Friday, January 27, 2012

Better pictures of gifts - off to a great start!!

Here is a close up of the box of candy and the little fold up tote - how cute is that tag and note the little bauble -

But as I mentioned - it matched our Leadership bag - here are Theresa and Heidi with it.  The bottom of the bag unbuttons and is reversible to all of the red pattern and the entire back is reversible to show the entire blue pattern - so you can use the bag many ways.  All of this was to go with the theme of "My Way" for Leadership and SU will be using it through out the year.  You could have chocolate (my way) and your bag (my way) - so cute!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Make and Take Gifts

So when Heidi, Theresa and I arrived at our make and take session at Leadership - look what awaited us - two wonderful gifts.  These were soooo unexpected.  The first was this adorable roll up tote - with different sections to put your notebook; pens; make-up; Ipad - or whatever you'd like!  It matches the adorable tote we got - which I'll share soon.  But sooo fun!  The second was the cute little box filled with CHOCOLATE - three different kinds of homemade chocolate - dark with cranberries; light with nuts and white with oreo cookies - all so yummy!  Stampin' Up! never ceases to amaze me!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Zamarah is Growing - OLD POST

I was cleaning up my blog and found this DRAFT post from 3/12/2010 - don't know why I never posted it - but had to share as it is soooo cute! The words below are what I wrote back then - so left them just as they were -

So Jenee brought the kiddos over last week, and our little Zamarah is starting to fill out. She is such a petite little things, but her cheeks are getting rounder, and she has an extra roll on her legs. (It's the only time in her life when that will be considered cute :)) Here she is just starting to wake.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Roomie Gifts

So Leadership was amazing.  I love San Antonio and the Riverwalk - and it was even better sharing it with 1399 other STAMPERS :)  Here are the little gifts I made for my room-mates - Cheryl, Heidi and Theresa - I hope they liked them.

All three notebooks with packets of Kleenex - every Leadership or Convention I cry at least once - so I thought they'd be a great addition to the notebooks; and look how cute they are!!

Here is the notebook partially open - it is magnetic, so the green cardstock covers the magnet.  So cute!!
Here is one of the notebooks and kleenex packets up  close!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Great Weather....

Today I wanted to share a few pictures of the amazing weather we have in So Cal.  I sometimes hate to post pictures like this - as I have family and so many friends in the cold climate. But this was such an amazing day - that I just had to share.

It was back on Dec. 29, so you don't have to be as jealous, because as I'm typing it's only in the 50's, over cast and a chance of showers.  But on the 29th Paul and I were both off work and decided to take a drive up the coast with our Corvette, and have a relaxing day together.  We stopped at a wonderful restaurant north of Ventura - the Cliff House - for lunch. And this is what we saw from our table -
View almost directly in front of us and to the right.
View to our right.
View of surfers to our left - we walked a little closer to the edge of the restaurant grounds to get this picture.
View to the left from where we were sitting.
We both had fish and chips and it was delish.  But the best part was that it was 12/29 and we were sitting outside enjoying lunch with short sleeves and jeans.  We'd brought jackets along -but no need to use them.  There are a lot of things that frustrate me with Southern Cal - but the weather is not one of them.  Enjoy!!  ~Maureen

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hi all from San Antonio - Just a quick post to let you know what an amazing time we're having here. My downlines Heidi and Theresa are here with me for Stampin' Ups! Leadership conference - and we are having an amazing time. THe hotel internet is not great - and I've struggled with getting on - so not photos, but I have a ton to blog about when I get home. We had a great day today with a ton of great training. Donna Griffith and Pasty Waggoner taught a great class called retaining and engaging your downline. Patsy had some great tips on encouragement and how to help your downline want to stay active. Then we attended a class with Shannon West about our title benefits. She went over all the amazing perks of being a manager and what is to come with the next few promotions. The last class today was with Amy Swartz and Paula Critchlow on including a new generation in your stamping business. It was a great class, and featured a video of Heidi sharing on "Empower" the empowering beneftit of crafting. We have Regionals tomorrow and I am looking forward to a great day of information and stamping! I'll be home soon and back to stamping with lots to share. I am inspired and ready to grow my stamping team and business.

Stamp Camp Cards

Last Tuesday was my Cards, Cards, Cards Stamp Camp for January and I wanted to share the three birthday cards we made.  The first two were designed by Heidi and the third by me.  Next month we switch and I do two and she does one - works out great!
Vintage card - background is embossed and tea stained.  Seam binding is ruffled by scrunching it over snail adhesive.  Butterfly is stamped twice, the center one is colored, cut out and popped up.
Celebrate Card - background is stamped with polka dots.  Image is colored with markers.  The layers with the elephant on are popped up!
Feminine card - Frame is embossed and torn around edge.  Ribbon is added by scrunching between little pieces of tape.  Flower is three little flowers punched, scrunched, opened and adhered together with glue dots and a pearl in the middle.
Hope you enjoyed them.  My next Cards, Cards, Cards stamp camp is Feb. 21.  You can get full details on my upcoming events, but clicking on the Upcoming Stamping Events! link at the top of the blog.  Stop back soon. ~Maureen

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ribbon Share

The Occasions Mini Catalog is here and filled with amazing new products to spark your stamping creativity. There are some great new ribbons including a new seam binding; some beautiful pleated satin ribbons and 5 new colors of Bakers twine – and if you’re like me you’ve gotta have them ALL.

So to save you from yourself  - I’m offering a “ribbon share” of all these new ribbons.  Each person will receive 35 full yards of ribbon (that’s 105 feet) for a fraction of the cost of buying each roll for yourself.

For each ribbon share ordered you will get –
     -3/8” Pleated Satin Ribbon – 2 yards each of Pear Pizzazz, Riding Hood Red, Blushing Bride & Baja Breeze
     -Bakers Twine – 5 yards each of Wisteria Wonder, Pool Party, Lucky Limeade, Island Indigo & Calypso Coral
      -½”Seam Binding – 2 yards of Pool Party
Baja Breeze
Blushing Bride
Pear Pizzazz

Riding Hood Red

Calypso Coral
Island Indigo
Lucky Limeade
Pool Party
Wisteria Wonder
Pool Party Seam Binding
Cost for all 35 yards is $19.00 (that includes the shipping to my home and tax).  You’ll be notified when it is ready for you to pick up.  Or if you’d like me to mail it to your home – cost is $22.00 and an additional $1.80 if you’d like me to insure it.  All orders will be shipped USPS 1st class mail in a bubble envelope.  Please be sure to include your exact name and mailing address in your email, I will respond with a confirmation and any further instructions.  I've just finished putting together my first two shares - so now it's time for your order. 

Just email me if you’d like to participate at and let me know how many shares you’d like to purchase.  Orders will be ready for pick up within 2 weeks of when you email me.   You must pay before or at time of pick up.  This is a great way to have a bit of it all – or even for demonstrators to be able to show their customers more selection!  Looking forward to hearing from you soon.  No additional orders for this specific share will be taken after Jan. 31, 2012.   ~Maureen

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness

Today I wanted to share a beautiful RAK I received a while back from my downline Lisa.  She knew I was going through a tough time and in the midst of it I got this lovely card in the mail.  It made my day.  
Also, I received this great gift around the same time from my Secret Sister Virginia - it came in the mail when least expected something.  How fun is that .  These yellow picture holders came in these adorable heart packages.  Thank you Virginia.
My very favorite thing about stamping is the friendships you make and the people who will support you and that you can support.  There is nothing better than receiving something homemade from a friend.  Stamp something today for a friend of yours!  ~Maureen

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Secret Sister Gift

Some of you remember that at our Secret Sister reveal in December some of my ladies could not make it due to some family stuff going on.  So Julie brought Lyn's gift to this year's first meeting.  Here is what she made her - this amazing coin purse made with SU's Spice Cake fabric.  Man I wished I knew how to sew.  Isn't this great?!?!  She did say it was a lot of work and that she was never going to make another - so I guess Lyn has a one of a kind :)
 She also decoupaged this "L" for Lyn, and the elastic around it with the butterfly, flower and ribbon, can be removed and used as a book mark - so clever!
Finally - she made her this adorable lanyard that she can use for her work swipe card.  It is very similar to the ones Julie made us last year for our convention gifts.  What a great set of gifts - and Lyn was thrilled to get them.
Hope you enjoyed - my downline is so amazingly creative!  ~Maureen

Monday, January 16, 2012

Fun Christmas Chain

So right before Christmas we had a fun day with all of the grand babies over.  We were just giving the girls some time to go out and finish all their last minute shopping.  It was just a fun day - as it always is with the kiddos.
Here are Makai and Paisley working on  making a pretty Christmas chain to add to Gramma's decorations.  I just cut strips of  left over wrapping paper (1" x 6") and gave them my 2 sided tape and let them have fun.  They did a great job.
Here are Zamarah and Kamili working on their part of the chain.  No matter what I tried I could not get Zamarah to look at me for a picture.  You can see Kamili was really amused.
The "boys" however wanted nothing to do with making the chain.  Prince headed right for the Wii to play Mario Bros.  and I thought this was so cute - Zavian picked up the extra remote and sat right next to Prince for over an hour "playing".  Actually his remote was not working at all - but he thought it was and had a great time - just being there by Prince.  I love it!
They all bring such joy to my life - I am so blessed!  ~Maureen

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Vintage Ornaments

Just a quick post today - but I wanted to share these adorable ornaments.  My brother-in-law brought them back from a trip to Wisconsin over the holidays.  They were made by my husband's Aunt Louise a long time ago - maybe the 50's.  I think they are adorable - and a wonderful example of a vintage handmade creation.  Hope you enjoy seeing them!  ~Maureen

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Occasions Mini Swap

Our group did a swap for new sets out of the new Mini Catalog - four of us participated - but one person ended up not making it - so I'll share hers when we get it.  Here are the ones that did make it so far -

Heidi's - she used the Hearts Framelits dies and the set P.O. I Love You - She stitched around the larger heart with her sewing machine and I love the way she folded her little banner.

This is Lois' -  she used the new Tea Shoppe set from the mini - and the little tag is from the Fresh Vintage set that you can get FREE during Sale-a-bration beginning Jan. 24 - ask me how!

Finally - Mine - I used the new Apothecary Art set from the mini which coordinates perfectly with the Labels collection framelits. 

Hope you enjoyed these cards. You can see all the products in this mini by clicking the Occasions mini on my side bar - as well as the Sale-a-bration catalog that starts Jan. 24.  If you don't have a current demonstrator and live in the U.S. and would like the catalogs - email me your name and address at and I'll get them right out to you!!  See you soon!  ~Maureen

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Valentine's Challenge

At our downline meetings we do a challenge each month, and the ladies are asked to participate.  We vote on one winner and draw for another - and they each get prizes.  This month our challenge was make your best Love or Valentine card.  We only got two entries - but I love them both.  The first was mine - I used the DSP from Sale-A-Bration; and the heart sizzlet and bakers twine from the Occasions mini to make this card.  I just might do something similar for my Leadership swaps if I get a chance to get some done this weekend.
 The next card was Heidi's lovely entry - how pretty is that - she used the new heart framelits and our new edgelits from the mini catalog to create this beauty.  I love how she cut out several hearths overlapping them.  This is also the SAB DSP.  


The new Mini catalog and the SAB catalog which starts later this month are simply amazing.  If you're in the U.S. and don't already have a demonstrator - contact me and I'll get them right out to you - my email is
Enjoy!!  See you soon!  ~Maureen

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Slow Cooker Navy Bean Soup

So now and then I share some of my favorite recipes - mostly for the crockpot - as my crockpot and I are best buddies!! Today I'm sharing this yummy and easy bean soup.  It's perfect for right after the holidays as it uses up a lot of that leftover ham in the fridge.  Here's how my counter looked right before assembly in the crock pot.

Slow Cooker Navy Bean Soup
  • 1 bag dried navy beans
  • 1-2 cups chopped ham 
  • 8 cups liquid -  I used 3 cups of stock from cooking the ham in the slow cooker earlier*; 28 oz of diced tomatoes and juice;14.5 oz. chicken broth and a 1/2 cup water
  • 3 stalks celery chopped
  • 3/4 cup onion chopped
  • 2 cups carrots sliced
  • Spices to taste - I used 2 tsp black pepper; 1 tsp crushed garlic, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf, remove before serving
Cover beans completely and soak overnight in a bowl of water. The next morning drain the water and place beans in the crock pot. Add the rest of the ingredients.  Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.  Serve with cheese and some good sourdough or pumpernickel bread.  Here it all is in the crockpot ready to cook.

Here it is in my bowl read to eat - we had it with  whole wheat sour dough bread and muenster cheese and it was amazing.  Soup can be a bit salty, so don't add any extra salt to it.  To make less salty use less of the ham stock and more water or low sodium chicken broth.  You really don't need any ham stock at all - it would be great with just chicken broth and the canned chopped tomatoes and juice.
This made a bit crock pot full - we had it for two more meals after this - and it just got better as it sat and was re-heated. * I cook my ham (as big as will fit, bone in, in my crockpot) - just put it in there with no water, and let it cook 8 hours on low.  It gives it a really rich slow cooked flavor and yields the most wonderful stock for this soup.  Enjoy!  and if you make it, please leave me a comment on how it was.  ~Maureen

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Downline Project

Yesterday I held my monthly downline meeting and Sandy provided our project - here she is smiling as we work.
She demonstrated and had us do the lovely card sitting in front of her here.

It is the emerging image technique - first we stamped the script letters - then embossed the flowers over the letters in clear embossing.  Next we sponged Night of Navy ink over the entire image and the script and flowers emerged beautifully.  Then just buff the flowers to get off any traced of ink.

Here is a close-up of the detail.  It was a beautiful project for us to make - thank you Sandy!!  Also thank you to Kathy S for the yummy snacks!!
Thanks for stopping by - Maureen

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christmas Dinner

Christmas Day we had dinner at Heidi's - she and Jenee made all of the wonderful food - everything was just perfect.  Here is the beautiful table setting that greeted us.

And the lovely place settings -
A close-up of my place setting - isn't that wonderful!

Besides all the other goodies this candy bar awaited us :)
After - we opened gifts and it was PURE chaos - but wonderful, wonderful chaos.  Here are just a few pictures that represent the fun and the blessings.

Till next time ~Maureen