Monday, July 27, 2009

Tomorrow's the Day

It's 3:49 am on Monday morning. I just got home from picking Lizzy up from her trip to New Orleans. They left at noon on Sunday and drove straight through. It's going to take me a few minutes to get to sleep so I thought I would check in.

Tomorrow and Wednesday are my big exam. I feel like I've been studying forever but still can't remember a darn thing. I really don't think I'm going to actually pull it off, but I would appreciate any thoughts and prayers nonetheless!

So today is my last study day, and I hope losing these few hours of sleep today isn't going to mess up my body rhythms too much the next couple of days. Nothing really I can do at this point except try to stay relaxed.

Is anyone else going to the CHA Craft SuperShow this weekend? I'm still definitely planning to go, but I just don't know if it will be Friday or Saturday. Please let me know if you think you will be there!

Have a wonderful week - and I'll post again on Thursday, when I will be a much happier, relaxed, person. :D

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thoughts on Lifestyle Craft's Home Letterpress Machine

Hey all -

In case you missed it, Quickutz release a new product line yesterday for home letterpress card making, the Lifestylecraft "L". It's a set of products designed to fit into the new Epic Six machine. One of my biggest questions is whether or not the kit will fit into the Sizzix Big Shot/Big Kick. I really didn't want to buy a new machine, because the Big Shot Pro is in my horizon's some day, but I'm also a big QK fan and would be willing to be enabled to get the Epic if it was necessary to do the letterpress.

I had a chance to do some "research" and I believe that the letterpress kit WILL fit in the Big Kick. The height of the opening is about 7/8 of a inch, while the Big Kick is just a hair over 1 1/8 inch. Because the Big Kick also has a slight edge in width, the platform should go through just fine. However, because letterpress requires the pressure from going through the rollers, we probably will have to add a 1/2" shim of some sort.

Also, GeorgiaMolly on 2ps gave the Epic Six a poor review, so I'm probably just going to wait and see what happens. Although I can't imagine why it wouldn't cut cleanly in the middle - unless the platform is unstable for some reason? The rollers should provide even pressure throughout?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Oh Snap!

I know I said I wouldn't post until next week but 1) I'm having a hard time staying focused 2) I'm so excited about this that I wanted to share.

If you've ever checked out my list of craft obsessions to the right, you'll notice letterpress among them. Letterpress is the style of printing often seen on very fancy invitations and letterhead. The print and/or designs are pressed into soft, pillowly cardstock at the same time, resulting in the finished product. Have you ever been to Crane? If not, go and look at how elegant a card can look when created with letterpress. The effect really does not come across well on the computer, you should try to see some in person.

One of my interests has always been fine stationery. I love receiving very formal wedding invitations, which unfortunately are becoming fewer and fewer. And if you remember my Mardi Gras post you'll note my enchantment with vintage die-cut and embossed ephemera. Along these lines are the Accucut Pinnovation dies, which allow printed materials to be die cut. However the price range and my limited personal need for such products place it out of my reach. (I should note that I think I can rig the new Sizzix Big Shot Pro dies to fulfill this for me).

The other missing piece is a practical way of home letterpress. I have sketched ways of doing this using my Big Shot. Letterpress is such a natural extension of embossing folders, and now I'm so excited because Quickutz is releasing a new product that will do home letterpress!!

They just launched the web site, and while I have more questions than answers (price? will this work with my Big Shot?), I am really excited about this!

Check out the new web site here!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

See You Next Week

I won't be posting until Wednesday, July 29th. Please send me some smart person vibes a week from Tuesday (and Wednesday too)! See you then :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sizzix Big Shot Pro, Part 2

Edited to add: The dimensions I gave below are the finished sizes of the cards. The dies themselves are ~12x12.

I found some additional info on the new Sizzix Big Shot Pro. I've always been a big fan of Accucut, but it's been out my price range (as well it should be) and this seems like the next big thing. I've got a few pics for you of some of the envelopes (A6!!!), boxes, cards & albums that can be made with the 12" Big Shot Pro dies. Also, custom die-making services will be available. I have no idea if this is meant for consumers, or what the price range will be. The envelope and card shape dies are a real boon for cardmakers, thanks Sizzix!

For more of my CHA news and information, please visit this page.

Sizzix Big Shot Pro retail price will be $349 (can you say coupon?). The dies will retail for $59. There are lots more dies, I've posted pics of just a few of them below. These will be available in November, which gives me plenty of time to start saving some money!

The dimensions for the pics below are as follows: Cupcake card (5x6), Flip Flop Card (8x9 1/4), Self-Closing Card (7 1/8 x 5 1/4).

Heart Closure Box ( 2 5/8 x 2 5/8 x 2 5/8), Carry All Box (3 1/4 x 4 5/8 x 2 3/8), CD Box (5 5/8 x 5 x 3/8)

Envelope #10 letter (9 1/2 x 4 1/8), A6 Horizontal Pocket & Insert (6 1/4 x 4 1/2), A6 Vertical Pocket & Insert (4 1/2 x 6), Square #2 Envelope (6 1/4)

CHA Summer 2009 - Laura Ashley

The Laura Ashley brand, known for home decor and apparel is entering the scrapbook market. Here are a few peeks of the line, including some pretty wood-mounted rubber stamps. Speaking of famous names entering papercrafts, whatever happened to Paris Hilton? I still haven't seen any of her scrapbook items in my LSS.....

One of the coolest items, IMO, are the peg stamps. If you are familiar with Rubber Stamp Tapestry (my mom's favorite), they seem very similar to them.

For more of my CHA sneak peeks, please visit this page.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I just wanted to welcome everyone to my new home on Blogger. I think between trying out all three major services, including Wordpress and Typepad, I'm going to be very happy here.

Unfortunately, I have to redo all my pictures. So please be patient as I reupload all my pictures. My goal is to do about 5 posts a day, but with the bar approaching I may not be able to even do that.

Please hang in there - and on August 1st I'll be back to lots of regular crafty happiness.


Papertrey Day at the Beach Flip-Flop Card

Here's another Papertrey Ink Day at the Beach card. This time I used all Stampin' Up! papers, including the new In Colors (Bermuda Breeze, Rich RazzleBerry, Crushed Curry) and kraft. Enjoy!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Retired Stampin' Up! For Sale

For sale. Paypal only. All retired, used Stampin' Up! sets in good condition. Most have moderate ink stains although Crab & Co and Unforgettable are heavily stained, but they still have LOTS of life left in them. Priority mail shipping for most (please email me to work out a lower rate if you want a set, I can get quotes to send first class mail as well). I will try to combine. If you want two or more please email me to work out a shipping total.

Thanks for looking!

- Crab & Company $20
- Unfrogettable $25
- Pure & Simple Alphabet Upper $13
- Buttons, Bows & Twinkletoes $8
- Sculpted Style $4

CHA Summer 2009 - Sizzix

Sizzix Big Shot Pro. Click here for larger pic.

It's finally time to start talking about the CHA Summer 2009 releases. It's going to be in Orlando this year, and I'm planning to go to the retail show. I'll be busy for the manufacturer show :::cough:::bar exam::::cough:::: but I'll be FREEEEE on Friday! I'm not at excited at all (not).

Here's the first bit of news that I've found so far. Sizzix (maker of the Big Shot and Big Kick) are going to have some very EXCITING new products. Kudos to them! I'll add pictures as soon as I have them. I'm very interested to see the new 12" x 12" dies. They are also releasing "ScoreBoards Dies," which I'm not too sure what they are supposed to be - but it has something to do with cutting & scoring chipboard. I'm also really excited too see some of the new Build A Bear dies from Sizzix. Stampin' Up! will have a few of these first in their holiday mini catalog though. I have absolutely no idea what these will look like though.

Please make sure you check back on my blog frequently, I'll add updates as soon as I find them. Bookmark this page for future reference.

SIZZIX Summer 2009 Releases:
- Sizzix Big Shot Pro Machine 12" x 12" (OMG - first picture in this post)
- Sizzix Big Shot Pro Bigz 12" x 12" dies (OMG!!!)
- Sizzix Texture Boutique Embossing Machine ($29.00) (pic below)
- Sizzix ScoreBoards Dies
- Sizzix Movers & Shapers in 12" x 12" dies
- Sizzix Build-A-Bear Workshop dies

Inkadinkado Camper Card

I used my Inkadinkado Road Trip stamps for this card. This is one of those cards that I am unlikely to ever send anyone, unless they happen to be taking a road trip in an old green VW van and an orange camping trailer. Hey, I can't help it if I try to live vicariously through my card-making! My grandparents used to own one of these old green vans, we traveled all the over US every summer in it. Awesome. When I get a real job I want to get an orange T@B, which is sort of like the camper trailer in the card. Driving to Alaska is on my bucket list of things to do. :::crossing fingers::::

Have a wonderful week!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

USA Synchro




Today we saw a demonstration of the USA Synchronized Swimming team in Largo, Florida. To see the rest of my pics, please visit my Flickr photostream. Good luck to the team at the FINA World Championships in Rome!
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Tuesday, July 7, 2009


A few pictures from the stage door of Rent. It opened in Tampa tonight (7/7/9) at the beautiful Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, still one of my favorite venues. Although I didn't go, my daughter did, and she was thrilled to see the original cast members, Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp, in the show. Other than the movie version, I saw them in the original run when I lived and worked in New York City in the late '90s. I used to work in publishing, and our offices were across the street from the Winter Garden theater, where Cats was playing. I usually spent my lunch breaks standing in line at the TKTS booth, and saw many many shows as a result. Good times!


Artful Inkables: Twilight Card

Stamps: Artful Inkables Into the Moonlight and Fictionally Inspired.
Paper: Papertrey Pure Poppy
Other: Queen & Co. felt, versamark, Stampin' Up! black ink, scallop edge punch, black brads.

REVIEW: Williams-Sonoma Ad Hoc Fried Chicken Kit

Looks good right? A few days ago I wrote about my plans to make fried chicken using the Williams-Sonoma fried chicken kit, based on Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc recipe. I'd read the recipe in Food & Wine and Bon Appetit, and had also read numerous raving reviews from people who've been to the restaurant.

I made the purchase on Thursday, against my better judgment. We drove to W-S in the pouring rain. And of course as soon as I'm getting ready to check-out, Olivia requested a potty break. The staff told me where the nearest public restroom was, nearly a block away. I was a little bothered that they wouldn't let us use the one in the store. It was pouring rain, and this wasn't a shopping mall - and when a kid has to go, they have to go. I was really tempted to leave then, and I should have (remind me to listen to my gut!).

To make a long story short, I prepared the kit almost exactly as the directions called for. I brined overnight, and then battered. The only difference in what I did is that I allowed the chicken to dry after it was battered, not before. I felt it would be a little safer and I think letting the crust dry really helps it to "stick."

It looked great, but unfortunately - I really hated the taste. I can't really put a finger on what was bad, it wasn't one flavor that stood out. But there was a very strong artificial aftertaste that left a bad taste. The seasonings aren't anything unusual either, so the only explanation I have is that there must be some preservative in the kit that gives everything an unusual taste.

I was considering returning it, but that seems tacky, plus I can't find the receipt. But now I have half a kit that I don't know what to do with?

So, in case you were considering this - I would not recommend it.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Bon Appetit Coffee-rub Burgers with Texas Barbecue Sauce

I hope my crafty readers don't mind, but I have another cooking post for today! My July 2009 issue of Bon Appetit magazine had several grilling recipes, including one for coffee-rubbed burgers with a Texas barbecue sauce. I was originally going to make them for July 4th, but my fried chicken schedule (more on that in a few days) required me to switch things up.

You can see the recipe for the burger and the sauce here and here.

Unfortunately there is no picture to go with the post. My Nikon D50 was giving me a CHA error, which appears to be related to a bad SD card - so I didn't get a nice pic last night. Darn!

The burgers turned out great, but it had little to do with the coffee rub and barbecue sauce and more to do with using high-quality beef and cooking them on the grill with mesquite chips. I typically just purchase ground round or chuck, whatever is cheapest. The recipe suggested grass-fed beef, which I couldn't find locally (at a price I was willing to pay) so I purchased the Publix Greenwise beef. This beef is still corn-fed, but is antibiotic and hormone free, which I like.

I prepared the recipes exactly, other than adding my mesquite wood chips to the grill. Everyone enjoyed them, but the barbecue sauce and rub didn't really add anything, IMO. Maybe we're just not used to barbecue sauce on burgers? The sauce was good, but a little spicy for our taste, and we generally like hot foods. However, it was really easy and cheaper than buying pre-made so I'm going to try to make my own bbq sauce from now on. I couldn't even taste the coffee rub on the burgers though, and I used a liberal amount before grilling! I'm not sure why that didn't work out, and I will not do it again. I really like McCormick's Montreal Steak seasoning and I'm just going to stick with that.

My ad hoc fried chicken is going to be done today. It went through the brine last night and I'll be battering soon.

Happy 4th of July!

Friday, July 3, 2009


This one has been sitting on my desk for a while, but I just haven't gotten around to finishing it and taking a photo of it. It's all Papertrey except for the Martha Stewart ribbon and Stampin' Up! kraft cardstock.

Happy Friday :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Does anyone else love the little Basic Grey paper pads like I do? Everytime they come out with a new line, which seems to be every other week these days, I try to grab a paper pad if I have a little extra cash. It's the cost of two Starbucks coffee drinks, and the prints are smaller and perfect for card making.

My LSS just received Junebug and Lemonade from Basic Grey, and while I loved the pretty prints in Lemonade, the Provencal colors of Junebug really caught my eye. Here's a card I made last night! Very little stamping, just the "Thanks" from Stampin' Up! and polka dot backgrounder from Cornish Heritage Farms.

What are you doing today? I am starting work on property law and we might take a little break and go to the mall today. :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

CHA Sneak Previews & News

Bookmark this page, I'll link to all my CHA posts here. Please add a comment if you find a link to something you think I should add. Please keep in mind that the products seen here are for informational purposes only. I have no relationship with any of these manufacturers or retailers, and I only republish information that I find myself on the internet.

SUMMER 2009 (Orlando)