Monday, August 31, 2015

Personal Post Monday - It's PEACH time! with a recipe!

So the last few weeks have been crazy busy with unpacking, organizing, prepping for classes and a trip to So.Cal (more on that trip later).  But in the midst of all of that - our PEACHES ripened!  The tree was amazing and we got tons - which meant I had to do something with all of them.  We picked our first two buckets on 8/15/15 -
Aren't they beautiful!!!  And I was so pleased when I opened the first one and it was cling-free!  So much easier for prepping them.  The largest ones were about 4" diameter!
Here's the kitchen getting ready for canning to begin!  Coffee is ready in the background - as I needed reinforcements.
The first thing I made was preserves.  I used to can all the time (never peaches though) - when we lived in Wisconsin - but it's been 20 years - so I kinda had to learn all over again.  My first batch was the hardest -getting all the logistics down - but after that much easier.  There are just a lot of steps to it, and lots of dirty dishes - lol!
After a couple weeks and some more picking (about 3-4 of those large paint buckets full all together - I ended up with preserves,
And jelly and sliced peaches - all canned and ready to enjoy during the coming months.  I still have about 6 dozen small peaches - the last ones off the tree and hope to freeze them today.  Wish me luck!
Friday I made my first peach dessert (we've just been eating them sliced as they are so good).  It is Tennessee Peach Pudding - and believe me it tastes as good as it looks.  It's a pretty unique recipe - I had never made anything like it.  Has a bit of a cobbler feel - but the bottom is creamy and more like a pudding consistency.  We had it hot last night with ice cream - and I had some cold with coffee this AM - just as good both ways!  You can find the recipe here -  Or follow me on PINTEREST - for tons of great recipes and craft ideas.
On a final note for this personal post Monday - I wanted to share this beautiful picture from sunset on Friday - I walked in my kitchen and it was aglow with pinky orange - so I stepped out the back door and this is what I saw - so beautiful!!!
Life is full of blessings - they are all around us - please, please don't get too busy to see them.  See you all soon - TTFN!  ~Maureen

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Thank you notes!

Thanks a Latte - first of all that's what I want to say to all of you who have stuck by me through my move and re-establishing my Stampin' Up! business!  I know I have not been blogging or facebooking or even keeping my website up to date as much a I used to - but this move was major - and if you saw all the stuff I still have in boxes you'd understand LOL - I vow to do better!
These cards were made with a previous Paper Pumpkin kit - I made up a ton of them as I always need Thank You cards!
I really want to thank my new customers here in the Prescott, AZ area for stamping with me.  This is a great way for me to meet people - and crafting always brings the best people together.  Looking forward to meeting many more of you.  Also, a shout out to all the women who attended the Card Buffet at Heidi's house last Monday when I was visiting.  It was a great night of stamping and visiting - miss you all aready!  So.Cal. - the next Card Buffet will be 10/10/15 - so mark your calendars.  (details to follow)
So, speaking of thank you's - sometimes, when you have a lot of thank you notes to write, it's hard to sound totally sincere. Remember all those notes for your shower? wedding? It can get to sound a bit like a robot wrote it -

The proper formula for writing thank you cards is:

1. Express gratitude 
2. Thank them for the specific gift or service 
3. Explain why you appreciated the service or how you are using the gift
4. End with a personal note with sincerety

Still having trouble, there are lots of books on the market that will help you say the right thing - one of my favorties is Write the Right Words by Sandra E. Lamb.  She has great ideas for writing cards for all occasions--not just gratitude cards--and I find them to be incredibly helpful in getting my brain working.  

So again - today I'm THANKFUL for all of you!  See you soon!!  ~Maureen

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Time is Running out on this GREAT deal!!

So really - 50% off your first two months - how great is that.  This is the perfect time to try Paper Pumpkin kits from Stampin' Up! that come right to your home.  These kits are complete, and designed to be completed within about an hour.  Each month is a surprise and a variety of cards and 3D items.  They are perfect to sit down with a great cup of coffee or tea and take a little crafting escape.  For those of you with kids or grandkids - they are so fun to do together.

At approx $20 a month these kits are a great deal - but you first two months for around $10 each - unbelievable.  SO - just so you have a better idea of what I'm talking about - check out these kits from past months -

And a video on the August kit that just came last week -

So what are you waiting for????  You gotta try this - just go to my Paper Pumpkin site and sign-up NOW - be sure to put me as your demonstrator when you sign-up!  Then sit back and wait for CRAFTING HEAVEN when your September and October kits come.  Plus - check out PINTEREST Paper Pumpkin ideas for alternative ways to use your kits.  See you soon ~Maureen

Monday, August 17, 2015

Personal Post Monday - Again :)

I know I have not posted for an entire week - my computer was down for over 5 days and after getting it fixed I am still catching up - so sorry :(  But last week I promised pictures of the critters we have seen around here so I'm still going to do that, and then I HOPE to get some creative posts up this week!  So first - we have amazing hummingbirds - this feeder is right outside my kitchen window and the activity is non-stop.  We saw as many as nine of them there at one time.
I am just mesmerized by them and amazed at how many different colors and types we have.
This picture really shows off some of the color of two of them as they take flight.
Then last week I saw this beautiful moth on our bug zapper - it is a Big Poplar Sphinx Moth.  It was not zapped or harmed and a short time later just flew away.  But I though it was so pretty.
 Walking down my driveway this brightly colored beetle caught my eye.  It was so gorgeous with it's orangey shell.  But when I looked it up I found out it is a tomato beetle and will eat our tomatoes (guess that's why it's that color) - but yikes.  Sent hubby out to find it, but he could not - just hoping it's not hungry!
 Then there are the butterflies.  On each side of the driveway and in the garden we have butterfly bushes and they attract such beauties - like this monarch that landed and was enjoying the nectar of the bush.
Finally wanted to share this picture of a Cicada and the nymph shell it left behind as it emerged (there are many types of Cicada - but this is the type we have here locally).  I did not see this in person - just a picture I found - but they are abundant here in the Prescott area.  In the evening as it cools you can hear them playing their "song" in the trees.  Kind of a humming, buzzing to attract those females in the area :)
So that's it for now - thanks for sticking with me.  Stop back soon!  ~Maureen

Monday, August 10, 2015

Personal Post Monday - Nature in all it's glory!

Yay - it's Monday and I get to do a personal post.  I know some of you come by for the creative ideas - which I love too - but there is so much more to my life, and I'm glad I have this forum to share some of that too.  So for today's post I want to share with you some of the beauty that surrounds my home.  Paul and I took a walk this morning and then took some time to just check out the beautiful plants we have.  This first little flower bed is right outside my kitchen window.  The "angels" sign was a gift years ago from my friend Sharon Miller, and it had to travel with me to Prescott - because I LOVE IT!!
Next is just one of our lavender plants - I think we have about 18 on the property and the bees love them.  They are so pretty speckled throughout the greenery.
This morning I picked a few sprigs and bundled them to dry for sachet's in my linen closets to keep them smelling fresh through the winter months.  Paul made a little drying rack area in his tool shed for me to hang them.
Here's our front planters at the entrance to our front porch.  They are full of Marigolds.  Jenee said she did nothing, the seeds just fall from the plants, and then in spring you pull old the dead plants out which loosens the soil, water and the seeds will take root.  They are so beautiful without really any maintenance.  Plus I love this little area with the bench and "Disneyland" light - as my grandkids call it.
This was my favorite picture from the morning walk.  This is in the fenced in area that serves us both as Victorian flower garden and vegetable garden.  The previous owners left birdhouses and birdfeeders all throughout the property and I just love them.  But this one particularly because of the beautiful morning glory that has wrapped itself around the base - looks like a magazine picture to me.
Here's a bigger overview of the garden.  The sun was shining brightly, and everything just seemed so lovely to me.  There are flowers everywhere plus radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash.  The flag pole in the forefront needs to be taken down and repainted - but I think that will happen next year.  So much other stuff to do this summer and fall.
Another close-up of a morning glory that found its way around our split rail fence.  I absolutely love the vibrant purple.
And finally,a close up of the Trumpet Vine on our arbor.  Last year Paul cut it way back in it's dormant season, and I was not sure it would come back - but I was wrong!  Just look at it!  The blossoms are amazing and the hummingbirds love it.  See the picture a couple above to see how it has grown over the arbor again.  Looks like we'll be cutting it back again this year.
Thanks for bearing with me - I hope you also enjoyed this beauty.  I feel so close to God when I walk out and see all the beauty in nature around me - and just had to share it.   Next Monday I'll show you some of the 'creatures' that we share our land with.  Stop back soon for some more stamping ideas!  ~Maureen

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Card Buffet in Thousand Oaks, CA

Crazy Stamping Lady’s Card Buffet!! 
Heidi’s Home in Thousand Oaks, CA
(Address will be sent in confirmation email)
Cost: $10  plus $2 for each card you complete -make as many or few as you wish.  There will be many cards to choose from including at least one Christmas design.**   
Everything is prepped and all materials included to complete your cards.  Plus there will be light refreshments and a doorprize drawing.  No additional purchase necessary.
This is a smaller version of what our future "Stamping for a Cause" charity events will be - but hopefully will give me a better feel for how they will run.  So this one is mainly just for my customers.  I hope many of you can come - as I'd love to see you all. 
Limit 15.  Must email me to RSVP and hold your spot. 
Class must be ½ full to avoid cancellation – so grab a friend and come make something wonderful!   Miss you all!!
All my Prescott peeps - watch for "Cards and Coffee" coming soon!!
 *Stamp Camp/Class/Club Cancellation Policy - PLEASE READ TILL END OF POLICY!! If you cancel your reservation at least 48 hours in advance of the event there will be no cost to you. If you cancel within that 48 hours I will try and place someone from the waiting and if that works there will be no charge to you; otherwise you will be responsible for the class fee (If a stamp camp - you will receive the material packet with pictures (by email or on my blog) to make your projects.  Stamping may not be done for you, so you may need to adjust the project slightly using what stamps you have available. Or you can choose to purchase the purchase requirement for the event in merchandise from Heidi or Maureen.)   If no purchase requirement is listed for the specific event, you must purchase 2 1/2 times the cost of the class/stamp camp/event or pay for the event. If event is cancelled by me - full refund will be given of any pre-payment. All events must be half-full to avoid possible cancellation. Check your emails for confirmation and to be sure events have not been cancelled.
**Products: Expired products may be used for these Card Buffet events - discuss with your demonstrator if you'd like suggestions on current product substitutions.  Must be 16 years or older to attend this event, unless other accommodations have been pre-arranged.
Maureen Rauchfuss ~ the Crazy Stamping Lady says "come join the FUN!"

 Phone: 805/404-8183


Saturday, August 8, 2015

Final Convention Round-up

So today I'll share the rest of my Convention memories - it was such a fun experience.  First off my lanyard and name tag at check in time!
A view of just a few of the stampers there from the escalator.
Main stage where all of the general sessions were held - they always decorate it so beautifully.
The unveiling of the new Holiday catalog - I placed my pre-order today and there was sooooo much stuff I wanted, but I was able to real myself in a bit and start slow - mostly things for my Halloween projects for now.
A couple of the cute little projects we were able to make and get our hands on some of the new product.
Our Crazy Stamping Ladies' Group -
Diane, Toni, Xandra, Jeri, myself and Heidi!

A fun Paper Pumpkin promotion set we were able to purchase.
A special leadership/years of service award full of stamping goodies.
Our annual end of convention dinner at PF Chang's with a couple friends.
And when I got home - this was my haul - actually there are even things missing.  It was really an amazing time - the final convention as we know it.  From now on it will be semi-annual OnStage events held all over the world - so I am glad I was able to attend this one in Salt Lake City.
Stop back soon.  Stampingly, Maureen

Friday, August 7, 2015

Paper Pumpkin is even MORE AMAZING with this deal!

If you have never tried out Paper Pumpkin kits - NOW is the TIME!!!  With this amazing offer, each of your first two months will only cost you approximately $10 plus tax - and let me tell you these kits are soooo much fun!!  You can sign up at the Paper Pumpkin Site and choose 'redeem now', then enter the HALFOFF promo code, fill in your shipping info, your billing information and be sure to choose me as your demonstrator!!  That's it - you'll get your first two kits @ 50% off and after that they will be $19.95 plus tax.  But you can cancel anytime, or just take a break for a while - so there is no further obligation.   Although - I don't think you'll want to stop the FUN!
Sign up at -
These kits are all inclusive - with your first one you will receive a clear block that you'll need to use with all your future kits.  But other than that you should be able to just open your box, follow the simple instructions inside and create your monthly projects within about an hour - give or take some depending on your own experience with crafting.   So, since I am still not unpacked at my new house, but had to stamp - I pulled out a previous kit to work on and had so much fun - this kit made 8 cards and envelopes - 4 each of two designs.  This is the first design and my tip to you if you have this kit and have not already assembled - be extra careful with the balsa wood pieces - they are very fragile.  The kit does come with extras.  I broke one pennant and one star, so just adjusted by design so I didn't even use any of the extras yet.
Another tip - the kit gives you DSP for a full liner on your envelope - but actually, when you open an envelope you only see the top portion of the designer paper, so I cut off part of each liner and have those pieces to use on other future projects.
cut off end of DSP piece
adhere the top portion, and save cut off portion for another project
still looks great when you open the envelope - and saves on bulk and weight of project
So here is the second card design in the same kit.  I made all cards very similar to how the kit showed, but changed designs and layouts slightly.  But everything I used was still in the kit.  You can see here the strips of DSP I cut off of these envelope liners. 
Here is a close up of one of my designs - I did use a small flower punch (not included in the kit) to punch the flower from the excess liner DSP for the center of the big flower.  But you could easily make this card without that addition.
Finally - here is everything I still had left over after completing all my cards - oh, and not in the picture - the ink spot and the four crystal buttons I decided not to use on the cards as I felt they were too bulky for mailing - so will use on a future project.  How great is that!!!
I hope these pictures inspired you to take advantage of this great Paper Pumpkin kit offer, and try it for yourself.  Kits can be cards or other 3D items, and are different each month - so it's always a surprise.  We did get a SNEAK PEEK at convention and I can tell you the next two kits are amazing.  You must sign up by August 10 to get this month's kit - any sign-ups after the 10th will get the Sept. kit as their first one; and this special ends Sept. 10.  So go here - PAPERPUMPKINSITE - now and sign-up!  Then sit back and wait for the FUN to begin!!  ~Maureen

***Check this post out if you'd like to see how fun and easy the kits are to make with your kids or grandkids.  It's a great bonding and creative activity! -
You can also choose prepaid kits - and save some money if you wish to continue after your initial two months - contact me for additional information if needed.