Category Archives: Houston TX

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Join Our Stamping With Karen Mailing List

Have you joined the “Stamping With Karen” mailing list yet?  If not, consider this a personal invitation!  Just add your name and best email in the red box in the upper right of this blog page!  This is the best way to keep up with the latest Stampin’ Up! news, especially during times like this with a new Stampin’ Up! catalog, new products, new project ideas! And get a FREE GIFT from me when you do that you can download!

If someone referred you to me, please let me know so I can thank them!

At holiday time, I always do an exclusive weekly email for my subscribers called “The Twelve Weeks of Christmas”. Each week will feature a different project for the holidays such as cards, gift items and gift wrap ideas that you can copy or be inspired by to create your own thing.

Every Tuesday (if not more often) Stampin’ Up! puts out the latest updates for us, so I’ve begun sending out shorter weekly emails on Tuesday to keep you up to date. Each email contains one or more projects for you or stamping tips and news. Sign up today so you won’t miss out!

Join my Stamping With Karen Mailing List Today!  Sign up in the red box!

Watch Some New Stampin’ Up! Product Videos!

I’m sure with all the excitement over the new Stampin’ Up! Catalog, you would enjoy watching some new Stampin’ Up! product videos to find out more about the great things you are seeing in the catalog!


For yourself or someone who doesn’t have a lot of craft supplies and would enjoy making all these cards from one kit! You can even get a refill! The Soft Sayings Card Kit is on pages 10-11 of the new catalog.


You might recognize this Oh So Eclectic Bundle and Suite from the samples on the front of the catalog.  You will find the beautiful papers and everything in this suite on pages 132-33. One of my favorites!  It’s on my order!


While I don’t have THIS Embossing Paste, I have used a similar product as few years ago on picture frames in THIS POST and THIS POST. At that time, it didn’t occur to me to use it on cards! You can color the paste with ink refills if you want, and use the Decorative Masks (stencils) and Palette Knives to apply the paste.


Isn’t this Love Today Planner Kit the cutest thing?!!  I just love the designs on the pages and the colors! I’m just wondering, for myself, would I use a planner? If I’m not sure I would use it as a planner, though, I could use it as sort of a daily or weekly scrapbook or journal. Sara Douglass at her OnStage demonstration, used it more as a scrapbook/journal writing in what she or her family did that day or week, added a few small photos, embellishments, etc. Let me know what you think about the Planner! Planners are certainly a hot, trendy item out there in the world! The dates are not preprinted in this planner so you can start it now, not wait until January, and you can buy the Refill for another year.

If you are relaxing on the weekend or if your Saturday is a rainy day like ours might be here in Houston, enjoy watching these Stampin’ Up! videos showcasing the new products just like you are at the movies!

Everything is ready for you to order now from the new Stampin’ Up! Catalog!

Just SHOP HERE!

Stampin’ Up! Is Taking Orders From the New 2017-18 Catalog!

New Stampin' Up! Catalog 2017-18

Stampin’ Up! is taking orders from the new Stampin’ Up! 2017-18 Annual Catalog now!

Shopping has begun!

If you click the photo of the catalog or the link, you can view the new catalog online. If you are new to Stampin’ Up! or do not currently have a Demonstrator to help you with your ordering and projects, I would be happy to be yours! If you would like a real copy of the Stampin’ Up! Catalog I can mail you  a complimentary copy if you just contact me with your information. Email me at Karen@KarenStamps.com.

Need a Shopping List??  Just click HERE!

Stampin' Up! Shopping List

Need Color Help?  Stampin’ Up! In Color Combinations Chart

Special Promotion For Hosts (or very big orders!)

During the month of June, if you hold a workshop or put some orders together from friends or have your own really big order of $350 or more, you would earn an EXTRA $35 in Stampin’ Rewards.

We Love Hosts June 2017 Promotion

Catalog Corrections:

  • Empty stamp cases are still available but were left out of the catalog. They can be used for your stamps or storing other items. Maybe you want to cut this illustration out of your OLD catalog and paste it into your new catalog. Or print out this photo below.

  • In the Regals Collection (page 4), the color swatch for Garden Green is incorrect. Click here to see the correct color.
  • The Soft Sayings Card Kit Refill (page 11) does not include a clear stamp block. The text should read as follows:
    “Includes everything from the Soft Sayings Card Kit—minus the stamp set, ink, clear stamp block, and box—so you can create 20 cards.”
  • The It’s Your Birthday sample (page 73) uses the bows from the Balloon Pop-Up Thinlits Dies (in the 2017 Occasions catalog), which retired May 31.
  • The Super Duper Stamp Set artwork (page 74) makes it appear as though the dotted line image is part of the Yay! Image. They are actually two separate images.
  • The photo for the Whole Lot of Lovely Designer Series Paper (page 188) shows the two center papers with the wrong designs on the back. The black paper with the bold flowers should be shown with the multicolor stripe design on the back, and the green paper with white leaves should be shown with the pink and white flowers on the back.
  • The Stampin’ Trimmer Replacement Mat (page 205) includes two replacement mats, instead of one as listed.
  • Some of the images in the Tranquil Tulips Stamp Set artwork (page 223) are sized incorrectly.

I hope you will find the new Stampin’ Up! Catalog exciting and inspiring!  Just think of the millions of ideas, card and projects that will come out of all those wonderful products in the catalog!

The Store is open! You can shop for anything you want in the new catalog.  There are a few things backordered.  You can figure those were extremely popular with Demonstrators during our Preorder. There are some things that we blasted through more than Stampin’ Up! could ever have imagined or predicted, but don’t worry, they are working on getting everything back in stock as soon as possible!  Let me know if you have any questions!

SHOP STAMPIN’ UP! ONLINE HERE!

 

 

The New Stampin’ Up! Catalog Begins Today!

Quick and Easy Birthday Card with Doily

Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for!  The new Stampin’ Up! Catalog begins today! At least, this afternoon! Ordering from the new catalog should begin by Noon (Mountain Time).

Here is a birthday card I made with the new Happy Birthday Gorgeous Photopolymer Stamp Set.  The card base is one of the new In Colors, Berry Burst, and the layered designer paper is from the Fresh Florals Designer Series Paper Stack.  This paper is copied from the popular Floral Boutique Designer Series Paper from the previous catalog, but in the In Colors. It’s beautiful!

The Happy Birthday greeting is stamped on a piece of Whisper White with Berry Burst ink and die cut with the Stitched Shapes Framelits Die.  The little stamped flowers are also in that stamp set. Then this circle is layered on a pretty Delicate White DoilyAfter adhering that to the front of the card, I couldn’t resist adding one of the new Glitter Enamel Dots. You for sure will want at least one package of these in your stash, although they were so popular with Demonstrators that they are backordered but more are on the way early next week! Get some while you can in case they go on backorder again.

This was just a quick and easy card to use some new products to celebrate the new Stampin’ Up! 2017-18 Annual Catalog!

New Stampin' Up! Catalog 2017-18

Click the photo above or the other links to view the new Stampin’ Up! Catalog!

Shop Stampin’ Up! HERE at Noon (Mountain Time) TODAY!

Punch Art New Baby Giraffe Card

Punch Art New Baby Giraffe Card

Surely you have heard of the new baby giraffe the whole world has been watching and waiting for! I heard about it, but was not one who was constantly paying attention to the whole saga, but I did make a punch art card for the new baby giraffe!  Apparently the baby giraffe was born in New York on Saturday, April 15. The little newborn baby giraffe is probably about 6 feet tall and likely would weigh about 100-150 pounds!  Now that’s a baby!

While the New York giraffe made the headlines because the birth was live-streamed and millions of people watched, there was also a baby giraffe born in Houston, Texas several days before at the Houston Zoo! So it’s been a good month for baby giraffes!

To make my punch art new baby giraffe card I just used various circle punches, some retired, oval framelits, whatever I had. There are lots of examples of punch art animals online if you do a google search!  I used the Owl Builder Punch for two sizes of the circles.  I can’t believe the Owl Punch is retiring, it has been so useful over the years we’ve had it! There was no limit to what we could create with the Owl Punch.  So be sure to grab one while they are still available!

The little piece of grass on the bottom of the card and the flower I happened to already have die cut from the Basket Builder Framelits Dies. The dies and Basket Bunch Stamp Set come in a Bundle, which is retiring as all Bundles are, but actually, since both items are on sale separately, it is a better deal to buy the stamp set and then buy the framelits, not in a Bundle!

I wanted some kind of greeting on the card, but I didn’t have much space left, so I came across the word “Celebrate…” in the Beautiful You Stamp Set so I used that.  It fit perfectly in the space and was perfect since we are celebrating the births of baby giraffes!

Any time you need to celebrate something, even the birth of a giraffe in New York or in Houston, you can make a card for that! Isn’t stamping wonderful?!

Shop Stampin’ Up! Online and Check Out the Retiring List!

 

The Stampin’ Up! Retirement List for 2017 Is Here!

Retiring Stampin' Up! Products Banner 2017

It’s certainly sad to see some of these Stampin’ Up! products being retired, but it is fun to shop the retirement sale and to look forward to new products coming June 1st in the new Stampin’ Up! Annual Catalog!

Click HERE for the Stampin’ Up! Retirement List and Sale!

Click HERE to go shopping at the Stampin’ Up! Online Store!

Remember, products are available “while supplies last”! However, since the stamp sets are manufactured by Stampin’ Up!, they will continue to manufacture all retiring stamps until May 22 and then they will be available “while supplies last”.

Be careful that you are not choosing one of the foreign language stamps unless that is what you want! With so many things to choose from, sometimes we choose the wrong number item!

More information later!  Just go enjoy the list and the shopping!

If you were a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator, you could be getting a peek at the new catalog online right now! Just buy the Starter Kit for $99 and choose $125 worth of product and you’ll be a Demo in minutes online!

Baseball Opening Day Card For Baseball Fans

Baseball Opening Day Card for Baseball FansHooray! Today is Opening Day for Houston Astros Baseball here in Houston, Texas! Here is an opening day baseball card for baseball fans nationwide, no matter what day your Opening Day is on. Any time I think about baseball, it takes me back to so many memories, and the sounds remind me of summer time during my childhood.  The first baseball game I ever went to was with Girl Scouts and I wasn’t even that excited about going.  My mother, a baseball fan, told me it would be fun and that she loved the hotdogs at the ballpark. Maybe it’s the power of suggestion, but in my memory, the best hotdog I ever had in my life was at that ballpark at my first baseball game! That game was at the old Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis, long gone now. Later, Busch Stadium was built and that was where I attended the rest of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball games. Now there’s another new stadium in St. Louis!

My family didn’t attend many baseball games at all, we probably didn’t have the money to spend at that time, and my dad wasn’t that big of a sports fan to say the least, although he thought baseball was okay. Being a baseball fan really came from my mother’s side of the family, especially my grandpa. One time when his eyesight was failing, he said he would buy the tickets if a family friend (huge baseball fan!) would drive him and us kids to the game. We had field boxes that night so he could sit as close as possible to see! Schools often gave free baseball tickets if you got “straight A’s” and sometimes my brother or I earned those and we got to go to the game. When I was in 6th grade, I got in trouble for bringing my transistor radio to school and loaning it to a classmate to listen to a Cardinals World Series game during class. She had the earplug in with the wire underneath her sweater but we still got  caught!

After my husband and I moved to Houston, one of the first things I wanted to do was go to a ballgame at the Astrodome! Back when it was new, my family visited Houston and we went on the Astrodome tour, something I loved and still remember, and how I wished I would have bought a square of the AstroTurf in the gift shop I think for a dollar! When my husband and I went to our first game at the Astrodome, I remember even dressing up a bit because I thought going to the Astrodome was a special experience. Now, of course, the Houston Astros have a newer stadium, but I still like seeing the Astrodome, dwarfed by the big new football stadium!

So for Opening Day, I made this baseball card.  You can copy it or be inspired by it to make one to send to your favorite baseball fan! Click here to see a class valentine I designed for a boy who is a big baseball fan.  The card base is Night of Navy with a little strip from the Floral Boutique Designer Series Paper.  You wouldn’t think this paper had anything to do with baseball, but when I saw the white with blue stripes pattern, it reminded me of the pinstriped uniforms some baseball teams wear.  The “hooray” is from the Watercolor Words Stamp Set, which I love.  The baseball is die cut with the Layering Circle Framelits Dies and the faux stitching is made with a Paper Pumpkin stamp. The stars I found in my box of scraps already die cut from Gold Glimmer Paper. I added a Real Red layer on the front to help everything stand out.

The Stampin’ Up! Retirement List comes out a week from today!  The only thing we know is that the In Colors from 2015 will be retiring so if you want any of those colors or coordinating products and especially the reinkers, I suggest you grab them now while they are available because they could go fast once the list comes out!

Enjoy baseball’s opening day by making a card for a baseball fan!

Shop Stampin’ Up! Online HERE!

 

 

Super Bowl 2017 Punch Art Football Game Card

Super Bowl 2017 Owl Punch Football Game Card

Today is the big day! It’s Super Bowl Sunday in Houston, Texas! Here are my little Owl Punch football players ready for Super Bowl 2017 on this card! Don’t think this card is only for a Super Bowl game.  You could make this for the sports fan in your life. But when you have such a big event in your city, it’s fun to be able to make a card or project out of stamps, ink and paper.

Isn’t the Owl Punch probably the most versatile punch ever created??! There’s always something you can do with the Owl Punch! Here the owls represent the football players on the field. I wonder who kicked the final field goal?

This is a pretty easy card to make. Just cut some very narrow strips of paper for the goal post and the lines on the football field. Make the football out of a circle punch, as I described in this post. The “Awesome” greeting is stamped from the Marquee Messages Stamp Set. Just change the greeting and have it be a birthday card or “thinking of you” card or maybe congratulations on the big game.

There were lots of Super Bowl parties going on last night around Houston. And apparently it is the biggest aviation day of the year with 1600 private aircraft arriving! Someone said they will all want to leave right after the game, too! All I can think of is how much money is involved just in those private planes! Oh, and for and extra $5000, you can get a helicopter ride for up to 6 people from the airport to beat the traffic to a golf club near the NRG Stadium where the game will be played.

President George Bush and his wife Barbara are expected to do the coin toss! I’ve seen them before at an Astros baseball game so they are quite the sports fans and quite the icons in Houston! They make their home here in Houston so they have always been an important part of the city.

I heard one newscaster say she would be sad when all the Super Bowl excitement is over for Houston. It’s been a big deal here, to say the least. Now we will just see who wins the game, how well the commercials played, and how the halftime show with Lady Gaga goes. Rumor has it that hundreds of drones flying around are involved. Who knows?

When it comes to finding a way to celebrate almost anything in life, there is probably some way to express yourself with rubber stamping and papercrafting, so check out all the great supplies in my Stampin’ Up! Online Store!

Enjoy the game!

A Football Card For Super Bowl LI in Houston, Texas

Super Bowl LI Football Card

It’s here for sure!  Super Bowl Weekend is here with the game tomorrow! Here is a Football Card For Super Bowl LI in Houston, Texas. The city of Houston is so excited to be hosting the Super Bowl this year and LOTS of activities have been going on all week! More and more celebrities are arriving for parties and events, a big concert tonight with Taylor Swift, all kinds of media from around the world, and Houston is spruced up for the big day!

Of course a Stampin’ Up! cardmaker has to make a football card to commemorate the big occasion! The card base is Chocolate Chip with a Garden Green layer for the field. I cut very narrow (1/8″) strips of Whisper White cardstock and glued them down for the lines on the football field.  The Stampin’ Up! Grid Paper was very helpful in getting the first one centered and the rest spaced evenly.

The football was really easy to make, easier than I thought it would be!  Just use a Circle Punch!  I happened to use a 2″ Circle Punch but you can use any size you want, depending on what size you want your football to be. Just punch the circle, then put it back in the punch part way until you see a football shape (looking at the punch from the bottom) and punch again. The make the stitching on the football I just cut very thin strips again of Whisper White. For the curved bands at the end, I used the Circle Punch again. If you have the Layering Circle Framelits Dies and Big Shot you can die cut any size footballs you need!

I always think it is fun to use my Layered Letters Alphabet Stamp Set! I stamped the words “Super Bowl LI” in several colors, close together, hoping they would fit on the card some way. I didn’t know if I would cut the letters apart or how I would do it, so sometimes you just have to play. Luckily I figured out the layout of the words pretty easily on my card! Sometimes there is more trial and error!

Did you learn your Roman Numerals well in school? I wonder if they even teach Roman Numerals any more.  I always thought it was fun and “got it” pretty easily. Seems like we used to have to write out all the Roman Numerals to 100 or 500 or 1000, whatever it was!  I can still see my writing in pencil on the “newsprint” paper we used to use a lot in elementary school! Anyway, this year with the Super Bowl being number 51, the Roman Numeral LI is a little odd looking I think.

If you don’t have a ticket to the Super Bowl in Houston tomorrow, maybe you can be inspired to make some football or any sports cards and keep them on hand for birthdays or congratulations for a special game or whatever occasion. I heard on the news yesterday that some lady was in the audience for a press conference or something with Roger Goodell and actually asked if he had extra tickets for his suite! He spoke to her afterwards and she and her husband are going to the Super Bowl game!!!  She said it never hurts to ask!  Holy Cow!

I hope you enjoy all the Super Bowl hoopla this weekend and try making some sports cards for your stash like this Football Card For Super Bowl LI in Houston, Texas!

Get your supplies at Stampin’ Up! Online! 

Don’t forget Sale-A-Bration! Spend $50 and get a FREE Sale-A-Bration product!  No Limit!

Super Bowl 2017 Card With Punch Art Football Helmets

Super Bowl 2017 Card With Punch Art Football Helmets

Super Bowl LI is almost here, although for those of us living in Houston, Texas it IS here! Time to celebrate with a card for Super Bowl 2017 Card With Punch Art Football Helmets. I wanted something to commemorate this big event for our city, so here is a card celebrating the best in football here in Houston!  The greeting from the Watercolor Words Photopolymer Stamp Set expresses it perfectly!

The city has been spruced up for the Super Bowl, and the George R. Brown Convention  downtown and Discovery Green, a park outside the convention center, have been transformed for many events held pre-Super Bowl this week. There are games, parties, celebrity sightings, concerts, shows and more and that’s all before the championship game even starts!

To make my Super Bowl card, I used a Soft Suede card base with a layer of Emerald Envy on top. Before I adhered the green piece, I scored it with lines about 3/4″ apart with my Simply Scored scoring board  to represent the football field with the yardage marks. Then I stamped the greeting with the Watercolor Words stamp set I mentioned.

For the football helmets, made with punches, I punched a circle with the 1 3/4″ Circle Punch. Then I used a 1 1/4″ Circle Punch  to punch the indentation for the front of the helmet and the 1/2″ Circle Punch for the little indentation. To make the face guard I used a retired triangle punch. I also used my retired Crop-A-Dile tool to punch the little black circle on both helmets and a retired small star punch for the stars.  Just use whatever you may have! Or you can just snip parts by hand.

It is fun having stamping and papercrafting supplies on hand for commemorating these special events and occasions going on, just for fun. But this card isn’t just for the Super Bowl in Houston, you could make something like this for a man’s birthday. As we have discussed before, it often is difficult to come up with a masculine card…..not that this couldn’t be a card for a woman or a girl.

If you need supplies to make fun cards like this Super Bowl 2017 Card With Punch Art Football Helmets, get the best at Stampin’ Up! 

Shop Stampin’ Up! Online HERE!

A Card For a Rainy Day in Houston

A Card For a Rainy Day in Houston

Yesterday we woke up to rain that was forecast, but as it turned out, it continued to rain over the same area of Houston. And when rain does that in Houston, flooding occurs. The path was from just a little southwest of us in Sugarland, up the freeway into downtown and beyond.  So it was a morning of local TV stations broadcasting continuously regarding flooded areas and streets and school delays and showing alternate routes around the flooding. I don’t think we could have gotten out of our neighborhood very easily so my husband didn’t leave for work until almost lunchtime. We got a little more rain in the afternoon but nothing like overnight. Today there was even more rain this morning, but somehow it didn’t cause flooding, thank goodness, because today I had to go for an appointment! I only came across one huge puddle which probably yesterday completed flooded the highway access road I was on.

Because of two rainy days in Houston, I thought a rainy day card was in order, using the Beautiful You Stamp Set. One image has the lady with an umbrella.  Perfect! I sponged on some gray clouds in the sky with Smoky Slate ink with a piece of the Stamping Sponge. Then with one of the squiggly stamps in the set, I stamped rain puddles with  Marina Mist  by stamping off first on scrap paper so the color would be lighter. I actually like the way the puddles turned out!

If there is one thing I think you should buy from the Occasions Catalog, it would be the Watercolor Pencils! I love these and they are so easy to use!  Just barely color in, scribble if you like, then blend with the Blender Pen which smooths it all out! I colored in the lady’s clothes in this way.

To jazz up the card a little, I paper-pieced the umbrella.  That means I stamped the umbrella part of the stamp on a piece of designer paper and then cut it out. A very easy technique for something a little different. It just adds a little interest!  I thought this Houston lady, out in the rain, should look snazzy with her colorful umbrella!

What a great way we have to express ourselves with stamps, ink and paper! We can even make a card for a rainy day – and other than maybe baking chocolate chip cookies, what else is better to do on a dark and gray rainy day than to stamp?!

Get your stamps, ink and paper plus accessories at Stampin’ Up!

Chevron Houston Marathon 2017 Runner Card

Chevron Houston Marathon 2017 Runner Card

This morning was the Chevron Houston Marathon, a very big event here in Houston, Texas, so I thought I would celebrate the day with a marathon runner card! Early this morning 27,000 runners began running through the streets of Houston, either running the half-marathon of 13 miles or the full marathon of 26 miles! It’s amazing to see the massive crowd of runners passing by, from the elite runners to the regular people who are just doing it for the experience.  There are people of all kinds – I saw a few little kids running with their mom, men older than my husband (who was running the half-marathon), super-skinny people, not-so-skinny people, lots of dogs out with their owners watching from the sidelines, families watching for their loved ones, lots of people with cowbells or in costume, music, whistles, boxes of tissues, anything they could think of to inspire the runners and entertain them to take their minds off the difficult task of the run. Runners come from all over the world and from right here in Houston. It’s amazing!  Only to watch, of course, for me!

To commemorate the Houston Marathon, I put together this card with Stampin’ Up! punches and paper, just making it up as I went!

Congratulations to all the runners, the people who put on the marathon, and ALL the Houston Police (HPD) and other security people I saw EVERYWHERE keeping the streets closed off, keeping the runners and observers safe. It really is a tremendous undertaking!

If you would like to make cards or scrapbook pages to commemorate the special events in your life, and just for fun, please consider Stampin’ Up! products!  Everything you need for papercrafting and stamping!

VISIT STAMPIN’ UP! HERE!

Reindeer Christmas Gift Tags

Reindeer Christmas Gift Tags

What a fun day I had yesterday! In the afternoon one of my customers, who has become a dear friend to me, and her little girl came over and we made these Reindeer Christmas Gift Tags for a children’s group for their stockings. Since we were making 24 tags and for both boys and girls, we needed something relatively easy to make, something that appeals to either a boy or a girl, and something for different ages.

Right away I thought the Cookie Cutter Christmas Stamp Set was probably the way to go, with lots of choices of stamps and creative possibilities, not to mention the coordinating Cookie Cutter Builder Punch which would make assembling the tags easy by punching instead of cutting with a scissors. Before I knew exactly what design I would come up with, I looked in my retired “stash” and found  the Season of Style Paper Stack with 24 sheets of each of two patterns so I knew we would have plenty of the same paper! As it turned out, I found an idea online for tags that just had strips of paper on the sides of the tag, so we had no problem with the amount of paper we needed. My friend had already purchased some large white tags, 6″ x 3″, so at first it was a bit of a challenge to decorate a large tag.  But it can be done! If you need a large tag for a gift, just cut one the size you need from cardstock and play until you find the right decoration for it!

The reindeer is stamped with Memento Black ink on Crumb Cake cardstockWhat reindeer would be complete without a glittery red nose, so we used a 1/2″ Circle Punch with Red Glimmer Paper and snipped off just a top portion of the circle to fit the stamped portion of the nose. The bow is also in the Cookie Cutter Christmas Stamp Set and the bow can also be punched with the Cookie Cutter Punch! Easy peasy!  My friend’s daughter, Miss Elsie, did a lot of the work on these tags, adhering the strips of paper on the sides of the tags, cutting and gluing the noses on the reindeer, and stamping the little hearts in the background for just a little something extra. She’s been stamping since she was little, even teaching how to stamp in her preschool class a few years ago!!

The greeting is from the Tin of Tags Photopolymer Stamp SetThis stamp set is on sale right now in the Stampin’ Up! Year-End Closeout SaleI would recommend you pick up this set now at a discount because it has great Christmas greetings, but if you look closely, you will notice that there are other greetings you can use any time! Really, there are just four stamps that I would say are only for Christmas, and if you used careful “markering” on certain words in those stamps, you might be able to use them for other occasions! And for fun, go ahead and get the Tin of Tags Project Kit, also on sale, either for yourself or to give as a gift.  If you are giving it to a non-stamper, you can make the tags yourself and then put them in the cute red tin for the gift. As I’ve said before, I LOVE that red tin!

One of the best things about Stampin’ Up! are the people that you meet, and yesterday afternoon is a perfect example! Just by me being a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator and this customer finding me online, back in the day when the Demonstrator Website was a fairly new thing, I have come to know her family, her mother, and one of her best friends who usually stamps with us. What a perk from just being associated with Stampin’ Up!

Spinach & Phyllo Dough

Spinach & Phyllo Dough

And in the morning, I attended a Holiday Cooking Class given by my neighbor!  If you are in the Houston area and are interested in learning either how to cook or some new ideas, check out Chef Ellen!  Follow her on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/chefellenhouston or her website at http://chefellen.weebly.com/.  She’s doing another Holiday Cooking Class December 18th with different foods. Just in time to give you new ideas for your holiday dinners or parties!

What fun and what delicious food she showed us how to cook, some of which we cooked ourselves! It was a lot of balls in the air at one time, but she pulled it off and we had so many samples to try and some to take home that I’m not sure I can even remember what all we made! I wasn’t taking photos with the intention to post on my blog, just to help remember the things we made, so they are “real” photos, nothing staged! The photo below is a brie wheel with a delicious sauce of cranberries and pears in a sugar syrup. Yum! The first photo above is spinach with a phyllo dough topping.

Brie Cheese & Cranberries and Pears

Brie Cheese with Cranberries & Pears Sauce

Cranberries & Pears

Cranberries & Pears Sauce

Biscotti-like Cookies

Biscotti-like Cookies

Mushroom Soup

Mushroom Soup

We made delicious mushroom soup, learned about artichokes and roasted one, crab cakes with a super-delicious sauce, a ricotta cheese appetizer, desserts, and more!

So if you are looking for some new cooking ideas or would like to book your own personalized class with Ellen, email her at chefellen@earthlink.net.  I’ve know her a long time, our daughters have been friends since they were little girls and still see each other whenever possible. Get out of your cooking rut and try Chef Ellen!

Cooking and Stamping!  It’s all about creativity and new ideas!

Shop the Stampin’ Up! Year-End Closeout and other current Stampin’ Up! products!  You may want some boxes or cello bags to package your holiday food you may be giving as a gift!

First Day of Fall Sheltering Tree

First Day of Fall Sheltering Tree

To celebrate the first day of fall I had to break out my Sheltering Tree Stamp Set that I hadn’t used in awhile. Well, fall begins at 9:20 EDT I think I heard!  I guess at that moment all the trees in my neighborhood will change their leaves to fall colors and the temperature will drop about 30 degrees this afternoon!  Maybe in Houston we need it to drop 40 degrees to get that crisp autumn feel!

What do you enjoy the most about fall?  The cool, crisp air?  The colored leaves? Halloween coming?  I wish I could zap myself right now to somewhere cooler that has colored leaves! Those of you who have colored leaves now or coming can count yourselves lucky!

Sheltering Tree is an all purpose stamp set!  You can stamp the leaves on the tree to be any season you want.  Make them all one color or do like I did and use Stampin’ Write Markers randomly to apply several colors. Then I stamped again with yellow in case I missed any spots.  The set comes with a small stamp of leaves so I used that to put a few leaves on the ground to be raked up with the cute little rake stamp!  The grass can be stamped with just the solid swoosh piece or the individual blades of grass.  I used both.  You also get several nice greetings in the stamp set.  The card base is Garden Green with a layer of Pumpkin Pie.

Enjoy your first day of fall!  Go jump in a pile of leaves! Or stamp something with fall colors!

Shop Stampin’ Up! Online for the Sheltering Tree Stamp Set or fall products in the Holiday Catalog!

Flourish Thinlits Fall Leaves Birthday Card

Flourish Thinlits Fall Leaves Birthday Card

My Flourish Thinlits Fall Leaves Birthday Card was copied with a few changes from a sample in the Stampin’ Up! Annual Catalog. I was looking for a card idea for my husband’s birthday, and this one seemed to fill the bill!  Even though it is still so miserably hot here in Houston, I know my husband loves the colors of fall leaves and perhaps this card would make him believe that cooler temperatures will eventually come!  Probably not for the first day of fall this week, though!  And wow, do these Flourish Thinlits make beautiful diecuts!

The card base is Early Espresso card stock. I’m not sure what Stampin’ Up! used in their sample, but I chose the Copper Foil SheetsI cut a piece of the foil for the background for the leaves. The Copper Foil is beautiful and comes packaged with chipboard covering both sides of the foil so that nothing can scratch it.  You do need to be a little careful working with it. But if you order it, don’t think Stampin’ Up! sent you an empty package!  Look inside!!

For the leaves, I chose Pumpkin Pie, Old Olive and Crushed Curry cardstock. As long as I was die cutting, I decided to make the cute little individual leaves also, in case I wanted to use them on my card.  The greeting is from Tin of Cards Photopolymer Stamp Set and layered with the Layering Ovals Framelits Dies, which are discounted this week on the Special Offers through Wednesday, September 21. For some extra texture and embellishment, I used a piece of 5/8″ Burlap Ribbon.

On the inside of the card, I adhered a layer of Very Vanilla since the Early Espresso is so dark and adhered one of the small single leaves. Sometimes it is fun to put a strip of designer paper or stamp something on the inside of the card.

Don’t miss these Flourish Thinlits Dies in the main catalog!  You get lots of pieces and they all will make beautiful die cuts as you can see here on this Flourish Thinlits Fall Leaves Birthday Card.

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