Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Funny: Cookies

On Wednesday evening, I had a sudden, overwhelming urge to bake cookies. I need cookies like a hole in the head, as my grandpa used to say. But I gave into the temptation anyway and whipped up a batch of Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies:


I'd saved the recipe from The Pioneer Woman's website, which you can find here. Mmm, they turned out yummy...both crispy and chewy at the same time, with lots of butter and chocolate chips. Who can resist butter and chocolate chips, right?

If you decide to make these, you might want to consider cutting the recipe in half (unless you have a huge crowd to feed, that is). I'm not sure what kind of monster cookie scoop PW was using, but mine is teaspoon-sized and that batch of dough yielded way more than three dozen cookies.

Not that I'm complaining. These cookies are very thin, and everyone knows the calories leach out of thin cookies and remain on the plate. That's what I've heard, anyway. Plus, they're practically weight reducing if you drink diet water with them:


I'm joking, of course. But that photo cracked me up. The original caption says: "Half the fat and calories of regular water! (contains artificial water flavoring)" Hah!

Here's a funny cooking anecdote I found on ReadersDigest.com, submitted by Debbie Deerwester:

While I was making a huge batch of snickerdoodle cookies, I asked my ten-year-old to read the recipe and ingredients off the box to me, doubling them as he went along. He did as he was told. His first instruction: "Preheat the oven to 700 degrees."

I also like this cute story from jokes4all.net:

The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, and posted it on the apple tray: "Take only ONE. God is watching."

Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. A child had written a note: "Take all you want. God is watching the apples."

And, finally, a bit of humor from a fortune cookie:


Hope your weekend is filled with sweet treats and good fortune, Inky friends!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall HoneyPOP Blog Hop

This month's blog hop features our newest stamp sets and a couple of classic favorites from our HoneyPOP Collection! For a fun twist, I asked each of our designers to make two projects...because more is always better, right?

Actually, we wanted to show you the versatility of the HoneyPOP Clear Sets and Honeycomb Paper Pads. Not only can they be used together for the obvious purpose (to make Honeycomb cards, of course), but they work great as individual products in their own right.

For example, each of the HoneyPOP Clear Sets contains a pattern stamp that is meant to be stamped onto the Honeycomb Paper Pads. You can see the balloon half-shape in this set:


Notice how the set contains a "regular" balloon, as well. So, if you wish, you can make a standard greeting card or other stamped project in addition to a HoneyPOP card!

Likewise, you already know the Honeycomb Paper Pads can be used to create HoneyPOP cards. But there are also lots of other fun projects you can make with them, and you'll see some wonderful examples today!

Each Inky designer received a HoneyPOP Clear Set and coordinating Honeycomb Paper Pad(s), along with my request to use either the stamp set two different ways or the stamp set in a HoneyPOP card and a "surprise" project using the Honeycomb Paper Pad(s) again.

To see what they made, please visit each DT member's blog and leave comments along the way. The more you comment, the better your chances are to win. (Limit one comment per blog, please.)

The blog hop starts today and ends on Sunday, October 2nd at midnight Central time. One person's name will be drawn at random to receive a fun Inky prize pack. We'll announce the results next Monday, so remember to stop back and see if you've won.

Ready to get started? Here's our hop order:

Crystal
Keri
Trudy
Jovi
Debbie

Once you're finished, please come back here to see my projects and leave a final comment. Happy HoneyPOP hopping!

* * *

For this blog hop, I used 11024MC Birthday Elephant HoneyPOP Set. This set is pictured above, and it's one of the top sellers from our original HoneyPOP release.

Darcie's patterned paper in PAC1456 Lollipop Blossoms is such a cheery design, which I thought complemented the elephant nicely:


And, yep, I made sure to include a bright honeycomb balloon on the inside:


I added more dimension by using foam tape to adhere the birthday saying and elephant image, along with a bit of ultrafine glitter and flocking on the hat:


For my second project, I used the same stamp set to make a sticky note holder:


I figured that since an elephant never forgets, I might be able to channel the power of this little guy to help me remember things. I tied a string around my finger ribbon around the pen for added measure. Perhaps I'm overthinking it, but at least the notes will come in handy. (You can find instructions for the holiday versions of this project here.)

Thanks for hopping with us. I hope you found some creative inspiration today!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Feel Better Card

If you're a veteran Inky stamper, you've already met Keri Lee Sereika on the Inky blog:


Keri was on our original design team, which began in 2005. These days, she joins us from time to time as an "honorary" DT member, and we're sure glad for her participation as her schedule permits!

I ran across this card on Keri's blog, which caught my eye since my mother-in-law is having shoulder surgery this Friday:


It's a cute card that features 10386D Feel Better Bug with an element from 10932MC Marvelous Match-Ups Clear Set stamped in the background. The design is simple enough that I can put this together quickly and surprise my MIL with it (assuming she doesn't see it here first).

Keri colored the image using the Gamsol technique and die cut it with Nestabilities. Then she airbrushed the white cardstock before removing it from the die and layering the various elements onto the card. The double-looped bow was easy to make with the Bow-Easy...and, ta da, super sweet card!

Thanks to Keri for letting me snag this great idea. What will YOU be creating today?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Funnies: Shopping

I mentioned that last weekend, while we were at the Mall of America for ScrapFest, we squeezed in some shopping between classes and demos. I hadn't been there in several months, so I got a little excited:


It reminded me of our stamp, 0295F Fun Trying:


I have to say that Steve was a great sport as we dragged him from store to store. This diagram illustrates our very different shopping styles:


Perhaps he wasn't sticking with us to be nice, but instead because he was afraid:

We always hold hands. If I let go, she shops.
-Henny Youngman

At least he didn't feel the need to cause any serious mischief, like this lady's husband (click on image to enlarge):


Then the inevitable happened:
I'm joking, of course. That's 0337F Miss Him, which is one of our customers' favorite stamps in our convention booth.

Actually, shopping at the mall can really tire me out! I must not be preparing properly:


In fact, I'm more of an online shopper myself, like this couple:


Here are a few shopping jokes I ran across:

A lady was picking through the frozen turkeys at the grocery store, but couldn't find one big enough for her family.
She asked a stock boy, "Do these turkeys get any bigger?"
The stock boy replied, "No ma'am, they're dead."

* * *

Customer: May I try on that dress in the window, please?
Clerk: No, ma'am. You'll have to use the fitting room like everyone else.

* * *

A teenage girl was shopping at the mall and stopped at the perfume counter. She examined the different bottles: “My Sin,” “Desire,” and “Ecstasy”. She said to the salesperson, “I don't want to get emotionally involved...I just want to smell nice.”

* * *

In closing, I'll leave you with these humorous words from 10022E Retail Therapy:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Blog Candy Congrats

Congratulations to Karen, whose name was randomly drawn as the winning entry:

Karen said...
Scrapfest and Mall of America?! What fun! Would love a chance to win. Looking forward to seeing you in Virginia next month!
September 20, 2011 2:47 PM


Karen, please email me with your address so I can send out your HoneyPOP Holiday Cards class kit.

Thanks to everyone who played and left such kind comments. Of course, you don't need a class kit to make these fun cards. It's always nice to learn new techniques in person, but we've also got some online resources for you: Yesterday I posted a video tutorial on how to use colored pencils with Gamsol, and there are instructions for creating the HoneyPOP cards on our main website.

Next week, we'll show you more examples of HoneyPOP projects...our Inky designers are already busily working away on some fun surprises!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gamsol Video Tutorial

For our HoneyPOP Holiday Cards Workshop last weekend, I created a video tutorial on how to blend colored pencils with Gamsol. Most of the sample cards you see on the main Inky website, in our convention booth, and on this blog use this technique, which we've been doing for several years now.

Today I made a revised version with narration and thought you might be interested in taking a look:


You can also download a PDF file of step-by-step written instructions by clicking here. Happy coloring and blending, Inky fans!

Monday, September 19, 2011

ScrapFest Weekend

We had a great time at ScrapFest over the weekend! There were a ton of make & take projects, workshops, demos, and other fun activities for customers to enjoy at this massive event, including a photo opportunity with the World's Largest Scrapbook Page:


We offered five classes of the HoneyPOP Holiday Cards Workshop for Inky Antics:


Like most of the classes, they were held right on the first floor at the Mall of America:


Michelle and I posed for a "Steve sandwich" at the end of our last class:


Of course, it wasn't just classes and demos for us...we managed to squeeze in shopping and makeovers, too:


Unfortunately, Steve declined to get his makeup done. He's a good sport, but I guess that would have been taking things too far!

I have an extra Inky class kit from ScrapFest, which I'd like to give away as BLOG CANDY. To enter, just leave a comment either today or tomorrow. On Wednesday, September 21st, I'll randomly choose the winner and post that person's name...so please check back to see if you've won!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Micey Nice

Recently Jovi ran across this sweet Inky card on Janice M.'s blog:


She used 0240F Flower Teacup Mousie (also available in 10952MC Teacup Mousies #1 Clear Set) for her main image. I love Janice's coloring and paper choices, which she turned into a beautiful finished project.

Earlier this year, Trudy posted a gorgeous card on her blog using the same stamp:


I've said this before, but I think it's so fun seeing how an image can look totally different from project to project. You can completely transform the same stamp just by using alternative coloring methods (and color schemes), papers, embellishments, and layout designs!

When this Teacup Mousie collection was first released, Debbie made this lovely card for our CHA booth:


I modified her layout for one of our store monthly sample boards:


Quite the range, wouldn't you say? That's one of the many great things about stamping!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Funnies: Recipes

Yesterday I posted a few really good recipes. Today I've got some really funny ones.

Do you remember Red Skelton?


Here's his Recipe for the Perfect Marriage:

1. Two times a week, we go to a nice restaurant, have a little beverage, good food, and companionship. She goes on Tuesdays, I go on Fridays.

2. We also sleep in separate beds. Hers is in California and mine is in Texas.

3. I take my wife everywhere...but she keeps finding her way back.

4. I asked my wife where she wanted to go for our anniversary. "Somewhere I haven't been in a long time!" she said. So I suggested the kitchen.

5. We always hold hands. If I let go, she shops.

6. She has an electric blender, electric toaster and electric bread maker. She said, "There are too many gadgets and no place to sit down!" So I bought her an electric chair.

7. My wife told me the car wasn't running well because there was water in the carburetor. I asked where the car was; she told me, "In the lake."

8. She got a mud pack and looked great for two days. Then the mud fell off.

9. She ran after the garbage truck, yelling, "Am I too late for the garbage?" The driver said, "No, jump in!"

10. Remember: Marriage is the number one cause of divorce.

11. I married Miss Right. I just didn't know her first name was Always.

12. I haven't spoken to my wife in 18 months. I don't like to interrupt her.

13. The last fight was my fault though. My wife asked, "What's on the TV?" I said, "Dust!"

* * *

A few weeks ago, we had cable TV installed in our home. (Yes, I know, we were in the dark ages.) I mostly wanted it for the Food Network and HGTV, since I'm a big fan of several programs on both channels.

I haven't actually watched Down Home with the Neelys yet, but they sound like BIG eaters if this recipe for Smashed Potatoes and Broccoli is any indication (click on the recipe for a larger version):


Some of the comments by the reviewers cracked me up:

“Man, I was so tired after peeling 3,069,954 lbs of potatoes, I didn’t even get to the rest of the recipe! I think I passed out.”
-CookingThespian

"It needed more milk, broccoli, cream, and butter. Besides that, it wasn't bad." -theking910

"Thanks to this recipe, I discovered that taking 3,069,954 potatoes and smashing them actually causes them to condense considerably down to about 8 potatoes. I love educational recipes!" -Don'tCallMeFerry

I doubt I would have discovered that recipe on my own, but I happened to run across a website called Food Network Humor. Some of the posts are rather crude, while others are downright hilarious.

For example, here's another dish showcased there:


Pictured above is Paula Deen's Cheesy Ham and Banana Casserole. Now, I have seen Paula on TV and usually most of her recipes sound pretty good. But this one is a glaring exception.

Jillian from FNH called it "a heavy contender for one of the worst recipes on the planet. It’s a nasty combination of ham, bananas, bacon, cheese, and potato chips sandwiched between soggy, eggy slices of white bread. And rumor has it that if you can actually swallow one bite down, you’ll instantly get Type II Diabetes."

The episode was called "Gone Bananas," and I'm afraid it's what temporarily happened to Paula.

In all fairness, my mom always claimed you have to try an outfit on before you can tell if it looks good or bad. She was talking about clothes, of course, but certainly the same can be said about food. So, um, if you decide to try it...will you let me know?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Shared Recipes

Last week I received a wonderful package from our friend Becky O'Donnell. It was filled with recipe pages from a swap she organized in August, and she was kind enough to send me a complete set!

Becky's page featured one of our most popular stamps, 10293H Turtle's Balloon (also available in 10976MC Flower Turtle Clear Set):


What a great idea for homemade play dough! (You can click on all the recipes in this post to get a close-up view.) I like that it's made with all natural ingredients that most people probably already have in their pantry.

The next one caught my eye because it's perfect for this time of year. I've got a giant zucchini sitting on my kitchen counter, so I think I'll have to give this a try:


Cindy, the creator, added such nice touches to the design of her page. The transparent jewels and scalloped circles emphasize the "round" motif, and she cleverly used an embossing folder with texture that mimics bits of zucchini.

And because it's so pretty, I wanted to show you this card:


I don't know Kathy personally, but I've had these strawberries and they're delicious! Kathy did a great job of making her page look beautiful, and I can just tell she's a talented cook and stamper.

Thanks also to Sandy, Debbie, Sally, Edie, Lucille, Sue, and Michelle for sharing your fantastic recipes with me...and of course to Becky for making it all happen!

Last but not least, there was a recipe I just couldn't resist posting on the main website as this week's card. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. :-)

P.S. What recipe do you love that someone recently shared with you?

Monday, September 5, 2011

A(n af)Fair to Remember

Today is Labor Day, which is always the last day of the season for the Minnesota State Fair. Steve and I went earlier during the week, and we had a great time.

Of course, we had to start with a healthy breakfast:


Okay, maybe not so healthy...even though they're made with cucumbers! Well, cucumbers that have been pickled, stuffed with cream cheese, dredged in cracker crumbs, and deep fried in oil, that is:


Sort of a strange way to begin the day, but they were actually pretty tasty...even at ten o'clock in the morning.

I had to follow up with a pork-chop-on-a-stick chaser:


We also had a corn dog, one of the items on our "required eating" list:


And later we enjoyed a banana and chocolate filled crepe:


Then we got mini donuts for "dessert":


This is how we felt after chowing down all that food:


We spotted that pig while taking the sky ride across the fairgrounds. It looked so funny trotting along on its two human legs. Obviously, someone had good luck in the Midway games.

That's the great thing about the fair...there is always something new to look at. For example, we paused for a moment when we happened upon these folks:


Then we realized they were participating in the "Giant Sing Along":


How funny, huh? Yep, that's something you only see at the fair!

The golden retrievers and their owners from the Minnesota Purebred Dog Breeders Association showed a few tricks:


While the antique tractors on Machinery Hill just sat there looking pretty:


This state fair replica built with Tinker Toys was interesting:


And then it was time to watch a kitchen demonstration:


My favorite demonstations of all, however, are the sales pitches. This Vitamix lady did a good job:


But, as far as I'm concerned, the Swiss Peeler guy is the absolute best in "watch and buy" entertainment. We stand around and listen to him every year. I've already got two complete sets of his products:


Oh, and did I mention how fashionable the fairgoers were this year? Steve couldn't decide whether he liked this hat:


Or this hat:


Or perhaps this hat:


We made some new friends throughout the day, too:


I was a little scared by this character I met on the street:


Yeah, I'm joking. In fact, I got in on the "posing" action, too:


Not just once, but again:


And yet again:


(What do you call those photo boards, anyway? I think we're going to have to start a collection of pictures we take with them!)

Finally, we ended our evening by watching a live broadcast of the local news on KSTC-TV Channel 45:


It was fun to get a "behind the scenes" perspective before they went on air.

And that, Inky readers, was the culmination of another annual visit to the "Great Minnesota Get-Together." Happy Labor Day...I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!