Thursday, February 26, 2009

Whooo Knew?

This morning I woke up to find a lovely surprise in my email inbox...my sweet friend Keri Lee Sereika made this adorable card using stamps from our new Groovy Owls collection:

She posted it on her blog today, but I also wanted to show it to you here. Look how she decorated the inside:


Isn't it cool how she placed the button in between the tree branches (stamped twice) to create a border? Such a simple yet ingenious detail that I wouldn't have thought to do myself, but that's the beauty of stamping...everyone sees a stamp's potential differently and executes project ideas with their own twist!

Thanks so much, Ker, for thinking of me and sharing your talented vision with us. :-)

Stamps: 1634G Owliver, 2033G Birthday Hoot, 0434D Tree Branch, 2238J Tree Branch Background
Ink: Blackbird, Chestnut Roan Fluid Chalk Ink - Clearsnap
Cardstock: Nautical Blue Light & Dark Prismatics, Simply Smooth White, Red Pepper Columns - Prism Papers
Dies: Scalloped and Classic Square Small Nestabilities - Spellbinders
Prismacolor Pencils, Gamsol & Blending Stumps
Other: Ribbon & Buttons

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pizza Party

We had a pizza party tonight! Well, it wasn't really a party because there was just me & Steve. And I was acting kind of cranky over something that had happened earlier in the evening. But we did have pizza. It was homemade BBQ chicken pizza with the kind of thin, crispy-crackly crust that I'd been trying to create for a while. After testing different recipes, I'm happy to report that I've finally found THE ONE...so I wanted to share it with you.

The author suggests using high gluten flour from King Arthur Flour, which I already had on hand. (Yes, I have a pretty well stocked kitchen, LOL. Seriously, though, King Arthur has great products. Along with Penzeys Spices, they're the only places from which I actually order food items via mail. Otherwise, I rely on my local grocery store.) Alternatively, he says, you can use bread flour.

His recipe calls for 3/4 c. warm water, but I needed to use about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups in order for the dough to form a ball. Other than that, I followed the instructions as written. Twenty-four hours later, I had a lovely unbaked crust:


Instead of using the pizza sauce on his site, I made my favorite BBQ sauce from Allrecipes.com and spread it thinly on the crust after I'd pre-baked it for 4 minutes on a Pampered Chef baking stone:


Then I added sauteed chicken slices, shredded smoked gouda cheese, and shredded mozzarella on top, and I baked it for about 10 more minutes at 500 degrees F.


California Pizza Kitchen and Trader Joe's both make frozen versions of BBQ Chicken Pizza that are darn good and certainly more convenient to prepare. But there's something about making it yourself from scratch that is just so rewarding. Try it, and I think you'll see what I mean! :-)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Square Box Template Tutorial

Thought I'd whip up a quick Easter project to bring to the convention in South Carolina this weekend! Our X2-2940 Square Box Template is part of the Gifts In A Snap series. (If you type "template" in the search box on our website, you can view the whole collection). Here we go:

1. Stamp the image three times on cardstock. (I've used Darcie's PAC1344 Pastel Multi Stripe, which is 80# cover weight patterned paper, and stamped on the "wrong" side of the paper.) For the first impression, ink the entire stamp. For the second impression, omit the window area by inking only the outer portions of the stamp. For the third impression, only ink the center box and right shaded side.


2. Cut on all solid lines, and score on all dotted lines.


3. Pre-fold all the score marks inward. Apply adhesive on the underside of the window tabs, and press them down. (The photo below shows two of the tabs after they've been pressed down.)


4. Apply adhesive on top of the folded window tabs, and lay down a 3" x 3" piece of acetate. (I didn't take a photo of this step, but you can see it done below.)

5. Match up the two "shaded" panels, placing one panel on top of the other and attaching it with adhesive.


6. Fold the right half of the box over the left half, and attach the two non-shaded panels together to close up the other side.


7. Flip the box right side up so the window is facing you. Close the top and bottom flaps. (The photo below shows the bottom of the box already closed.)


8. Now you're ready to attach the cover. Place adhesive on the shaded panel, and attach it to the left side of the box.


9. Decorate the inside cover as desired. For this project, I used our 3210B Mini Easter stamp and cut out the circle and scalloped circle with Nestabilities dies. Then I added white stitch marks on the scalloped circle with an Inkssentials pen. To hold the box closed, I attached Basic Grey's Magnetic Snaps. (These things are so nifty! Or a ribbon attached to the outside of the box would work well, too.) Oh, yeah...and I filled the box with chocolate. That's the most important step, LOL!


10. To decorate the outside, I used 0796H Bunny Wonders and the Nestabilities dies again. This time, I embossed the scalloped circle to give it added definition.


And that's it! The finished box measures 3 1/4" L x 3 1/4" W x 3/4" D, so it's just the right size for holding all kinds of yummy treats or other small gifts, such as lip balm or jewelry. What about a get well box filled with cough lozenges and a small tissue pack? Or a "birthday in a box" with cake candles, confetti, and a balloon? Bet you can dream up lots of other ideas! (Please feel free to share them with us in the comments section.)

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I'm headed to Columbia tonight, dear readers, so I'll be back on the blog early next week. See you again soon! :-)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Home From Florida

I'm back from Sunny Clearwater and already missing the beautiful weather there. It was great seeing our repeat customers and meeting new ones. Since this was a one-day show, it went by like a whirlwind. We got to the venue at 8:30 AM on Friday to start setting up. I left to teach my class at 4:00 PM, and then we sent straight into that evening's make & take event:


The StampFest make & take is always busy because it fills to capacity...100 people! Here are some lovely ladies showing off their Inky project:


The show itself was on Saturday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and then we took down the booths and loaded up our big truck and cargo van. The Ohio-based part of our crew began their 20-hour drive home that night, but Steve and I didn't leave until Monday. My dad and grandma live near Clearwater, so we stayed with them for an extra day:


Grandma is 97 years old, but I don't think she looks like it. She says her secret is taking vitamins and staying physically active. That reminds me...I should pull out the Centrum and hit the exercise bike today!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

StampFest & New Accessories

I know I've been MIA for a few days...I've been scurrying to get ready for this weekend's StampFest show in Clearwater, Florida. We're leaving for the airport this afternoon, and I'll be back on Monday with a full report! And if you're planning to attend the convention, please stop by and say hello to me at the Inky booth.

In the meantime, you may want to check out the NEW accessories
recently added to our website. This month's special is on the Nestabilities dies. If you haven't tried them yet, they are way cool and such a great value compared to buying individual punches.

We've also got the Glue Glider Pro and two types of adhesive refill
s. This brand of tape runner works really well and is more compact than the ATG runners can be, but they offer similar cost benefits. If you find the ATG kind to be a bit unwieldy, you may want to check out the Glue Glider Pro.

For our flower-loving friends (or should I say fiends, LOL), the Sprites collection by Prima is in stock. Finally, perhaps my two favorite additions (it's hard to pic
k faves!) are the Handy Caddy and PullEZ Ribbon Purse. Both of these items are the cat's meow...and we can always use more storage options, right? Look at what a scary mess my ribbons were before:


I don't have an "after" picture (my own PullEZ travels to our conventions, so I'll try to remember to take a photo this weekend), but it really does look like the one shown on our website. And it works like a charm! I was skeptical at first until I got a chance to test it myself, and then I was completely sold and we started carrying it.

If you already own any of these products, feel free to please post your reviews in the comments section. Have fun shopping, and hope your weekend is a terrific one!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Congratulations!

Here are your random numbers:

12 37

Timestamp: 2009-02-09 07:02:22 UTC

* * *

Congratulations to Aunt T (Teresa) and Pat (neihejp@att.net), our winners from the February 3rd blog candy drawing! Please contact me at inkyantics@aol.com no later than this Thursday with your full name and mailing address to claim your prizes. :-)

Thanks to everyone who played, and please continue to visit with us here. It's always fun to read your comments and we appreciate your stopping by regularly. Hope you all have a terrific week!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Happy Saturday!

Don't you just love Saturdays? It's my favorite day of the week...fun when I'm on the road and get to meet our customers at conventions, and really nice when I'm at home and can take a slower pace to putter around the house. Here's one of our cats, Oscar, illustrating what I mean:


Yep, he lays around like this all the time. Such a weird kitten. Same position but taken from the front:


Just a little reminder to take some time out for yourself today to rest and relax a bit! :-)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

February Newsletter

I just emailed the February newsletter and realize I made a typo. And I proofread it about a million times before sending it out! (Okay, not quite a million...but at least 8 drafts, I'm not kidding.)

In the newsletter, I mentioned checking Thursday's post. If you're a current subscriber and came looking for the blog candy giveaway, please read Tuesday's post instead. (It's right below.) Sorry for any confusion. :-P

And if you're not yet a subscriber, it's easy to join! Just type your email address into the blue box on the right and click "GO." Since you're already an Inky blogger, you've got inside access to the latest happenings. But our newsletter also contains other info and tidbits, including a convention coupon reserved only for subscribers.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

They're Here!

News flash! The Inky Antics Spring '09 collection is now available on our website. Just click on the "Go" button in the lower left corner.

If you'd like to view a PDF file of the supplement first, download it here. Then you can take your time browsing through the pages and making your wish list before you return to the site and go shopping. :-) Please note that our current ship times are somewhat slower than normal due to CHA. But the sooner you order, the higher you'll be in the "queue" to receive the new stamps...so we encourage you not to delay.

To celebrate our latest release, we've got another round of blog candy for you! This time, I'm going to make you do a bit of "homework." (Don't worry, I'm using that term very loosely.) Here's the deal: Take a look through the Spring '09 stamps and leave a note in the comments section of this post telling us which one(s) you like best. You must indicate the item number and name of the stamp. (You're welcome to list more than one, but at least one of them needs to include the item number and name.)

We'll accept entries until Sunday, February 8th, at midnight Central time. I'll randomly choose two lucky winners on Monday morning, who will receive one of the following sets:

The first number drawn will receive the turtle/piggy set, and the second will win the hippo/elephant set.

Now for the fine print: If you post anonymously (in other words, without signing in), be sure to add your name or we won't be able to include you in our drawing. Comments that do not include a correct item number and name from the Spring '09 collection will be skipped in the numbers to be drawn. This particular blog candy is limited to U.S. residents only. Finally, it will be the winners' responsibility to contact me via email no later than February 12th. Yup, that's my tricky way of getting you to return here often. ;-) If I don't hear from a winner, I won't be re-drawing...so please remember to come back and check. I don't want you to miss out!

Good luck, everyone!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Got Oil?

Steve gave me a Presto Cool Daddy for Christmas, and we decided to try it out by having Deep Fry Night. Yeah, I know it's not very healthy, but sometimes you just have to go a little crazy and say heck with the calories! So I made a plethora of crispy treats. Here was our golden brown dinner in all its monochromatic glory:


Where were the vegetables? Nope, I figured what was the point of that! (I suppose ketchup doesn't count, huh?) The onion rings turned out tasty but a little greasy, although the french fries and waffle chips were pretty good. The chicken nuggets, however, were the real winner and we both gobbled them up:

Homemade Chicken Nuggets
3-4 chicken breasts
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bottle of beer
peanut oil for frying

Cut chicken into 3/4" cubes, pat dry, and set aside. Preheat oil in a deep fryer set at 375 degrees or a large skillet over medium high heat. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and gradually stir in beer until mixture can be drizzled from a spoon. Drop about a third of the chicken pieces into the batter, remove with tongs, and place in the hot oil so they are not touching at first or they'll clump together. Fry for a few minutes, until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels, and repeat with remaining chicken.

* * *
These were so yummy, I'd definitely make them again...but maybe not for a couple of months. A little Deep Fry Night goes a long way.

We had Rolaids for dessert.

Froggie Mini Memo Book

I make lists. Lots of lists. Because if I don't, whatever I'm trying to remember flies out of my little brain and it's gone forever...or until it's too late and I recall what I'd forgotten after I was supposed to do something! Ah, the drawbacks of getting older. So sad. ;-)

I suppose I could get a PDA, but I can barely write a text message on my cell phone before I want to pull out my hair and scream. Not that I'm technologically stunted in too many ways...but I'm kind of an old-fashioned girl when it comes to this and prefer to use pen and paper.

So yesterday I made myself a little notebook. It's just the right size to keep in my purse, and that frog on the cover makes me smile:


Isn't he funny? I like the inside pages, too:


It was the perfect excuse to play with my CarlaCraft Binding System and Nestabilities Dies. If you'd like the project instructions, you can download a .PDF file of them by clicking here. For directions on how to use the CarlaCraft Binding System, check out this video: