Friday, August 28, 2009

Heading To Hamburg & ATC's

I'm writing this post tonight from Ted and Michelle's house in Cleveland. Jan and I are driving early in the morning to the Hamburg show, which is about 3 1/2 hours away. I'm looking forward to this convention not only because I've never been to that area of New York before, but I also finally get to meet Marie in person.

You may remember Marie from the March RAK Challenge that she inspired. Marie is attending a stamp get-together next month, and she made these adorable ATC's to trade at that event:

Didn't they turn out great? She used 10606G Ready To Shop and 10784D Purse On Wheels, and her color pencil blending with Gamsol looks fantastic. I also like how she added Diamond Glaze on the sunglasses, and of course that car charm is the perfect touch.

Thanks to Marie for sharing this with us. And if you're going to the Hamburg convention, too, please stop by the Inky booth and say hello!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back From Beaver Lake

Yesterday I returned home from an extended weekend retreat in Wisconsin. We had our 3rd Annual Women's Weekend at Beaver Lake Landing:

This is my "adopted" group of sisters, aunts, and cousins whom I've known for years and have graciously included me as part of their family gatherings. You may already have met Jan, who works with Michelle for Art Gone Wild! and is also the moderator for the Stampers Anonymous Yahoo! Group:

Ruthie (pictured top row, third from left in the first photo) has demonstrated and taught classes for both Art Gone Wild! and Inky Antics at several conventions. And Dawn, creator of the original Bunny Triangle Treat Box, was my very first part-time employee about a year after I started Inky:

It was a weekend filled with creative activities. We stamped part of the time. We scrapbooked part of the time. We sewed part of the time (Ruthie's daughter, Jen, is making a pillowcase here):

And the whole time, we just had fun and enjoyed each other's company:

Did I mention that we ate? Yep, there was no shortage of food! We had a recipe exchange, too, and then made cookbooks:

That one belongs to Ruthie. (I didn't finish mine because I was making Inky sample cards instead, but I will get it done at some point!) Didn't hers turn out cute? I love how each person's photo is included on the page, and the pockets will allow us to add recipes in future years. I'm already looking forward to going next summer, LOL!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Michelle's Screen Door Card

Earlier this week, one of our readers wrote to let me know that she'd been using quite a few Inky Antics and Art Gone Wild! stamps in her projects lately. Here's one of them:

It features 1343J Mailbird and 1340B Got Mail from Inky Antics, and Michelle used her original screen door template to create this unique card. The piece of real screen and brad for the door handle are such cute touches!

Thanks to Michelle for sharing her idea with us. If you'd like to order a screen door card template or see her other projects, you can visit Michelle's blog by clicking here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Zucchini + Chocolate = Yummy

If you've got a garden and you planted zucchini this year, I'm guessing you're probably up to your eyeballs in it right about now. We've already harvested a bunch of 'em from ours, so I've been looking up recipes for different ways to use them. This is one of my favorites, which I have made many times:

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup semisweet miniature chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans, and dust with white sugar if desired. In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together sugar, brown sugar, and eggs. Add oil (I like to substitute 1/2 cup oil + 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce) and vanilla, and mix well. Stir in zucchini. Add flour mixture, and stir just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips.

Spoon batter evenly into loaf pans. Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pans, and cool completely on a wire rack.

* * *

If you don't have a garden, this may be a good reason to visit your local farmer's market or stop by the grocery store. It's moist and delicious, really more like a cake than bread. Trust me, if you don't say anything, no one will even suspect there's green stuff in it!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Happy Mail

From time to time, customers will email me with a photo of a project they've made using Inky Antics stamps. I love it when this happens because it's so cool to see what people are creating with them.

A few days ago, I received this sweet note:


I wanted to share this card I made using your owl stamp. I love 'em! Hope you have a great day! Thanks for creating such great images to play with!!!


And look at Gretchen's adorable card:

She used such fun colors, and the contrast between the vertical rectangles and matted scalloped circle is really neat. Thanks, Gretchen!

If you make a card or project with our stamps, feel free to email me with a picture of it anytime. I'd be happy to share it with our other blog readers and spread some Inky fun!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Silly Kitty

I haven't been stamping the past few days since I got home from the Cincinnati convention, but I'll be getting back to it soon. In the meantime, I wanted to share a couple more pictures of Oscar. You may recall that I'd posted about him back in February. He's one of our two cats (and two dogs...yes, we live in a zoo!), and he is a real character:

The shot above shows him actually panting after we played with his favorite toy, the Cat Dancer. Have you ever seen a cat do that? It was so strange to watch!

But sometimes you just need to take a little break, huh? In that second photo, he'd jumped on top of my storage wall unit and squeezed himself between the basket and the ceiling. Hmm, comfy...NOT. But it gave me a chuckle, and I hope it does the same for you!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Reindeer Fun

Here's a card I made recently using designs from our new Festive Reindeer collection:

I used PA1310 Presley Lime and PA1287 Bright Stripes patterned papers from Darcie's for the base of the card...the colors are so cheery, don't you think?

The stamps are 0079H Candy Cane Reindeer and 0014D Fun-Filled Christmas, which were colored with Prismacolor pencils and blended with Gamsol. The red stripes of the candy cane were accented with a Stardust Glitter Pen, and the snowflakes and reindeer's nose were topped with a Glaze Clear Gloss Pen.

We've just added the Glaze Clear Gloss Pens to our website, and I love these things! I'm already a huge fan of JudiKins Diamond Glaze (it's perfect for leaves, frogs, patent leather shoes, animals' noses, mirrors, etc...anything that has a glossy or wet finish), and now I can get into tiny areas easily with Sakura's nifty pens. Way cool!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Darcie's Blog

Oh, and speaking of reading (referring to yesterday's post), our friend Darcie Heater has just started her own blog. She's the Darcie behind one of our sister companies, Darcie's Rubber here to check it out, and I'll see you again after I return home on Sunday. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

August Newsletter

Greetings to you from Cincinnati! We're here for the Stampaway show, so I'm writing from the hotel computer. Thought I'd let you know that the August email newsletter was sent out just before I left yesterday.

You can click here to read this month's issue. Or sign up to have it delivered straight to your inbox by scrolling down this page and entering your info into the box in the right column. Happy reading!

Monday, August 3, 2009

They're Ready!

Newsflash: Our new Fall & Winter '09 collection is posted on the Inky site and the stamps are available to order now!

You can download a PDF file of the flyer by clicking here, or go to the main website and hit the "Go" button in the lower left corner. Hope you like what you see...I can't wait to hear what you think!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Surprise From Down Under

Recently I received a wonderful package from my friend Kirsten in Australia. She sent me the cutest heart-shaped measuring cups (which I can't wait to use after I get back from Stampaway next weekend and have some time to start baking again), two varieties of Aussie chocolates (Crunchies and Caramello Koalas that are nearly gone already), and several beautiful cards (made with Inky stamps, of course).

I especially love this set and wanted to share it with you:

You can find the stamps on our website by typing "pirate" into the search box located in the upper right of each page.

It's so cool how Kirsten folded over the corners (in cards one and three) and rolled up the bottom scroll-style (in card two) to give them dimension. Aye, indeed these are a mighty fine bounty o' ideas, don't ye know!