Saturday, February 27, 2010

Guys' Night In

Last night, I was working on cards for our store monthly board program and our friend Joe came over:


Steve and Joe met when they were taking computer classes as part of Steve's training for his second career after teaching elementary school for nine years. (Isn't Joe cute, by the way? He's single, and I'd love to play matchmaker but unfortunately we don't have too many friends in his age bracket. We're old geezers in comparison, LOL.)

Anyway, they were planning to go out and do something. Steve suggested catching a movie or heading to a batting cage. Or maybe shooting some pool, hitting a casino, or going bowling. But Joe wasn't in the mood for any of those activities. Nope, no sirree.

Wanna know what they ended up doing instead? Playing with blocks. Yes, you read that correctly:


We have a children's version of Jenga, but Joe complained the pieces weren't uniform enough to play it the "right" way so he found another use for them. Steve had to join in the fun of course. Look at how intently they were concentrating on their masterpieces:


I think Steve and Joe get along so well because they're both about the same emotional age. (I'd guess it's around 11 or 12 years old!)

Okay, I'm joking. Sorta. But they do like toys. After they exhausting their creative construction efforts, the cell phones came out and they starting comparing apps:


They had a "who can find the most sappy song" competition using the voice command search feature. Some of the top choices were "Annie's Song" by John Denver, "Mandy" by Barry Manilow, "Endless Love" by Lionel Richie & Diana Ross, and "Close To You" by The Carpenters. (I prefer the word romantic over sappy as a descriptor, but I'm female and like songs such as these.)

Steve was trying to request "Beth" by Kiss, but Google kept returning mistaken results such as best chess, bells and whistles, and bathroom tissues. I guess technology still can't always replace doing things the old fashioned way, huh?

Apparently, listening to all these warm and fuzzy songs put Joe into an affectionate mood and he decided to cuddle with Oscar. I don't think the cat was enjoying it much, though, judging from his expression:


They capped things off by watching "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," which we'd rented from Netflix. I joined them, and I have to say it's definitely the most unusual film I've seen in a while.

So, there you have it...all in all, a captivating and exciting evening. Maybe not quite, but it was fun and we were happy to have him over. Hope you enjoy your weekend, as well!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Home Again

Steve and I got back from Florida on Monday evening. We did the Clearwater show; it was so good to see lots of famililar faces again, as I've been doing this convention for years.

On Saturday night, my dad and grandma picked us up and we spent the rest of the weekend with them. Grandma is 98 years old:


Can you tell? I think she looks pretty darn fantastic for a nonagerarian (which is someone in her nineties...yup, I had to look up that word, LOL).

Speaking of looks, the butt of Ronnie Walter's mom definitely did not get back there, despite her hinting:


But this photo did make me laugh. I borrowed it from Ronnie's new blog, which I was excited to discover is now up and running. If you get a chance, stop by for a visit (and a few chuckles)!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pretty Papers

Hello, blog friends! I got back from Columbia on Monday evening and will be heading out tomorrow to Clearwater for the StampFest show, so I haven't had a chance to do any stamping lately. But I thought I'd answer Janet's question (posted in the comments from my last entry) here in case anybody else was also interested.

She asked about the patterned papers used in our booth samples. Many of them were created with the Basic Grey 6" x 6" Paper Pads, which you can now find in our online store. These Merry Mousie cards by Debbie Fisher, for example, feature the Nook & Pantry collection:



One of my personal favorites is the Lemonade series, which is shown in these upper seven My Friend Ronnie cards made by Michelle Pearson:


The Lime Rickey designs that Debbie used with the Terrific Turtles are so bright and cheery, they always make me smile:


When I first saw the Marrakech collection, it seemed rather dark. But these papers have grown on me so much that I asked Michelle and Kerry Donovan-Casey to make cards for two of our convention booth cabinets using them. Here's the Marrakech shown with the Confection Affection and Chef's Choice stamps:


The Groovy Owls below were made by Debbie with a discontinued Basic Grey series (Mellow), which is no longer available. But you can see more Marrakech papers on these adorable Monkey Mania samples:


As you visit us at shows, if there are other projects you see in our booth that you'd like to know more about, please email me anytime and I'll do my best to answer your questions!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Coupon Queen

Remember last month's sneak peek of the Worldly Women? As you know, they're available for ordering on the Inky website now, including 10971MC Worldly Women #2 Clear Set and the corresponding wood mounted versions:


These particular images are a personal favorite of mine because...well, first, I think the Worldly Women stamps are a hoot! I've also been a pretty active coupon clipper for the last couple of years, so I decided to put together an organizer to hold them and Teresa was the perfect lady to decorate the front cover:



The instructions for putting this project together are the same as a card organizer I made last summer, just with a few different measurements. Start with a 10" x 10 1/4" piece of cardstock, and score along the 10" side at the 5" mark. (I used my Scor-It Board to do this.) Turn the sheet ninety degrees, and score again at the 3 1/4" mark. Repeat for twelve more sheets, and continue following the card organizer directions.

Both covers measure 5" x 7", along with the two section dividers (to which I attached a bit of ribbon). You'll want to bind everything together with a 1 1/2" Jumbo Coil so the organizer lies flat when closed.

To create the labels for the categories, print out this PDF file, cut out each category and mat on cardstock if desired, and adhere to the pockets:


If you're looking for coupons to fill it up with (besides the newspaper insert ones), a source I use all the time is Coupons.com. (No affiliation; I just like them.)

Happy savings, stampers! See you again early next week after I get back from the SSAT show in Columbia, SC.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Turtle Time

Here are your random numbers:

15

Timestamp: 2010-02-09 06:05:14 UTC

* * *

Congratulations to Tracy, who wins her choice of any two turtle clear sets. Tracy, please contact me via email to claim your prize. And thanks to everyone who played. It was fun to read about your turtle-y faves!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sporty Weekend

It's good to try new things once in a while. At least, that's what I told myself when I agreed to go with Steve to a Minnesota Wild hockey game on Saturday evening. Not that I'd anticipated it would be painful or anything, but my interest in sports ranks about the same as my desire to spend an afternoon watching paint dry. Or cleaning out the closet. (Neither of which I've done recently, although the latter probably needs to happen again soon because our closet sure is a mess!)

Okay, maybe I'm making slightly exaggerated comparisons here. It's just that I didn't grow up in a very sports-involved family and never learned to fully appreciate the excitement and action of organized athletics. You know what, though? It turned out to be kind of fun after all. I mean, it was more interesting than I'd expected and I was actually able to follow the game somewhat.

This was a dramatic moment, for instance:


All right, I have no idea what call the referee made, LOL. But, see, I was enjoying myself nonetheless:


And I know we played Philadelphia and won the game, which made 18,000+ fans pretty happy:


Yeah, I guess you could say I've still got a long way to go with my sports education. Oh, speaking of education, on Saturday morning I taught a class at We're Stampin' Mad:


Definitely have to admit I was more in my comfort zone here. The ladies who took this class were really a delightful bunch:


And talk about exciting! Check out Judy's reaction to the confetti-flinging card that Deb had just made:


Isn't she a crack-up? I'm looking forward to teaching there again next month. (By the way, if you live in or around the Twin Cities and you're interested in signing up, you can get more information here and then call the store at 763-425-5080 to register. Please note the date for Inky-Active Cards has been changed to Sunday, March 7th, at 12:30-2:30 PM.)

Just like Judy, I hope your upcoming week is full of fun surprises! :-)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Running With Scissors

The title of this post isn't quite accurate...I'm actually sitting with my paper cutter today, preparing pieces for the cards that will be assembled to make projects for the Inky Monthly Sample Board Program. I took a break for lunch and thought I'd write a quick blog entry to show you:


If you look closely, you'll spot two new stamps: 0460 Tub Turtle and 0785J Under The Weather Turtle. I think it's hilarious how our artist Tammy turned the turtle shells into a bathtub and bed, LOL!

What do you think...should we do a BLOG CANDY giveaway for the turtle clear sets? Leave a note in the comments section of this post telling me the item number and name of your favorite turtle clear set. (Hint: There are 7 different sets available, and you can find them by typing "turtle clear" in the search box on the main Inky website.)

I'll take entries until Monday, February 8th, at midnight Central time. The winner will be randomly chosen on Tuesday morning, and that person will receive their choice of any TWO turtle clear sets. Good luck!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Stamped Recipes

If you've been reading the Inky blog for a while, you may recall when Becky O'Donnell sent me a handstamped recipe collection last fall. Well, just before I left for CHA, I received a second set of wonderful 6" x 6" cards from her! They combine two of my favorite things, food and stamps. What could be better?

Don't these look good, for instance:


Becky used 10808F Nesting Chick and 10800D What's Cookin'. It's hard to see in the photo, but she stamped the saying directly on the orange twill tape. (That's what I love about seeing other people's creations...I haven't stamped on ribbon or twill for a long time now and will have to try that again soon.)

This card, featuring 10920MC Halloween Hilda Clear Set and 10919MC Halloween Hijinx Clear Set, turned out really cute:


Becky attached that stretchy cobweb decoration stuff as a unique embellishment.

No cobwebs on this one, but the cookies look scrumptious:


She used 3307F Bending Chicken and 0439D Stir Up Fun on that. And one more to share with you today:


The necklace on the 0190J Where Are Brownies lady has a bit of Diamond Glaze for a shiny accent, and the saying is 10838D Cherry on Top.

Right about now, I especially appreciate her note about using sugar-free gelatin, etc. to make this a lighter dish. I gained five pounds over the holidays and haven't yet lost that weight in the past month...but sometimes you still gotta have dessert!

By the way, Becky made these cards as part of some swaps she's done over the last five months. I was wondering if anybody might be interested in participating in an Inky recipe card swap? Please leave me a comment in this post. If we get enough responses (say 10-12 people), I'd like to organize one!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Busy Weekend

Did you enjoy your weekend? Hope so! It turned out to be a busy one for us. On Friday evening, we celebrated birthdays for Steve's nephews Nathan (10) and Tyler (7).

There was a benefit for Ray Westphall on Saturday at the local VFW. (Ray is a family friend who needs a double lung transplant.) We could only stay for about an hour, but it was cool to see so many people come out for the event:


That evening, Marilee and I went to Peg's house for a Scentsy "wickless candle" party. It was a big sniff-fest for everyone:


And yesterday I had another new experience: Malaysian cuisine. I'd purchased a gift certificate from Restaurant.com a while back (psst...they're on sale again for 80% off if you use the code BONUS), so we decided to use it for dinner. My first glance at Peninsula's menu made me laugh:


The "We open seven days a week" sentence jumped off the page. Must be my English teacher background, which I can't seem to escape!

But the best part was the food, I'm happy to say. We started off with the most delicious appetizer, Roti Canai:


It's an Indian-style pancake that is crispy on the outside but also soft and chewy, and there was a curried chicken and potato sauce served with it. I can't adequately describe the texture of the pancake, but I could have easily eaten just these (several of them!) for dinner.

While we were waiting for our entrees to arrive, Steve practiced his chopstick maneuvers:


"Maneuvers" may be a bit of an overstatement. Actually, he just wanted to be able to pick up the food instead of having to stab it with them!

We received the Char Kway Teow (stir-fried rice noodles) and Spicy Golden Tofu first:


For those of you who are unfamiliar with tofu, it's a mild bean curd made from soy milk. My mother is Korean, so I was introduced to it at a young age...but it's never been something I particularly liked. Peninsula's version, however (which they make in-house), is a far cry from the big blocks you can buy at the grocery store. It's pillowy-light and almost silky on the inside with a delicate crunchy exterior. I'd never had tofu like this before, and Steve (who is a real "meat" kinda guy) said that even he was pleasantly surprised.

I think overall he probably preferred the Curried Lamb Shank, though:


All the dishes provided enough incentive to finally master those chopsticks, at least for a few bites:


Hmm, I think I need another weekend to rest up from last week and the weekend, LOL! Seems to me our Golden, Bo, has a good idea:


(We call him a Golden, by the way, because there is no "retrieving" involved when it comes to Bo. He's a sweet dog but not very skilled with the fetching thing.)

By the way, while I was being a social butterfly this weekend, Cheryl finished updating the main Inky website with the new spring release. YAY! Please let me know what you think!