myself to do/keep doing!) :)

How to Stay Young

1. Throw out non-essential numbers such as your age, weight and height.

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down. If you really need a grouch, there are probably family members to fill that need.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Just never let the brain idle.

4. Enjoy the simple things. When the children are young, that is all you can afford. When they are in college that is all you can afford. When they are grown, and you are on retirement, that is all you can afford.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. Laugh so much that you can be tracked in the store by your distinctive laughter.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person that is with us our entire life is ourselves.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it is family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies or whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health. If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Go to the mall, the next county, a foreign country - but not guilt.

10. Tell the people you love how much you love them every chance you get. Never assume they know.

11. Don't worry about things you cannot change or do anything about. Accept them and move on.

12. Read more and dust less.*

13. Spend more time with your family and friends and less time working.

14. Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. Recognize these moments now and cherish them.

15. Do not "save" anything. Use your good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the next blossom of flowers you see.

16. Wear your best outfit to the market.

17. Don't save your good perfume for only special occasions. Use it even if you are going shopping or just to the bank.

18. "Someday" and "one of these days" should vanish from your vocabulary. If it is worth seeing or hearing or doing, go and see or hear or do it now.

Hope just ONE of these suggestions touches your heart! The email always closes with questions to ask yourself, a prayer, and links with more resources. I highly recommend it. Have a blessed day! Thank you for visiting!

NO ONE needs to remind me about this one! Dust? where?? I don't see it...! ;)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Southern Red Velvet Inspired...

From the time I was little, my favorite cake to make and have on my own birthday was Red Velvet, a southern tradition! If you've never had it before, I highly recommend, the flavors are terrific and the deep red color of the cake is a showstopper! Here is a photo I've shared before of me decorating one in the late 70's. (Much like William's cake aesthetic, I didn't leave an inch undecorated!)
Today's card is inspired by this terrific, sentimental dessert using the Stately Flowers 3 magnolias on Gina K Pure Luxury Lipstick Red and White. Flowers are stamped in Memento Rhubarb Stalk and dies are Spellbinders Fleur de Lis Rectangles, and Petite Classic (Large and Small) and Scallop Oval Nestabilities. Let your dies make it fancy, no need to color today! :) The big creamy magnolia petals here remind me of peaks of frosting and layered tags a pretty serving tray! The cake itself really is this deep beautiful red...
Following is the recipe my mom and I use for red velvet cake. The cake is extremely moist and great paired with this shortening based whipped frosting. In January I made a red velvet cake for my brother's birthday (on request), for once bypassing that tried and trued recipe, instead trying out one from Buddy Valastro's Carlo's Bakery (ooh, yikes, would the gamble pay off?) While there were good things about the finished cake (which by the way was harder to make, but it got moister over the next few days instead of drier and the buttercream was VERY good, two pluses), Buddy, we love ya, but I really wished I had stuck with the cake from my childhood, nothing compares "to Mom's"!

Red Velvet Cake

1/2 C shortening
2 eggs
1 1/2 C sugar
2 T cocoa
2 (1 oz) bottles red food coloring
1 C buttermilk
2 1/4 C flour
1 T vanilla
1 T vinegar
1 t salt
1 t baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream shortening, eggs and sugar. Make a paste of the cocoa and red food coloring. Add to creamed mix. Add alternately buttermilk and flour, beginning and ending with flour until mixed. Mix vanilla, vinegar, salt and baking soda separately, then fold into batter. (Note: mixing less time the cake will be fluffier, mixing longer the cake will be denser, but very moist either way) Pour into 2 9" greased cake pans. Bake 24-30 minutes.


3 T flour
1 C milk
1 C powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
1 C shortening (part margarine)

Cook flour and milk on stove til thick; cool. Cream sugar, vanilla and shortening until light. Add cooled paste and beat until peaks form. Spread on cake.


PS Annalize said last week...

I would like monochrome or any 2 colour ideas with your stamps (no colouring ;) CAS and QAE (Quick and Easy :)! Did not get the feeds but saw on FB. Your enthusiasm is contagious ;) Thanks!

So here it is: two colors/monochhromatic red and white, no coloring! :) Have a great day!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Guest Designer: Cynthia Olheiser

Good morning! Today I am sharing a card made by Cynthia Olheiser, whose work with Stately Flowers 3 you'll be seeing more of in the coming weeks! Cynthia has a gorgeous gallery on StampTV and this card a few month ago sold me on her ability work magic with my flowers! I was so excited to see she was from Alaska, which made her a great choice to help me showcase the Forget-me-nots of her state in this newest set!

Don't you love how many shades of blue are in the world? These are so different from the shades Kris and I used on our Forget-me-not cards and I love 'em all! This vivid sky blue just pops with that pink, and I especially love the way she sanded the Victoria Cuttlebug embossed layer (so pretty with the shapes in this image) to reveal those little bits of white, just like the middles of the flowers! The tiny Swiss Dot embossing is such a nice detail to with berries in the image, and I love how she matted the layers to have the one row revealed across the top. Her focal point is like a mini canvas with the black pen drawn frame and the popped up flowers give it so dimension. Terrific design, Cynthia!

Whenever you are going to have a greeting on an embossed layer, be sure to stamp the sentiment before embossing so that you get a get a good impression and it's easy to read.

Please be sure to check out Cynthia's blog, Stamping in Alaska, today for a list of materials for this card and another sample. Leave her some love!