Thursday, August 26, 2010

More Cooking & Crafting

Have you noticed an "eating and stamping" theme to my posts lately (or maybe just more like "all the time," LOL)? Well, I've got another one for ya!

Do you remember when Becky O'Donnell sent me a collection of recipe cards back in February and last September? I'm a happy girl because she did it again! There were all kinds of tasty-sounding dishes, but of course I especially love the ones she created with Inky stamps.

For example, she used 10829J Sharing Cake for this:

I think it's fun that she customized it by removing one of the cake layers in the lady's hand and coloring it to appear like the actual dessert.

Notice how she added three-dimensional bling to the earrings on 2295J Beverly:

Little touches like that really make a project stand out. And I'd imagine those potatoes are very yummy. Probably calorie-free, too! (Ha.)

I don't have time to make them just yet, though, because I'm leaving for Cleveland this afternoon. I'll stay at Ted and Michelle's house tonight, and we'll be driving bright and early in the morning to the Hamburg show.

If you're planning to attend the convention, please stop by my demo table and mention the secret phrase "Daisy Kit" so you can snag this little goodie just for visiting. See you soon!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fun & Food From Wisconsin

Over the weekend, we had our 4th annual women's gathering in Cumberland. Like last year's event, it was fun hanging around the house with these terrific ladies:

We took a field trip, too. I think it's interesting that there is a vegetable processing plant just outside of town:

Just look at these truckloads of green beans waiting to be canned:

Here they go from one trailer to another:

And up the sliding thing (I'm pretty sure that's what the employees call it: "the sliding thing") into the building:

We were more excited, however, to check out Bargain Bill's. We go there every year:

It's a great big warehouse (with an attached craft store, by the way, that contains lots of stamping and scrapbooking supplies), and you can find a huge variety of items there:

Did you spot the green shirts? That made it easy for us to locate each other when we wanted to share a discovery! Take these pot pie squares, for instance:

Who doesn't like a big pot of flat, square noodles! Oh, and check this out:

It's a coin holder. My grandpa had one of those!

Need some foam? Yep, you can find it at Bargain Bill's:

Or how about handles? Available in not just one or two but three different sizes:

And if you've been searching high and low for those hard-to-find balloon molds, your wait is over:

If you're planning a neighborhood Yahtzee tournament, this is the place to go:

Don't forget to pick up a back scratcher while you're at it:

Or stock up on all your giant funnel needs:

Being the good sport that she is, Dawn put on her best goofy face to pose for the above photo. She also turned in this cute recipe card for our swap:

She created it with 10873G Oops Chick and 10967MC Recipe Clear Stamp Set, and she brought the actual dish to share. I'd made a very similar dish last year but thought I'd show the back of Dawn's card in case you'd like to try her version (which lasted about 15 minutes once we all got a hold of it):

You can click on the recipe cards for a larger view. Bon appetit!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Blog Candy Congrats

Here are your random integers, generated without replacement:


Timestamp: 2010-08-23 22:33:28 UTC

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Congratulations to Sue D., who won the drawing for our "mystery" clear stamp set. Turns out that Steve put 10973SC BBQ Time Clear Set into the gift bag. He used this for the very first blog project that he created back in March:

Sue, please email me with your mailing address to claim your prize. Thanks to everyone who played. We both appreciated reading your kind, supportive comments about Steve's stamping!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Steve's Squirrel Gift Bag

Tonight I asked Steve if he would make another project for the blog...and he said yes! He decided to use X1-0020 Gift Bag Template:

This is what he created:

Want to know how he did it? Really, it was simple. In fact, these directions took much longer for me to write than it did for him to make the bag. Read on...and please be sure to go until the end. (Hint, hint!)

First, he stamped the template twice onto blue cardstock:

Notice that when he cut them out, he removed the top flap from one of the pieces. He set both pieces aside and turned his attention to the main image, 0624G Squirrel, which he colored with pencils and blended with Gamsol:

After it was colored, he punched out the squirrel image:

He matted the squirrel image onto a scalloped oval he'd punched from the same blue cardstock, which he then set aside. Next, he scored both template pieces on the dotted lines:

He cut some patterned paper to 3" x 4 3/4" and adhered it to the "right side" of the template piece without the top flap. Then he adhered the layered squirrel image to the lower section of the patterned paper.

To begin assembling the gift bag, he folded all the score marks:

Both pieces ended up looking like this one (except that the other piece was still without the top flap, of course):

He flipped over the template piece with the top flap (which is bent under so you cannot see it in the photo), and he applied adhesive to the side tab on the "right" side of the cardstock:

Then he turned it back over, placing it over the gusset side of the template piece without the top flap:

This is what it looked like once the pieces were attached along one side:

He turned the template piece without the top flap inward so that the decorated side was facing up. Then he applied adhesive to the side flap:

And placed it over the gusset side of the template piece with the top flap, closing up the sides of the bag:

A bit more adhesive went onto the bottom tabs before he closed those up, as well:

To finish decorating the bag, he stamped 0582D Nuts About You and punched it with an oval punch. He used a scalloped oval punch on both the blue cardstock and patterned paper. He cut the patterned one in half horizontally and layered it onto the blue one before adhering the saying on top:

The upper (blue) half of the finished saying piece was glued to the bag's top flap:

Basic Grey's Small Magnetic Snaps were a perfect touch for the flap closure. To make sure they stayed attached to the bag, he rubbed off the adhesive that was applied by the manufacturer and replaced it with a bit of Super Glue Gel (from the dollar store):

This made it really stick well to the flap:

Next, he rubbed off the manufacturer's adhesive on the second snap piece and placed it over the first snap piece. Now he was ready to apply Super Glue Gel to the second snap:

He pressed the flap toward the bag and held it for a moment so the Super Glue Gel could adhere:

And it was done! Here is Steve, showing off his finished project:

Hey, wait...what was he doing in this picture? Take a look:

Hmm, it appears he put something into the bag! Was that BLOG CANDY? Why, yes! It was a clear stamp set, in fact...but which one? Take a guess and leave your note in the comments section of this post telling me what item you think it may have been.

I'll take entries until this Sunday at midnight Central time. The winner (who will receive the actual set that Steve hid in the bag) will be randomly chosen on Monday, and I'll post the results here. Good luck, and hope you have a terrific weekend!

Update: This blog candy drawing is now closed. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Heading To Cincinnati

Hey Inky friends, morning will be coming soon since I'm getting up bright and early to catch a flight to Cincinnati, so this post is gonna be brief. But I wanted to let you know that if you're going to Stampaway this weekend (like me), we've got a couple of specials for you!

First, we've never offered a website special at our conventions...until now, that is. Just like online, you'll receive 10963MC Circle Sentiments #1 Clear Set as a FREE GIFT if you spend $60 or more at the show:

Purchases must be made in a single transaction. We'll have a limited number of these, and this offer is good only while supplies last (so please come early to make sure you get yours).

Second, stop by the demo table and mention the secret phrase "Daisy Kit" to me, and you'll get this little goodie just for visiting. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

They're Here!

I'm delighted to announce that our new Fall & Winter '10 collection is posted on the Inky website 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 site and hit the "Go" button in the lower left corner.

Interestingly, we went to Barnes & Noble this weekend and I spotted something that looked familiar in the magazine section:

Yup, it's an adorable stitched pillow designed by our very own artist Tammy DeYoung, which is featured in a Better Homes & Gardens publication:

You'll see what I mean when you check out pages 5 and 20-21 in the flyer. How fun would it be to make this pillow and present it with a coordinating stamped card and gift tag!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Proceedings & Pretzels

This week I've had jury duty, and this time I was actually assigned to a trial. It's a DWI case, but otherwise I'm not allowed to talk about it until afterward. It's been a pretty interesting experience. Unfortunately, it doesn't make for an interesting blog post at this point! For example, here's the outside of the Ramsey County Courthouse:

And here's a view of the Mississippi River across the street, where I ate my lunch on Monday:

See what I mean? Borrrr-iiing! So I thought I'd tell you instead about a recent visit with Ruthie. I stopped by her house on Sunday to drop off some supplies. Since May, Ruthie has taken over the task of meticulously recreating all the samples for our store monthly board program:

Ruthie and I worked together every day the last year I owned Inky (in 2001). I still get to see her from time to time when we do the same shows, and you may recall seeing her photo in previous posts.

Her partner, Gary, was in the kitchen making homemade soft pretzels:

Gary used to be the chief Inky rubber presser. (Now there are three of them at our manufacturing facility in Cleveland.) Gary is a great guy, but I thought his warm personality didn't really come across in his photo. So I asked him to smile...and this is what I got:

Luckily, Gary is much better at baking than producing ear-to-ear grins on command! The pretzels were delicious, and he graciously gave me the recipe to pass on to you:

Gary's Soft Pretzels

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 to 1 1/2 cups hot water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 package yeast
6 cups water
2 tablespoons baking soda
coarse salt

In a large bowl, combine flour, hot water, sugar, salt, and yeast. Turn onto work surface that has been dusted with flour, and knead for five minutes.

Cut dough into eight equal parts and shape into pretzels. Place four pretzels each on two greased baking sheets, cover with towel, and let rise for one hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large skillet, bring 6 cups water to a boil and add baking soda. Boil pretzels, two at a time for two minutes on each side. Place on a towel to drain.

Put four pretzels each on two greased baking sheets, and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on rack and store in covered container.

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If you give them a try, please let me know. I'd love to hear how yours turn out!