Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Monkey News!

HAVE YOU SEEN??!! The Design Monkeys have been officially announced! I am super excited and honored to be part of this fabulous group of ladies! Check out our bios at: www.storemorestamps.com

Now here's the good stuff, In celebration of Little Monkey's turning one, they are giving away a mini set of sleeves with inserts in fun Birthday Colors for every order over $25!! How awesome is that??? The very most awesome part is that the mini sets are automatically sent if you order from the Little Monkey's site OR a retailer! Yep, automatic, no need to ask, they're yours!

This one might be my favorite part of the promotion... There are 5 Green Tickets hidden in the Birthday Mini sets, so be sure to look in your package to see if you are one of the lucky 5! I know, it conjures up images of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Gene Wilder version not Johnny Depp... That one was a little too creepy for me) ... I've got a golden ticket... You could totally go nuts and order a bunch of sets looking for a ticket!

Any who, if you are the lucky holder of one of the 5 tickets, you get a trip to the Little Monkey's Studio where you get a lifetime supply of stamps! But be careful, a multitude of trials await! Ooops, sorry again, wrong story. I did hear that there were a few Oompa Lompas running around assembling the Little Monkey Starter Kits, but the rumor can neither be confirmed nor denied.

OK, no lifetime supply of chocolate or a golden goose or fizzy lifting drink, BUT if you find a green ticket you DO get a a new color set with each new release! How awesome is that??? AND, you don't run the risk of turning into a giant blueberry if you are a ticket holder.

One more thing, shoot on over to the Monkey Park and check out the new blinkies available for you to download. Show your monkey love and stick one on your blog!

Whoo Hoo this is going to be a ton of fun! check back frequently to see what the Design Monkeys come up with!!


Saturday, September 27, 2008

More Halloween Cards

I think this set from Whipper Snapper Designs is ADORABLE!!! It's called Spooky Expressions and I absolutely fell in LOVE with it! It has some great sentiments and all the "spooky" animals have smiley faces.

I trimmed an inch off the front of the card so it's shorter than the back. The spider is stamped on the inside of the card. I used my white gel pen to color in the eyes and teeth. It was the first time I've used the gel pen and wow, I had NO idea it would be so versatile. I still need a better picture of it though, I'm having trouble with the flash reflecting off the card. I think I just need better lighting.

On another note, I wanted to post a little something that's been bothering me. As evidenced on my blog, I like to do all kinds of creative things. I also apply that creativity to my job. In the past it served me extremely well as a sales manager and trainer as I thought up all sorts of sales contests and incentives. At this job, I'm on all sorts of committees and work to plan fun events for the entire building as well as my department. Well, I was sitting with some of my employees and talking about some different ideas for the fall. They've been working really hard and we need to have a little fun. One of the the things we came up with was "Spooky Treats" You know, bring in a Halloween themed treat. Note, I didn't use the word "Halloween" because someone might find it offensive.

Well, after the meeting, someone came to see me. Apparently "spooky" is synonymous with "Halloween" which is evil. They didn't think we should have spooky treat day as that not everyone in the department celebrated Halloween. Unable to contain myself, I asked if "Spooky Treats" would be acceptable on November 3rd. No response... I went on to explain that regardless of your personal beliefs, in October, there is a plethora of candy packaged in tiny bags. Why don't we have a day where we eat that candy. Call it whatever you want so it's non offensive, but the end result is the same. Again, no response...I really think that people get caught up in looking for ways to find fault in things and they miss the true purpose. We just wanted to have a day of candy and treats, (except for out waistlines) where's the harm in that?

I honestly have to say that that is the worst part of being a manager. You work so hard to think of things that are all-inclusive and try not to offend anyone, but there's always one who ruins it for everyone. It's just extremely disheartening and as a result, many of the other managers have stopped making an effort to plan events. It's sad, just sad. What is wrong with a spooky treat? Are Halloween M&M's evil and therefore should not be eaten? Does that mean Christmas M&M's are OK? Is there a good and evil side to the M&M plant? How does their HR decide who works on which side?

OK, I think I got it all out. In the mean time, I'm looking for some spooky treat suggestions. Evil Rice Krispy treats mean more for me. Bwah ha ha...

Makin' Muffins

I FINALLY got invited to a potluck at work and couldn't decide what to make. So, why doesn't Lara get invited to work potlucks? Does she smell? Does she double dip? Does she eat all the food and never contribute? No, No and no. In my last job I was much revered as a potluck and treat provider. So, what happened? Well, I oversee 5 teams of people. on a regular basis they each hold potlucks and invite their respective supervisors. I mentioned it to my boss and she said, "Hey, I don't get invited either." Well, that's good, it isn't just me.

So, in honor of the invitation, I needed a quick something and had to go with an ever popular standby. Mini Pecan Pie Muffins. These are Homemade Gourmet's #1 BEST Selling item. Let me tell you, these things are darn tasty!

Ok, all I need is 2 eggs and a stick of melted butter or margarine. (Butter gives them more of a carmely taste, margarine will be more cake-likeAny Homemade Gourmet mix that includes nuts will have them in a separate bag. The nuts are bagged in a different plant and brought in already sealed. So the mixes never come into contact with the actual nut nor are they made on equipment that may have been contaminated. Pretty cool for a few reasons if you ask me. With SO many nut allergies, it's a great precaution. For those people with nut allergies, I wouldn't recommend a this product. The bags are completely sealed, but nut oils could in theory seep through the bag. Better safe than sorry, right?

I am personally thrilled that the nuts are in another bag. Why, you ask? Well, I don't like big hunks of nuts in things. I enjoy eating things that are 1 consistency. Oh, just you wait, the food madness will continue in future posts...The hard nut interrupts the smooth soft muffin. Bleck.... So, what to do?

Yep, pulverize them into nut dust. The bag makes it extremely convenient to beat the heck out of the nuts. Take out a little agression and work those biceps!
So, after you do that, add the dry ingredients, nut dust to the eggs and butter. Stir it until well blended and you're ready to bake.
Spray your mini muffin pan with some sort of flour based spray. Seriously, it is the best thing ever!! Remember when your mom would grease the inside of the pan with butter then dust in with flour? Could you imagine what a PAIN that would be with mini muffin tins? No thank you...
Bake at 350 for 12 minutes and that's it! Beautiful delicious mini pecan pie muffins. So easy and SO tasty!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bad Kitty

Oh my goodness, could it be??? Two posts in a single day? Sure is! This is what happens when the kitties steal the remote for the TV AND I forget my gym shoes and can't work out. (I know, convenient, huh?)

Well, today is Tuesday, so a new challenge from the folks at The Cats Pajamas. I adore their stamps and love to play along when I have a chance. So, the task was to make a card using a stamp with Ms Sprinkle. I knew that I had to use Devil Sprinkle for 2 reasons. 1. I can't stop making Halloween cards. 2. Continue reading.

I stamped the image and sentiment with Versamark and used black embossing powder. LOOK MA! NO INK! The DP is from SU!, bat brads from Archivers. (On sale in this summer, see, thinking ahead.)

So, reason number 2, I got home from work today and saw this on the kitchen table.Poor roll of paper towels, a young life cut tragically short. Who knows what he could have grown up to be. Perhaps a poet or a chemist, we'll never know. I immediately knew the culprit, no need to bring in CSI, the evidence was pretty clear. It was one kitty in particular LOVES to shred paper towels and toilet paper.

I think Godiva looks a little guilty. I also think she bears a striking resemblance to the the kitty on the stamp. Horns and all.. (Lemme tell you, it is HARD to get a good picture of a black kitty. She tends to blend into one black lump.)



Candy Corn

Sometimes I really amuse myself. Last night was one of those times.

Let me start this post by saying that I LOVE candy corn. However, I only like it from September 15th - October 31st. That's when it's the freshest since they make more of it for Halloween. My darling hubby tells me that I have lost my mind. He says that they make candy corn all year round and store it in a warehouse. Then, in September they release it to the public.

BLASPHEMY!!! September /October candy corn is fresher and considerably more delicious than year round candy corn. I told him that they ramp up production in July/August to make enough for the Halloween season and make other things like Peeps the rest of the year. Still doesn't believe me... They also make that awful Easter Corn which is NOT the same. It lacks that delicious "fall" flavor. This is also the man who I have been debating with for the past 4 years that Indian Corn is chocolate flavored.

Kev: Why don't you eat the Indian Corn?
Me: The brown part is chocolate and I'm a candy corn purist. Yellow, orange and white, don't need any other corn colors.
Kev: You're crazy, it all tastes the same, it's just a different color.
Me: No, Indian corn is chocolaty
Kev: No it isn't.
Me: Yes it is.

Fast forward to me in CVS holding a bag of Indian Corn.
Me: Look, one of the ingredients in the Indian Corn is coco powder. It isn't in regular corn, SEE, different!!!
Kev runs away and refuses to look at the bag. Repeat scene every October for 4 years.

Sadly, it's only September 23rd and I have already eaten my candy corn allotment for the season. :( Really, it's for the best.

So, in honor of the candy corn, I made this adorable card!

Don't you LOVE the designer paper??!! So not on sale.. The gnome and sentiment are by justjohanna's Odd Bird planet. The little corns in the background are from Whipper Snapper Designs. How CUTE is this??? However, I realize that I stink and totally messed up his candy corn hat. ARGH!!! Why would I transpose the orange and yellow?? Any who, I ate the display corn after the pix was taken. :)
Update: The candy corn is wrong on the DP! See, not my fault!


Sunday, September 21, 2008

A few cards today

I have definitely been neglecting my stamping lately! Thankfully my SU! club night Friday got my juices flowing!! I have a few new things to post.. This one is from My Favorite Things It's Flopsy in the Who's that Ghost set. This set is honestly adorable and I love the sentiments that go with it!
I absolutely had to have Flopsy flying over the card even though I have it on the highest authority that Flopsy prefers to go "commando". I fear she's pulling an "oopsy" moment, but part of me thinks she really likes not wearing anything under that sheet. Hey, have you ever seen a bunny with pants? I think not.

Next one, this is what we made at my SU! class Friday. I think it is ADORABLE and super easy to make! Just a few circle punches, strips of Vanilla paper and a little daub of Close to Coco on the edges. So easy, so cute! We also made a really cute paper pumpkin out of strips of card stock and brads. Unfortunately it was too dark by the time I got to take the picture. I'll try to get one tomorrow.
I do have to promote my SU! Demonstrator. Her name is Merri Jensen and she rocks! I always have the best time when we make stuff. She also enables my addiction! :)
Last but not least, the TCP penguins from the "smells Like Cake set" I adore these stamps!! Yep, everyone gets a penguin or kitty B-day card. I used up some SU! DP that I hadn't a clue what to do with, so I slapped it on this card. I think it goes well with the giant cupcake. The only thing I can think of though is that must be one GINORMOUS cupcake or reeeealy tiny penguins. I prefer to think it's the cake. :) This one is going to my MIL for her b-day!

Check out the bathroom

OK, so after all the bathroom paining drama, I thought I should post some pix of the results. Let me post a disclaimer... These are from the upstairs bathroom which was CONSIDERABLY easier to paint than the powder room downstairs.
The downstairs one was FINALLY completed today!!! I officially hang up my paint brush. Let the professionals take care of it from now on. :)
Sorry that the pictures are a little fuzzy, not sure what happened there. So, this is the sink, (obviously) I got that cute vase from Kirklands and the flowers from Michaels. I am LOVING the new SU! wall decors! I had to get the baroque medallions for the powder room, but I'll wait until everything is finished before I post the pix! I tried to explain them to Kev. I said that they were like plastic and peeled off a sheet. He said, "Like Colorforms?" No, not like Colorforms. They aren't a set of Smurfs and I can't change their clothes. Regardless, he likes them.

Here's the shower, and oops, sorry about the open seat. I guess someone left the lid up. Hmm... I wonder who? Well, at least you can't see in. Ewww...

You really can;t tell from the picture, but those are some Halloween towels. They have little black kitties standing on a fence. Awww.. Ever since we got a black kitty I HAVE to decorate from Halloween with what else... black kitties. :)

I was also creative today so I'm off to post some of that, but in the mean time, here's a photo of my very naughty kitty, who for some reason LOVES ice cubes. He'll even dig into your glass to get one out. He's also a little bit of a jerk. Hey, some cats are friendly, some are cuddly, some are mean, why can't mine be a jerk? Don't get me wrong, I love my kitty, but I really think he does stuff to P.O. me. I yelled at him the other day for trying to get in my glass. I went into the other room and watched him jump on the table, go to my glass and lick around the inside rim. Gross...

We just gave in on this one.



Friday, September 19, 2008

Talk like a Pirate Day

I can't beleive I forgot... Today is National Talk Like a Pirate Day and oh, the fun I could have had. Just when my eyepatch was at the cleaners....

Argh!!! http://www.talklikeapirate.com/piratehome.html

Brand new Design team!!!

OMG, I am SO excited!!! A few weeks ago I was perusing the Little Monkey's website and saw that they were accepting submissions for design team members. I must admit, I am a little envious of some of the lucky ladies who get first dibs on playing with new releases.

Little Monkeys is an AWESOME stamp storage system and it make it a breeze to organize your unmounted stamps. Mine used to live in giant Ziploc baggies. One for Bellas, one for the Cat's Pajamas... etc... I know, so bad for them and SO hard to find! So, I ordered the system and LOVE it. The only down side is that DH saw how many stamps I had. Oops!

Any who, I sent in an entry to join the design team and guess what... I was chosen!!! I am a proud new member of the Design Monkeys!!

I am SO excited and can't wait to meet the other DT members!!! This is going to be a lot of fun and I am anxious to show you what we come up with!!!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Where's my pot of gold?

Kev and I were getting ready to leave for the BBQ last Saturday and look what we saw!!!Pretty!!! I swear we could see both ends, but no leprechaun.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Skillet Chicken and Rice!

This has been a crazy week! Do you ever have one of those days where it feels like you're constantly running from one place to the next? Yep, me too. To go along with the running, is has been a little chilly here is North Carolina. Saturday it was 95 degrees (see the craft show post) and Tuesday rainy, overcast and in the 60s. Can I make a confession? I LOVE rainy overcast weather! Love it, I actually feel happier when the sky is cloudy and gray. Weird huh? Not really, I grew up outside of Pittsburgh, (40 miles outside of Pittsburgh in WV. Yes, West Virginia sticks up that far north, it really does...) any who, it is ALWAYS overcast there. Seriously, I think the Steeler game is at home this weekend, look at the sky on TV. I am NOT by any means dissin' the 'Burg. If you grow up with that being the predominant weather pattern, you grow accustomed to it. I actually get excited when the weather is overcast. I guess it reminds me of home, and I get to wear a sweater. Pretty sweet if you ask me.

OK, so we have rain and long pants in the forecast this week, I thought a nice hearty meal sounded great! Let's make the skillet chicken and rice! Take out the bag,
Mmm, ricey, what do I need? Water, (have that), chicken, (have that), cream of chicken soup, have that. We're in business! I couldn;t get a good picture of it, but Homemade Gourmet recently launched "Homemade in a Hurry." There is a piece of the tag you can rip off that lists all the ingredients needed to make a dish. When you plan your meals for the week, you can rip off the tabs, drop them in your purse and off to the grocery store you go!
Do you see the expiration date on the bag? I LOVE that! It tells you the "best if used by" date. Granted, the mixes don't explode and turn to acid the day after the date, but they will taste their best if used by then!
K, first thing, dump out the mix an pick out the corn and peas. I don't like peas and I think corn is a side dish. It doesn't belong "in" things. That's just me, you all can eat corn and peas in your rice until the cows come home. (Lookie, another southern phrase! I can't stop them!) If anyone is interested, you can have the little pile of freeze dried veges. I think they would make a fine tiny soup.
Take a pan, dump the mix (with or without peas) into a skillet, add the uncooked chicken and 3 cups of water. Put the burner on med-high and cook until the water boils. When it comes to a boil, turn the heat to low, and cover with a lid. Cook for 20 minutes. NO PEEKING!
Oops, missed a piece of corn.
Waiting... ooo, I bought a sample of those new Newton bars at the store. I wonder how they taste?
BLECK!!! I hope the people at Fig Newton don't read this blog. It tasted like an awful cracker with some chewy paste inside.Yuck! I'll wait for the chicken and rice.
After 20 minutes, remove the lid and stir in the can of cream of chicken soup. Return the heat to medium and cook uncovered for 10 minutes or until the rice is done.
After you finish, Voila!!! This serves six and let me tell you, it is a hearty, stick to your ribs kind of meal. Very filling!!! My blurry pix doesn't do it justice!
I know we'll have lunch for a few days from the leftovers!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bella Sistah!

It's taken me a little while to post this, we've been having issues with the computer monitor. Issues=broken=bought a new one today.

Check out the package I received from my bella sister Marcia! She sent some adorable paper, brads (monkey brads!) stickles, velvet cut-outs, some stamped Bellas, a pretty card and my very first COPICS!!! Woo Hoo! You rock Marcia and your package is heading out today!!!
Sleepy time... I have a few more blog posts brewing in my brain and I really need to take some time to be creative and make something pretty.

Have a good evening!

Blog Candy Winna!!!

I bet you think I forgot! Nope!!

According to my random number generator, the winner is... #8 Ice Escape! Congrats to you! I'll contact you for your address!

Thanks to all who played!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

More people at the BBQ last night than at my HS reunion.

Do you ever feel like you have something bubbling up inside and just have to get it out? I've felt that way today. So many things just waiting to be said....

Yesterday was a jam packed fun filled day. I was at a craft show at the National Guard Armory in Durham. I went last year and it was my very first vendor show. (I really need to figure out how to get a calendar on my blog so I can post my upcoming shows.)Well, I've done a few events since then and I think I have the set up and break down to a science. They told us that it wasn't air conditioned but OK, I went last year, no biggie... Well, it was 95 degrees in Durham yesterday WOW was it HOT!! They had the giant door open, the one they use to drive the tanks through, but any breeze did not reach me... Nope, not at all. I had a good time talking to the vendors, I was next to April who's with Cookie Lee jewelry, if you're looking for some really cute costume jewelry, their stuff is great! I made some sales and got some contacts for home shows. Not to shabby for a vendor event. Lemme tell you, by the time 5pm rolled around, I was not the freshest smelling thing on the block. I had to pack up, run home, shower and get ready for a BBQ.

Every year my sorority alumnae association has BBQ kick-off in September. When we first moved here 3 years ago, it was the very first Kappa Delta AA event that I attended. 3 years later, I'm the president of the organization and wouldn't miss the BBQ for anything! I got there a little late and considerably fresher than I was at 5pm. We had an AWESOME time and I did not take a single picture. I'm still getting used to taking my camera with me places. I brought it, but it never made it out of my purse. I guess that's a step in the right direction. (I'll bet you a quarter that if you click on Carrie's blog in my blog roll, she'll have some pictures to show.) We had a great time and there were about 30 people there and a few new faces, I get really excited when new KDs come to the events and we had 3 or 4 new faces!

So, this weekend was also the year of my 15 year HS reunion. EEEKKK! Has it really been that long? I guess 1993 really was 15 years ago. Wow! I remember for our 10th anniversary someone had sent out invitations well in advance and you had plenty of time to decide if you could make it. This time, nothing, no letter, nada. I happened to be on Facebook and looked up Brooke High School and joined the "Friends of Brooke HS 15 year reunion" I believe it started by someone asking if we were having a reunion or not. At the end of July someone said that it was September 13th at the Follansbee Community Center. (Yep, the field house at the pool where we used to have our middle school dances. Did you have middle school dances? Did they play "Never Say Goodbye" by Bon Jovi at the end of the night??? I still LOVE Bon Jovi! Saw them in Greensboro in March YUM!) I digress. I didn't have enough lead time to plan a trip up there in that short of time and Kev is super busy with 2 operas and can't get away. Well, someone posted some pictures of the reunion on Facebook and WOW... 13 people from the class showed up. That's out of 336. 13! From what I could see in the pix, there were like 4 tables covered in yellow vinyl table cloths and a table with a few crock pots on it. (I guess that was dinner?) Seriously, they looked like they had a good time but it just got me to thinking.. (Look a southern phrase! Pretty soon I'll be saying "Bless his/her heart.) Maybe it was the contrast to the event I attended, maybe it reminded me where I came from, maybe it made me pretty grateful for the opportunities I've had over the past 15 years, the friends I've made and the places I've been. I'm not sure, I've been in a pretty reflective mood over the past 2 days and I think the pix of the reunion had something to do with it. I am pretty thankful that you all take the time to read my thoughts and ramblings.

Ok Dokie, off to shower and make some dinner. I have big plans for some HG Skillet Chicken and Rice. I'll take some pictures and post them later!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

It all started with a spoon

At the beginning of the year I had a few people over to the house and we served some tasty treats and coffee. I set up a coffee station by the pot, we had a little bowl of sugar, some Equal packets, little moo cow of milk and spoons to mix it all together.

People like to use spoons to stir their coffee... and eat soup... and ice cream... Me, I'm not too much of a spoon user. WHAT! I don't like spoons??!!! I really think that spoons have a time and place. For example, you're at a birthday party, there's cake and ice cream, you always get a spoon.. have to eat cake with a spoon. Nope, not me, I am 100% for the fork. I would MUCH rather eat ice cream with a fork than cake with a spoon. I know, no one really gets it. Not even me... But since the whole lactose intolerant thing popped up it really is better for everyone that ice cream stays out of my life. Really, you'd appreciate it.

Back to the spoons. After the event Kev decided that we used too many spoons. I asked, "Today or in general?" Apparently he feels we wash too many spoons. I said OK, why don't we use 1 spoon, rinse it off and put it in a special place. We'll know that's the "coffee spoon". Note to self... maybe I can buy a spoon rest, I bet there are cute ones out there, maybe I'll find one with monkeys on it. No, he thinks we need stirrer sticks. Really, we can't rinse off 1 spoon? I guess not, so off to SAM's Club we go. For those of you who know me, you know if my intense dislike of WalMart. Sam's is another story, you have to pay to belong, so it's almost like a belonging to a country club, but without the golf course.

So, off to get 1000 Ziploc baggies, 2000 Tums, an office chair and...
5000 coffee stirrers... I reminded Kev that there are only 2 of us, I buy my coffee at work and we don't supply a continental breakfast buffet to weary travelers. He divided 5000 by $8.98 and came up with .00179 cents per stick. Apparently the unit cost made it far too good a deal to pass up. You'll notice the date on the box. That's the day we brought them home. I want to track how long it will take us to use them all.

I've become a little more environmentally conscious this past year and I feel a little guilty about all the little black sticks we throw away. So, I was thinking that perhaps there was some way to "re-purpose" the stirrer stick. I mean, we can't put them back to the way they were before they became stirrer sticks, if we throw them away, they're still in the landfill... Thinking, thinking... maybe they could be woven together to make a ghetto trivet. How about heated and stretched to a really fine string and made into a scratchy sweater. Stick puppet theater on a boring night?? Yea, none of those really worked for me either. If anyone has a suggestion, I'm all ears! If you'd like some stirrer sticks of your very own to re-purpose, I'd be happy to send some your way!



It's Tuesday!!! - OK, Thursday

Wow, my creative stuff has been pretty non-existent this past week. Thankfully the TCPTUES challenge got my juices flowing!

Here's my submission for the week. I used the new TCP Birthday sets. Wow! They are just adorable and came at a time when I realized I needed a whole bunch of birthday cards.

I gave this to one of my employees today, her birthday is tomorrow and I must say, she was impressed by my abilities... Yep, wowing the workplace one step at a time!



Monday, September 8, 2008

I went to a HG meeting and had...BLOG CANDY!!!!

The most AMAZING Spiced Caramel Dip! Holly cow is this stuff awesome!!!

Here's the recipe:
1 Homemade Gourmet Spiced Dip Mix
1 16oz container of caramel dip (Like Smuckers)
1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
4 oz whipped topping (thawed)

Mix it all together and refrigerate 30 minutes before serving. Serve with apple slices or graham crackers.

This would make an awesome after school snack or daytime treat or for dessert... Mmmm, the possibilities are endless. I am absolutely bringing this to a BBQ this weekend.

Well a lot of people have blog candy, so I am having a little candy of my own. Leave a comment on my blog and I'll draw a random number on September 15th. The lucky person will receive their very own spiced dip mix to make this tasty dip, some blank all occasion cards and a treat or two. I'll post a pix of the treats in the next few days!



Painting makes my toe hurt.

Hi all!

Busy, busy, busy... After my great success painting the upstairs bathroom, I was besieged with grandiose images of great DIY projects. I've painted a bathroom, yippee! I can paint more spaces, maybe a fun new technique, like sponging or rag rolling?? the curse of the messy painter has been broken!!!

Nope, not a chance.

I went to Lowes and described the awful "Herbal Garden" color that graced the downstairs bathroom. (Seriously, I liked it for about a minute and have hated it for 8 months.) I was told that I needed to cover the walls with primer before I laid down the "Gardenia Red". OK, I get it, Better coverage, blah, blah, blah, all I heard was 3 layers of paint instead of 2. But no! I CAN DO IT!!! I've tackled the "Lion's Mane" and gosh does it look good! I've won before, let's press my luck!! So, I get a new roller, a pint of primer and a gallon of Gardenia Red. My happy empowered self drives the paint back home... So proud, so proud...

Sunday morning.... I get dressed in my painting/hair coloring/any messy task shirt, put the hair in a clip and promptly run my pinky toe into the door. OUCH! Picture me, sitting on the floor moaning in pain and cursing the paint that caused me to have to change out of my jammies. (It REALLY hurt!)

OK, toughen up and limp downstairs to the bathroom. I took an old sheet and covered the toilet and most of the floor. Open the primer and wow, this stuff is runny... is primer supposed to be runny? I trusted the little man behind the counter at Lowes, he said this is what I was supposed to buy, it says "primer" on the can... Hey, I don't paint so they could have sold me a jug of baby tears and I would have put it on the wall. I think I have that look about me, that indescribable, indiscernible thing that says... I don't do manual labor, I'll buy whatever you tell me to. Maybe if I had on a paint speckled shirt or some work boots I could have saved 10 dollars... I digress, that "primer" ran all over the walls and onto the floor, nope, not on the drop cloth, but 2 inches to the right. As I pull on the cloth/sheet to clean up the spill... the rest of the primer tips over and onto the floor.

I think that's when the cursing began in earnest... If Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore had still been alive, they would have had an earful from me... So, clean up the primer and try to start again... But NO, WAIT... There isn't enough primer left to finish the room, nope, not even close.

I think the bathroom will have to wait for another day. Right now it's a disaster area and off limits. The 2 of us can p in another bathroom for the next week.

Sorry to vent, but I do feel a little better now. You know what would make me feel a lot better, me paying someone to finish painting and clean the bathroom... Any takers??


Thursday, September 4, 2008

New Starving Artistamps!!

Whoo Hoo!!! Have you checked out the new Halloween releases from Starving Artistamps? The sentimets for the "Witch Trio" crack me up. "Man, I've got a wedgie" is something that really tanscends across all seasons, don't ya think? The little vampire dude from the "Graveyard Shift" is adorable!

The best part is that they are giving them away as blog candy! Yep, just spread the word and they could be yours! Go to http://starvingartistamps.blogspot.com/ and check them out!!!


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Liberate the Crock Pots!

It's the day after Labor Day and that means fall is on it's way! I absolutely love fall, it's my favorite time of the year. Being in North Carolina I don't get as much "fall" as we did in PA, but I know that sweater season is just around the corner.

To celebrate September, I thought I'd post some great Homemade Gourmet meals for the crock-pot. If you're anything like me, yours is sitting on a shelf in the garage or in a cabinet in the kitchen. If you are me, they're in both places since both you and your hubby each had one before you met. How about we liberate those pots and let them see some daylight! I'll bet they're feeling a little neglected, especially since the microwave gets so much attention.

Alright, here's the first one:

Tender Chicken & Potatoes

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)
4 TBS Homemade Gourmet Grandmother’s Sunday Roast Seasoning
1 10.75 oz can cream of mushroom soup
1/3 c water
8 oz tomato sauce
2 potatoes, cubed (large pieces)
1 onion, cubed (large pieces)
1 c frozen corn

Place mixture & veggie bag into slow cooker and cook on low 4 hrs.
Or, place meat in bag with other ingredients. Remove air, seal & SMOOSH to mix & double bag and then place in freezer to use later. (Do not freeze potatoes unless they are blanched or canned) Make a note on the bag to add them at the time of cooking. Serve with HG World Vision Bread and you have a delicious meal!

Cheesy Mexican Crockpot Chicken
4 TBS Homemade Gourmet Taco Soup Seasoning
1 Can Rotel Tomatoes
2-3 lbs Chicken
*1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack or Cheddar

Dump into crock pot or baking dish. Or, place meat in bag with other ingredients. Remove air, seal & SMOOSH to mix. Place cheese in separate smaller bag. Zip both bags into another bag to make kit. Note on bag: *Sprinkle cheese over meat at the last 10 minutes of cooking time. Serve the chicken with our Spanish Rice. The next day, shred the leftover chicken and use the remainder of the rice to make a tasty burrito!

This one isn't a meal, simply the most AMAZING Dip EVER!!!
Sausage Enchilada Dip
1 lb your choice of cooked ground sausage
2.5 TBS Homemade Gourmet Chicken Enchilada Soup Seasoning
1 can Rotel
2 – 8oz pkgs of Cream Cheese
¼ cup milk

Brown sausage, drain well. Combine remaining ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours or on high while constantly stirring. Serve as dip with tortilla chips or as a main fondue dish with bread pieces. (Or use the microwave for a faster cooking time.)
Leftover Dip freezes well! (You might have leftovers, we don't!)



Monday, September 1, 2008

More creative stuff!

So when I started making cards I justified some the the original purchases by saying that I would use them to make adorable tags for Homemade Gourmet Gifts... I can personalize the pre-made gifts I take to craft shows... I can make thank you cards for my hostesses, I'll be on top of my correspondence!! Instead of forgetting birthdays I'll have a stack of beautiful handmade creations ready to go at a moment's notice! Right.. I bet I'm not the first to creatively justify a new hobby. Well, I am pleased to announce that I spent a good portion of this long weekend being craft-tastic. I finished a boatload of cards and participated in some challenges at the same time!

Here's a card I whipped up for an upcoming hostess. (I bought Chefabella for that reason... to make hostess cards!) I coordinated the colors to play with this week's color challenge on Splitcoast. The task was to make a card using Kraft (or Creamy Caramel), Basic Black and Ruby Red. I used all of those inks on Miss Bella as well as some scrap paper I had laying around. The challenge code is CC181, check out all the other submissions in the gallery!

But was I done with the challenges for the day?? Not a chance! The bella sketch challenge beckoned as well! I didn't use my Bellas, I needed a birthday card for my SIL and none of my Bellas seemed to fit. I whipped out my TCP stamps and inked up Present Sprinkle and some party hats! The gallery link is BSC44. I am anxiously waiting for my order of the new TCP Birthday stamps to arrive, but I guess I'll have to wait a little longer and use what I have... (Have you seen the new sets? The penguins and cupcakes are adorable!!! and rumor has it that there is another release in the near future!) Can you tell I was really digging the Ruby Red and Pumpkin Pie ink today? I also think the scallop flowers really complimented the background paper, don't you?
Final creation of the day. This is for a friend of mine who recently announced she was pregnant. I thought teddybella was especially appropriate for her. When I asked if she wanted a boy or a girl, she said that it didn't matter, she just wanted to know so she could start shopping!

I know all of the paper is from SU! and I used Certainly Celery, Blue Bayou and Old Olive along with a bunch of other SU! inks. I even used the funky new Scallop edge punch! That thing is AWESOME!!!
Well, back to reality and off to fold some clothes!