Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cinco de Mayo...

While emptying out my camera's memory card to leave plenty of room for pics in Colorado, I found a picture of this card that I had taken months ago but don't think I ever uploaded anywhere. So, since everything I've stamped lately is top secret for now, I thought I'd show this to break up the monotony of book reviews! I made this for a whole bunch of my friends for Cinco de Mayo this year - I just love Memory Box penguins and this Fiesta Penguin is one of my favorites! Mix that with margaritas and that makes for a pretty good party if you ask me! The rim of the margarita glass is traced with a lime copic spica glitter pen for some sparkly "salt". I also used a gold spica pen on the poncho, sombrero, and maracas (did I spell that right??) for more sparkle and finished off the trim with a red glitter gel pen by Sakura. Ole!

That's all I've got to share for now and this is probably the last of me until after the GBC because I'm so behind in preparing to go. I have packed NOTHING and have not managed to whittle down my stamping supplies to take along either. Add to that some stress at work and a crappy visit to my doctor today where I was berated for being thisclose to obese on the BMI scale, and I'm a little frazzled! I'd love nothing more than to stamp or catch up on all my blog reading that I'm behind on, but that will just have to wait! GBC here I come, empty-handed or not, LOL!


Stamps: Memory Box Fiesta Penguin, A Muse margarita and sentiment
Ink: Black Staz-on, Green Galore
Paper: Green Galore, Tempting Turquoise, Papertrey white, patterned paper from Junkitz Salsa pad
Other: Miscellaneous Sakura and Copic glitter pens

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Nights in Rodanthe

Nights in RodantheNights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks

My Review
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had never heard of this book, but saw a preview for the movie adaptation, starring Diane Lane and Richard Gere, which is opening in theaters on September 28th. The movie looked really good and, being a big Nicholas Sparks fan, I had to check out the book.

I did like it, but of the half dozen or so Nicholas Sparks books that I've read, I think this was my least favorite. The love story seemed a little too convenient, a little too contrived, and perhaps a bit unrealistic. I did shed a tear or two, and I'm convinced this is Sparks' primary goal when he sits down to write a book. He must love making people cry. This was a really quick read - I finished it in less than two hours, so while I didn't love it like I did The Notebook, it didn't require a big time commitment and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a mindless love story.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Time Traveler's Wife

I've been a bad blogger lately! I've been doing a ton of reading in between going to the beach, attending a family reunion in New Jersey this past weekend, and getting ready for my upcoming trip to Colorado. So all of that adds up to no stamping (that I can share at the moment anyway!) and therefore nothing to blog about! My book club meets this Thursday and tonight I finished this month's selection, The Time Traveler's Wife.

The Time Traveler's Wife The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger

My Review
rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Time Traveler's Wife was my book club's most recent selection and, since I was so caught up in reading the Twilight Saga two weeks ago, I was afraid I'd never get through this 500+ page book in time. I don't like to start the books too far in advance because of my crappy memory, so I didn't even start it until less than a week ago. But, once I got started, it sucked me in and I was thankfully able to finish it very quickly!

I really enjoyed this book and the love shared between the two main characters, despite the inherent difficulties that come with one of them being an involuntarily time traveler who can disappear without a moment's notice and be gone for any length of time. I admit to being a little confused at a couple of parts as I tried to keep the past, present, and future, which were sometimes mixed together, straight. But nonetheless, I would definitely recommend the book. I'd been wanting to read it for a while and I'm glad my book club finally gave me the impetus to do so!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Papertrey CMWC #14

This is my card for last week's Casual Mid-Week Challenge on the Papertrey forums. It was a really cute sketch that made for a quick and easy card!

Stamps: Mixed Messages by PTI
Ink: Berry Sorbet
Paper: Berry Sorbet, Sweet Blush, Pink Patterns paper, all by PTI
Other: SU oval punches, hodgepodge hardware, Berry Sorbet twill ribbon by PTI

Monday, July 14, 2008

Back to Stamping...

As you might have noticed, I got a little away from stamping over the past week or so. I have a bad habit of immersing myself in new obsessions that I come across and this obsession with Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga has been no different! I don't know why I waited so long to read them, though I'm glad I did because now I only have to survive a few weeks until the fourth and final book rather than a whole year if I'd read Eclipse when it came out last August. I'm not sure I would have made it! I would feel a little silly for being so completely consumed by young adult novels and being so utterly infatuated with a fictional 17 year old vampire, but I'm comforted with the fact that I'm not alone! I've read enough message boards in the past few days to know that there is some serious Edward-mania going on out there. Meyer just did such a fantastic job painting the picture of Edward that I, along with a few million other females out there, want an Edward of my very own! Ah well, I suppose I'll just have to be content with watching the Twilight movie trailer over and over and over and over. I've read lots of complaints about the casting of Robert Pattinson (aka Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter movies) but I can't think of a better actor to cast as Edward and I CANNOT WAIT for December 12th when it comes out!

Wait...this post was supposed to be about stamping, no? I told you I can get a little obsessed! I actually made this card last Tuesday but had already shut down my computer when I finished it and it was the following day that I read Twilight, so my blog was seriously neglected from then on. I don't know why, but I'm so pleased with this card. It came together sooo quickly and I think it's just clean and cute!

The card started because I wanted to play with this Memory Box stamp that I bought a couple of months ago but hadn't used yet. I also wanted to play with the pink flock that I got in the last LOSTie secret sister round. So I flocked the flowers for a little fun texture, and colored in the bucket with a silver glitter gel pen for some sparkle. The image fits perfectly inside the hardware, which I think I also was using for the first time - it's just so pretty that I hate to part with it! I know I can't possibly be the only stamper with that affliction! Then just a quick polka dotted strip of cardstock, some pink striped ribbon (not sure what company made that ribbon) and the card was done! I love having "just because" cards on hand so I'm prepared when someone I know could use a little pick me up. Happy mail is a good thing!

Stamps: Memory Box flower bucket, A Muse sentiment, Polka Dot Basics by Papertrey
Ink: Pink Passion, Certainly Celery, Palette Noir
Paper: Papertrey white, Pink Passion
Other: SU Stylized Silver Hodgepodge Hardware, ribbon from unknown company, pink Stampendous flock, Sakura silver gel pen

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Eclipse (Twilight Series, Book 3) Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars

I LOVED this book! This one to me was more on the level of the first book, because I just can't get enough of Edward and the Cullen family! Luckily this book delivered plenty of them and made me even more excited for the last book to come out on August 2nd. I've always been a big reader, but I don't think I've ever devoured any books as quickly and enthusiastically as these, with the exception of the Harry Potter books of course! Come on Breaking Dawn!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Moon

New Moon (Twilight Series, Book 2)
New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

My Review
rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn't like this book as much as Twilight for the simple reason that there wasn't nearly as much Edward as there should have been! It was still a great book though, and I again found that I couldn't put it down until I'd finished. The story just sucked me in and more or less forced me to keep turning the pages! Can't wait to start #3 tomorrow!


I was tagged by my friend Rachel with the little A to Z survey below:

A is for age: 26
B is for burger of choice: Cheeseburger with guacamole, bacon, and onion strings
C is for what kind of car you drive: Honda Civic
D is for your dog’s name: Not a pet person
E is for essential item you use everyday: Computer
F is for favorite TV show at the moment: LOST in the drama category, The Office for comedy
G is for favorite game: Trivial Pursuit
H is for Hometown: Duxbury, MA
I is for instruments you play: I played the recorder in 3rd or 4th grade
J is for favorite juice: Nantucket Nectar's Orange Mango
K is for whose butt you’d like to kick: the stupid man who won't let me buy his condo
L is for last restaurant you ate at? Barcelona for drinks and tapas with co-workers
M is for your favorite Muppet: Miss Piggy
N is for Number of Piercings: 2 holes in each ear, though I never wear earrings in the second holes anymore
O is for overnight hospital stays: None, knock on wood!
P is for people you were with today: Co-workers
Q is for what you do with your quiet time: Stamp or Read
R is for biggest regret: Not trusting my gut instincts and letting myself be guilted and sweet talked into financial decisions that impacted the last 5 years of my life
S is for status: SINGLE!!
T is for time you woke up today: 6:30am
U is for what you consider unique: ???
V is for vegetables you love: None. I can tolerate a few, like green beans, but vegetables are not my thing!
W is for worst habit: Tie between procrastination and laziness
X is for x-rays you’ve had: Teeth, left arm, left knee
Y is for yummy food you ate today: Egg and cheese biscuit from McDonald's
Z is for zodiac sign: Leo, which I think fits me not at all!

I'm going to take the lazy way out (see answer to worst habit above) and say anyone who wants to play, please feel free, and let me know if you do so I can read your answers!


Twilight (Twilight Series, Book 1) Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

My Review

Rating: 5 of 5 stars

I LOVED LOVED LOVED this book! I started it around 6:30pm, took a break for a little over an hour to get some stuff done, and just finished it shortly after 12:30am - and it's a 500 page book! It was just that good, one of those "can't put it down because you need to know what's next" type of books. I am 100% in love with Edward and want a mysterious and irresistible vampire boyfriend of my own! I've got the next two books waiting for me and will be digging into #2 tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Shopaholic & Baby

Shopaholic and Baby
Shopaholic and Baby by Sophie Kinsella

My Review

rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the 5th Shopaholic book featuring Becky (Bloomwood) Brandon. I've read them all and love them all! Like all of Sophie Kinsella's books, this was a quick and easy read, full of comically awkward situations that Becky continually gets herself into. A great summer beach book!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Mojo Monday - Week #45

It's the first Monday of the month, which means it's Mojo Madness time on Julee's blog! Entrants who make a card using today's sketch and post it to Julee's blog by 8 pm EST on Sunday, July 13th, are entered to win their choice of any Verve stamp set! So go get your mojo flowing, and you might be one of two lucky winners selected!

Here's my creation, which I kind of screwed up on - I should know by now that I can't remember what a sketch is supposed to look like by the time I walk from my computer to my stamp table. The sentiment was actually supposed to go on the strip in the middle, but I forgot that little caveat and put the sentiment up top. I think it stands out better up there anyway, but I broke the rules! Ooops!

For this card I used a stamp set made by Provo Craft that I've had for at least a year and only used once or twice. It's a really cute set with lots of stamps for creating cards and invitations for pool parties, BBQs, picnics, etc. The checkered pattern characteristic of a picnic tablecloth only came on a small stamp that's maybe an inch by an inch and a half. So I stamped that multiple times to create the scalloped "tablecloth" and then stamped the apron over it to paper piece it as well.

It's a little tough to see in the picture, but on the red card base, I randomly stamped the burger, hot dog, corn cob, watermelon slice, spatula, and lemonade that you see surrounding the apron on the main focal piece. I was getting so hungry creating this card!

Stamps: "Summer Party" set by Provo Craft
Ink: Real Red, Palette Noir
Paper: Papertrey white, Real Red, Basic Black
Other: silver brads, dimensionals, corner rounder punch

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Papertrey CMWC8

Another Papertrey challenge - this was a sketch and you were to use any colors you wanted, but they had to be monochromatic. I needed a birthday card for my aunt and she loves purple, so that was an easy decision! Though the flowers look like they're stamped directly in the windows, I actually stamped them on scraps of cardstock and cut them out. Then I only glued down the center of each flower so that the petals are raised up off the card for a little dimension. I'm really happy with how it turned out in real life, but couldn't for the life of me get it to show up in the picture! Oh, and I also wanted to add that the sentiment is stamped in Elegant Eggplant, (the color that's on the far left) not black as it looks in the photo!

Stamps: Piece of Cake and Birthday Basics from Papertrey
Ink: Elegant Eggplant, Lovely Lilac, Lavendar Lace, Orchid Opulence
Paper: Papertrey white, Elegant Eggplant, Lovely Lilac, Lavendar Lace, Orchid Opulence
Other: SU word window punch and 3/4" square punch, clear gemstones from Michael's

Amuseapalooza Polka Dot Challenge

This coming week is Amuseapalooza week and the folks at A Muse have been hosting tons of contests and challenges leading up to the festivities. I haven't gotten to participate much yet, but finally sat down tonight to try out the polka dot challenge issued by Michelle, a member the A Muse Creative Team. For this challenge, all you had to do was incorporate polka dots in some way and, of course, use at least one A Muse stamp!

This is a quick and easy one layer card, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, aside from the blobby polka dots that are a result of inking up the stamp with a marker instead of an ink pad. Oh well! The polka dot part of the challenge was met by using Papertrey's Polka Dot Basics along the bottom and tying PTI's satin polka dot ribbon in their signature Lemon Tart color across the top. Ahhhh, what I wouldn't give to be lounging in a hammock on a tropical island right now! I'd have a frozen margarita in my hand, brought to me by a gorgeous cabana boy of course! ;-)

Stamps: Polka Dot Basics by Papertrey, Hammock and sentiment by A Muse
Ink: Garden Green, Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip, So Saffron
Paper: Papertrey white
Other: Lemon Tart ribbon from Papertrey, lime green spica glitter pen (traced over the palm leaves)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Papertrey CMWC10

Another sketch challenge from the Papertrey forum - this one's from about 3 weeks ago. This card did not turn out as I was envisioning it in my head. I was trying to use the Beautiful Blooms set to mimic the large and small flowers in the strips of patterned paper, but it didn't quite come off as intended!

The flowers are outlined with a clear spica glitter pen, as are the strips of patterned paper. I can't seem to make a card without that pen these days, I just love it!

Stamps: Beautiful Blooms by Papertrey
Ink: Bashful Blue, Close to Cocoa
Paper: Papertrey white, Bashful Blue, Old Olive, Chatterbox patterned paper
Other: dew drops, clear spica pen

Goodreads Updates

Summer (Sunrise) Summer by Karen Kingsbury

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another great book from Karen Kingsbury and another tear jerker too! I finished this book at the beach yesterday and am quite sure people thought I was a crazy person sitting there sniffling with tears running down my cheeks as I got to the end! This book had a little more about the Flanigans than I like - I prefer the focus to be on the Baxters, who I've grown to love in the last 11 books about their lives. But all in all, it was a wonderful read!

Someday (Sunrise) Someday by Karen Kingsbury

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Today I read the second to last book in Karen Kingsbury's 14 book series about the Baxter family. The storylines in Someday are a great reminder that everything happens for a reason; even the most tragic and heart-wrenching events in our lives can bring about miracles. It's also a reminder that even when God doesn't seem to answer our prayers the way that we ask or want Him to, He is listening and will answer them in the way that is best for us.

Papertrey CMWC11

I'm still going back and trying out the Casual Mid-Week Challenges on the Papertrey forum. I can't believe I didn't know those challenges were there until a week ago, and they've been going on for 13 weeks already! This challenge was a sketch challenge and there was an added caveat that you could only use one stamp plus a sentiment, but as you can see, I sorta forgot that part!

I used the two different sizes of stars from Papertrey's Take a Bough set and used the rock n' roll technique on those - you just ink up the stamp with the lighter color you want to use, then gently roll the edges of the stamp in the darker color and stamp onto your cardstock as usual. So easy! I used my paper piercing tool to underline the sentiment and used the corner of a small square punch to make the flag - an awesome tip I got from my friend Edie! The happy birthday flag is then popped up on dimensionals.

Stamps: Take a Bough, Polka Dot Basics, and Birthday Basics by Papertrey, Polka Dot background by SU
Ink: Sweet Blush and Berry Sorbet from Papertrey

Paper: Sweet Blush, Berry Sorbet, and White from Papertrey
Other: SU circles punches and square punch (for flag), clear gemstones, paper piercing tool, dimensionals

Last Week's Papertrey Challenge

Last week's Papertrey mid-week challenge was an awesome sketch and I finally got a chance to try it. I love the sketch - it's tough to see in this picture, but it's a window card, so the onesie is stamped on the inside and shows through the ovals cut out of the front. This confirmed for me though that I NEED some Nestabilities. I used my Coluzzle for this and was reminded of how much I hate it! I had wanted to use my giga scallop oval and mega regular oval punches, but they didn't reach to the middle of the card, which was why I was forced to go the Coluzzle route. In retrospect, I should have stamped some kind of background on the bashful blue base, but all in all, I like how it turned out!

Stamps: Itty Bitty Blessings by Papertrey
Ink: Bashful Blue, Night of Navy
Paper: Bashful Blue, Night of Navy, Papertrey White
Other: Coluzzle, Silver Bells dew drops, clear Spica pen (for tracing the onesie and "coloring" in the sailboat)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Color Challenge 173

This card was for the color challenge on SCS this week - Wild Wasabi, Certainly Celery, and Purely Pomegranate. I had bought an assortment pack of this year's In Colors back in July and when I went to make this card tonight, I realized I hadn't touched any of the Wild Wasabi! I think it's because I have a thing about my inks and papers matching and I don't have the WW ink, so the poor lonely paper went untouched. It's a gorgeous color though and I love this combination!

Stamps: Image and sentiment by Imaginisce
Ink: Palette Noir, Certainly Celery, Purely Pomegranate
Paper: Wild Wasabi, Certainly Celery, Purely Pomengrante
Other: Purely Pomegranate double stitched ribbon

Papertrey Challenge

Each week a challenge is issued on the Papertrey forums - it can be a sketch, a color challenge, whatever the hostess wants. This week was a color challenge - cream, brown, and soft pink. Here's my creation!

Stamps: Butterfly Kisses by Papertrey
Ink: Chocolate Chip by SU, Sweet Blush by Papertrey
Paper: Very Vanilla, Chocolate Chip, Sweet Blush
Other: Ticket corner punch, pink gemstones, clear Spica gel pen

Prayer Journal

I've been wanting to make myself a prayer journal for quite some time but never got around to it until now. It seems like recently there are an awful lot of people in my life that are in need of prayer and I don't want to leave out a single one when I say my prayers at night. So I thought this would be a nice place for me to write down names or situations that could use a little bit of extra attention from God. I love this set by Papertrey Ink - Everyday Blessings - and love their Aqua Mist color with this set. It's such a serene and tranquil color that lends itself well to a project meant to inspire reflection and meditation.

All stamps, paper, ink, and ribbon are from Papertrey, and the gemstones on the cross are from the beading section of Michael's. The notebook was a little $1.99 find from Target and the scallops were made using SU's corner rounder punch. The last finishing touch was using a white gel pen to make the little dots on each of the scallops.

It's now waaaaay past my bedtime so I'm off to get some beauty rest. I'm so happy to have the day off tomorrow so I can spend the day lounging at my favorite place - the beach!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy (Almost) Independence Day!

Julee at Verve Stamps has issued a challenge in honor of Verve's addition to the Splitcoaststampers Member Company lineup. Make a project (a card, scrapbook page, altered object, etc.) featuring stars and upload to SCS using the keyword VSCSTAR by midnight EST on Tuesday, July 8 and you'll be entered to win $15 in Verve Bucks! You can use star stamps, punches, whatever you want, just make sure there are stars on there! I've not yet ordered anything from Verve, but have a number of things in my shopping cart that I'm dying to own. Self restraint is not one of my strong points, but with a number of financial obligations right now I have to budget myself. No fun!! But anyway...

Here's what I came up with for the challenge. I love the color scheme for this time of year, but don't know if I'm crazy about the card overall. I may need to try to come up with another one!

As the card says, this is a day worth celebrating for sure. Our country may be in the midst of struggles right now with our economy and ugly campaign tactics and the like, but we are still truly blessed to live in a country with the freedoms that come with being an American. So while it's easy to get caught up in the cookouts and fireworks associated with this holiday, let's also remember to pause and be grateful for all that we've been given. And then let's return to the festivities and raise our margarita glasses in a toast to our country and each other!

Stamps: Limitless Labels by Papertrey, sentiment from Inkadinkado cupcake set
Ink: Real Red, Brilliant Blue, Palette Noir
Paper: Papertrey white, Real Red, Brilliant Blue
Other: star punch, clear Spica glitter pen, clear gemstones from Michael's, dimensionals

Cherry Turnovers

As promised, here's dessert! I have a magazine sitting on my desk at work with a big juicy cherry pie on the cover. For the purposes of the magazine, the pie is actually representing a graph, and the slices have to do with the results of a survey on salary compensation within my field. For my own purposes, the pie has done nothing but torment me all week long, because I love cherry pie. I LOVE it. It's probably the only pie on the planet where I go just as crazy for the filling as I do for the crust. So tonight, I had to have something with cherry pie filling. For a few seconds I contemplated just buying a can of filling and eating it with a spoon, but then I thought I'd try my hand at turnovers. I just bought a can of crescent roll dough and put a big spoonful of filling in the middle, then pinched up the corners. I ran into some issues because if I put too much filling, the sides wouldn't pinch shut and filling oozed out. On the ones where I cut down on the amount of filling, the flavor is too much crescent and not enough filling. But they're darn tasty anyway, and so super easy! I was wishing I had some confectioner's sugar to make a glaze with, but I didn't. And as usual, my laziness trumped my good idea!

Shrimp Scampi

I have been craving shrimp scampi for about a week now and finally caved in and made it for dinner tonight. This is one of my specialties (well, mine and Tyler Florence's, since I stole the recipe from him) but I try not to make it too often because it's not what you might call health-conscious. But it's oh-so-delicious and just what I needed tonight! And I'm excited that I actually remembered to take a picture before I dug in so you could get a look at this buttery, garlicky goodness! I didn't have any parsley, so I had to leave that out. And I added some parmesan cheese on top after I took this picture just for some extra calories and fat! My main recommendation if you try this recipe is to have tons of French bread on hand for dipping. I generally go a little heavy handed on the butter, olive oil, wine and lemon juice so there's extra yummy sauce. Mmmmm!

I'm so stuffed right now and am very thankful for the elastic waistband on the shorts I'm wearing. I have a dessert craving that I decided to indulge in tonight as well, so stay tuned for a post on that when I feel up to eating again!