Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Stamping With Diane Zechman: Millie's Cookies

"I love all the cute Inky Antics critters," says Diane Zechman. "The cooking and baking images are favorites because I enjoy scrapbooking recipes, which I trade with my friends."

A great example is 10951MC Millie Mousie Clear Set (drawn by artist Tammy DeYoung):

This is such a versatile stamp set, because you can mix and match the various accessories for tons of combinations! One of these options is creating a baking Millie with an armload of cookies, which perfectly reflects Diane's nickname, as well as her penchant for sharing recipes.

"I don’t do a lot of scrapbooking, but I do enjoy scrapping my favorite recipes," shares Diane. Check out her adorable 6" x 6" recipe page (you can click on the photo for a close-up view, if you'd like):

"I always make extra pages for my’s a fun way to hand down my recipes! Most of the time, I will also make extras and swap them with my stamping friends," she adds.

"We always have lots of yummy food when we get together to stamp, and someone is always requesting a recipe. This is a great way to share the recipe, along with everyone’s craftiness!"

Millie's paper-pieced dress adds fun flair to this sweet stamped image (0253H Millie's Cookies in wood mounted):

And the recipe? Yep, I can personally confirm that they are awesome chocolate chip cookies!

I'd baked them for a coworker's birthday last month and brought them to our SSAT Hamburg show, but I did it the morning right before leaving for the, unfortunately, I completely ran out of time to take a photo.

But they were delicious indeed. I should have shot a picture of our gang gobbling them up, but I wasn't sure you'd want to see that. ;-) You might just have to try making a batch for yourself, and let me and Diane know how you liked them.

Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black - Tsukineko

Paper: Poppy Parade, Pawsitively Prints II - SU!; White, Brown

Accessories: Markers - Copic, Button, Crochet Thread, Rhinestones

 * * *

"I like the phrase 'Friends don’t let friends stamp alone'," claims Diane. "Stamping is such an enjoyable craft to me, but it would be much less fun if I didn’t have such great friends to stamp with!"

"My friends and I call ourselves 'The Gigglers' for a reason. Find some friends to get together with, and have fun creating (we call it a Giggle Fest)," she encourages. "I hope it brings you great joy!"

Would you please help me thank Diane for being our fantastic Inky Guest Designer this month? Just leave a comment at the end of this post with a message to her...and feel free to also let us know your favorite cookie type and/or recipe, if you wish!

Your note will also enter you in a BLOG CANDY giveaway. On Wednesday, October 2nd, I'll randomly choose the winner for 10951MC Millie Mousie Clear Set. I'll post the lucky person's name here on the blog, so please check back to see if you've won!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Funnies: Redneck Humor

You may recall that Steve and I joined a fitness studio in July. I know I'll never be the type of person who loves to exercise...I'm just not wired that way.

But I really like all the great people at Fit4Life (the trainers and my fellow workout buddies), and I have to admit that I feel much better after our sessions there.

There isn't really an easy way to losing weight and getting in shape, but this photo of "redneck six-pack abs" made me laugh:

Here's an alternative version for those who are 21 and older:

While we're on the topic of redneck humor, it's never too early to start planning for the holidays. If the budget is tight this year, what about considering a redneck Christmas tree:

This one needs no explanation:

I'm sure glad that my primary care doctor didn't go to Redneck University for his degree:

And, of course, you can't have a post on redneck humor if you don't include a few Jeff Foxworthy one-liners. These have been attributed to him:

You might be a redneck if...

1. You think "loading the dishwasher" means getting your wife drunk.
2. You own a home that is mobile and five cars that aren't.
3. Your boat has not left the driveway in 15 years.
4. You think the stock market has a fence around it.
5. You ever cut your grass and found a car.
6. You own a fur coat...and it's homemade.
7. You have every episode of Hee-Haw on VHS tape.
8. Your school fight song was "Dueling Banjos."

Hope y'all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Autumn Fields Clear Set - Moonlit Farmland

Gosh, what happened to summer? I feel like I've blinked and suddenly it's autumn!

But that's okay, because there are so many things to enjoy this time of year: the cooler weather and brisk breezes; leaves turning yellow, gold, and crimson; apples ripening in the orchards; and, of course, Halloween and Thanksgiving.

It's fun to change with the seasons in our stamping projects, too...and 11196MC Autumn Fields Clear Set (drawn by artist Nancy Baier) really fits the bill:

Nancy played with her own stamps to create two lovely cards featuring the moonlit farmland image and "winds will blow" sentiment from this clear set. Here's the first one:

I love how blending her colored pencils with Gamsol resulted in soft yet saturated hues. If you take a closer look, you can see that she also added highlights with a white gel pen:

At the bottom of the card, three self-adhesive pearls and a line of pierced dots add definition to the white panel, which has been layered onto a horizontal strip of patterned paper and then to the base layer in warm shades of brown:

On the cooler side of the spectrum, Nancy's second project emphasizes the contrast between the yellow and blue colors:

The main image was water colored this time, and you might be able to see that she added sparkly touches with a Stardust Clear Glitter Pen (which shows up better if you click on the photo for a close-up view):

The edges of the starry die-cut circle were tipped with metallic gold ink, and the sentiment panel is washed with strips of yellow and blue beneath the heat-embossed saying:

Thanks very much to Nancy for providing inspiration with her beautiful samples. Happy autumn, Inky friends!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday Stamping With Diane Zechman: Portia

One of the questions I like to ask our Inky Guest Designers is what they've learned about stamping over the years. After all, there's always room for improvement...whether you're a novice or expert crafter. And I like hearing their thoughts about how to get better at it!

"For beginners, I would express that it takes time and practice to create projects that are pleasing to the eye," suggests Diane Zechman. "I wouldn’t want to share the first cards that I ever made,  LOL. We’ve all been there…just keep creating and you will be amazed at how you improve! Study cards online or in magazines that others have created for design elements, color combinations, layouts, etc. Before long, you will be coming up with designs of your own."

Today's card is a great example of what Diane means. It's done in a "clean and simple" style and is beautifully executed:

"A nice card doesn’t need to be complicated and full of layers or embellishments," Diane stresses, "it just needs to be well made. Be sure your paper is cut cleanly and measured carefully, your layers are straight and attached with strong adhesive, and your images are stamped without stray ink marks. Also, use well inked pads for good coverage of ink on your stamps."

Diane used the "Portia" image (0386K) from our Worldly Woman collection. Isn't this stamp hilarious? The accompanying sentiment (0339E, Life Too Important) fits perfectly, and I try to remember its message on days when I might feel a little tense.

You can see how the stamps' (and Diane's!) humor is reflected in the bold, playful colors and sparkly gemstone accent in the lady's hair:

Hoping your day includes several laughs, Inky friends!

Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black - Tsukineko

Paper: Citrus Stack - DCWV, White, Black

Accessories: Markers - Copic, Gemstones, Ribbon, Twine

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Funnies: Scrapbooking Humor

Today starting at 4:00 PM, Jan will be teaching two make & take projects at Scrapbooks Too, featuring stamps and dies from Art Gone Wild! For more details, please contact the store directly at (952) 884-0885.

Also, this afternoon and the rest of the weekend, I'll be at Archiver's ScrapFest at the Mall of America with Steve and Michelle for three HoneyPOP card workshops.
If you live in or near the Twin Cities area, we'd love to see you at either or both events! In the meantime, here are a few scrapping-related funnies:

Top 10 Signs of a Scrapbook Addict

1. You're the only one at a social gathering yelling, "Just one more photo, folks; I don't have enough for a two-page spread!"
2. Scraps from your punches can be found in unusual places--school lunch bags, briefcases, pants pockets, the dog's water bowl.
3. A regular sandwich is no longer acceptable--it must be cropped or cut with decorative edges.
4. You try to claim your album purchases as a medical expense because it's such good "therapy".
5. You buy a new pink swimsuit because it matches the pink photo mounting paper.
6. Your child is the only one in agriculture class who thinks the definition of "crop" is to "cut your photos."
7. You decide to give your child piano lessons so you'll be able to use the musical instrument stickers that are in the Big Pack.
8. You redecorate your family room to coordinate with your photo album covers.
9. Your three-year-old child wants to know if her coloring book is "archival quality."
10. You're in a fender bender and your first thought is, "I wonder what die-cut shape will coordinate with this event?"
Tale of a Midnight Scrapbooker
by Cheryl Miller

It's nine o'clock, the baby's in bed.
"Let's go also," my husband said.
"That sounds great!" In a hug we engage.
"Just give me 10 minutes, I'll finish a page!"
Thirty go by, my borders complete;
I lay out my pictures so nice and neat.
I add paper for color and a sticker or two.
How about a die cut, now that should do!
But then an idea pops into my head--.
One more page, then off to bed!
I glance at the clock; it's 11:09!
This is it; I'll draw the line.
But my fingers keep cutting--the ideas are pouring;
From the back room, I can't hear the snoring!
I look back at my work; I've done quite a bit.
It's midnight now--and time to quit.
I clean up my desk and turn off the light.
Put my book on the shelf--'til tomorrow night!

My husband said it was either him or the scrapbooks.
I took a picture of him packing and made the cutest page ever!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ornament Birdy Congrats

Congrats to Kristen V., whose name was drawn randomly from Tuesday's blog candy entries. (Kristen, please email me with your address before September 30th to claim your prize.) 

Kristen V said...
How fun. I love the tree.
September 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM  

For her prize, Kristen has won 11053MC Ornament Birdy HoneyPOP Clear Set (drawn by artist Tammy DeYoung):

Thanks for everyone's participation and your lovely comments about Diane's cards!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Birdy Two Ways

We've got a little "tweet" for you, Inky friends! For her Guest Designer spot this month, Diane Zechman created even more projects than I'd requested...and there are enough extras so that we can feature a couple of them today.

In our popular HoneyPOP Collection, the birdy-themed have been especially well loved. For example, 11026MC Cupcake Birdy HoneyPOP Clear Set (drawn by artist Tammy DeYoung) continues to be a tried-and-true favorite:

It's easy to see why, when you look at cards made with these fun stamps, such as Diane's adorable project:

I can't decide which I like better, the outside or inside:

Okay, I gotta admit that pop-out honeycomb shape just captures my heart every time:

(Psst, did you notice the Honeycomb Paper Pads are this month's web special? Just thought I'd point that out...)

"Even when I am happy with a card, I know that there’s always room for improvement," declares Diane. "I enjoy when I try working more on the 'inside and out.' I love to coordinate the inside of my cards and the outside of my envelopes to match my card design."

"It really gives your project a finished, more 'polished' look and shows that you put some extra thought and effort into it. Besides, how fun is it to open your mailbox and see a pretty envelope?" she asks.

Yep, I agree, this sure does add a special touch:

"When coloring a stamped image on your envelope," shares Diane, "place a scrap piece of cardstock inside the envelope while coloring so your ink won’t bleed through to the back."

With people starting to get ready for holiday card making, we thought you might be interested in seeing the "winterized" version of our feathered friend. You may recall the bundled-up birdy in 11053MC Ornament Birdy HoneyPOP Clear Set (drawn by artist Tammy DeYoung):

How charming does this image look here:

I think that doily underneath, which is reminiscent of a snowflake, is such a clever touch:

And, of course, the decorated inside with the 3-D tree really adds pizzazz:

Check out this close-up view:

"There's a tiny bit of Stickles on the ornaments and the star," shares Diane. "I adore this bird’s sweet winter cap!"

I think it's neat how Diane "hung" an ornament from the inside saying panel:

Cupcake Birdy Card
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black - Tsukineko

Paper : White, Brown - SU!, Ice Cream Parlor - SU!

Accessories: Pink & Brown Honeycomb Paper Pads, Circle Nestabilities - Spellbinders, Markers - Copic, Doily Details B Die - Papertrey Ink, Gemstones, Button, Crochet Thread

Ornament Birdy Card
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black - Tsukineko

Paper: White, Brown - Tina Wenke Winter Collection

Accessories- Green & Brown Honeycomb Paper Pads, Brown LePen - Marvy, Scor-Pal, Scallop Edge Punch - SU!, Markers - Copic, Stickles - Ranger, Paper Doily

* * *

Would you like the chance to win your very own 11053MC Ornament Birdy Clear Set? Just leave a comment at the end of this post to be entered in a mid-month BLOG CANDY giveaway.

On Thursday, September 19th, I'll randomly choose the winner for the same clear set that Diane used for her second card above and post that person's please check back to see if you've won!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday Stamping With Diane Zechman: Baking Penguin

When I asked Diane Zechman to describe her stamping style, she replied, "I would have to say...cute, whimsical, clean, and colorful. Cute and whimsical images, along with fun colors, make me smile and if they make me feel good, hopefully the recipient will too."

To make this week's project, Diane started with the Whisk Penguin image (0185J in wood mounted) from 11059LC Baking Penguins Clear Set (drawn by artist Tammy DeYoung):

"I am also known as 'Cookiestamper' on the Internet," shares Diane. "I am a sucker for cookies. And chocolate. Yeah, anything chocolate is good...Give me a chocolate chip cookie and you’ll have a friend forever."

You've heard the saying about teaching someone to fish and feeding them for a lifetime (or something like that), right? Well, how about giving them a cookie mix:

It won't last a lifetime, of course. Heck, I'm not even sure this would last a week at our house!

But Diane's decorated jar filled with cookie mix is definitely "cute, whimsical, clean, and colorful." And you can bet it would bring a smile to anyone's face.

She found a recipe for the cookie mix on this blog. The lid and jar are adorned with a couple strips of patterned paper, and this adorable tag makes her project extra special:

After coloring, Diane popped up the penguin's hat and shirt with dimensional foam pieces:

"During the school year I work as a Learning Support Aide in a local elementary school," says Diane. "I enjoy working with the students and seeing their progress throughout the year."

Her comment made me think about teacher's gifts, and what a wonderful one this would be:

Here's "whisking" you a wonderful day, Inky friends!

Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black - Tsukineko, Pool Party - SU!

Paper: Wintergreen - SU!, White, Black

Accessories: Large & Small Deckled Rectangles Nestabilities - Spellbinders, Markers - Copic, Dimensionals - SU!, Tag Corner Punch - SU!, Baker's Twine, Rhinestones, 12 oz. Canning Jar & Lid, Cookie Mix Ingredients

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Funnies: Fortune Cookies

Do you like Chinese food? Chow mein, fried rice, egg foo young, sesame chicken, Kung Pao beef...I could eat these tasty dishes several times every week, except I'm afraid my waistline and wallet would complain loudly. (And perhaps Steve, who enjoys it but might not love it as much as I do.)

Today also happens to be Fortune Cookie Day, according to my secret source.

I've scoured the Internet looking for funny fortunes, some of which may or may not be authentic. ;-) You'll have to decide for yourself, starting with this one that features escapist tendencies:

To gamble or not to gamble? That is the question:

Hmm, maybe the answer is no:

Usually I don't count on fortune cookies to provide great insight. However, this one seems pretty spot-on:

If I have more Chinese food, does that mean I get another cookie:

What do you think of these messages? Here's a thought:

Perhaps this person could use a bit more practice:

Thank goodness we don't rely on them too much:

I predict you'll have a great Friday, Inky friends!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

HoneyPOP Flower Congrats

Congrats to Karen S. and Sue D. for winning prizes from Tuesday's blog candy entries. (Karen and Sue, please email me with your address before September 30th to claim your prize.)

Karen's name was randomly drawn from the participants, and Sue had the most correct guesses on the gift bag questions. They have each won 11102SC Fabulous Flower Clear Set (designed by Michelle Pearson):

If you're curious about the answers, Lee and her sister-in-law Patty decorated 25 gift bags. They're for a baby shower for the daughter of Lee's friend, who is having a girl next month.

Lee and Patty filled each bag with a pencil, paper pad, and butter mints. They placed a tin pin from Darcie's DHD10 Lollipop Blossoms pack in the center of each HoneyPOP flower. 
Thanks to everyone who participated in our guessing game!