Friday, December 30, 2011

Easy, yummy dip for your NYE get together

I want to share a super easy, super yummy dip/spread I made for my Christmas party this year.  This is an adaptation of a recipe I found in one of those little cookbooks they sell at the check out line at the grocery store.  I tend to like to change things up.  Can never leave well enough alone!  It ended up ok.  There was none left at the end of the night.  Here's what you'll need:

1 brick of cream cheese
1/2 cup peach preserves
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined and minced
1 sweet red pepper, seeded deveined and minced
Crushed black pepper

Put your preserves in a microwave safe dish and nuke for 30 - 60 seconds.  You want the jelly to be melted and easy to stir.  Add your minced peppers and about 8 turns from your pepper mill.  Stir to mix well.  Dump it over top of your cream cheese.  Done.

I had several different types of crackers out and there didn't seem to be a preference.  I will say, however, that the nice combination between spicy and sweet even made my gluten free crackers taste good!  I'm going to whip a bit up for a New Years Eve party I'm going to tomorrow because everybody needs some creamy, spicy, sweet goodness to ring in the new year!

**Note on the sweet red pepper.  I'm not talking about using a big ol bell pepper.  Sweet red peppers are generally about the same size as a jalapeno, sometimes a little larger.  If you can't find them at your local grocery store, try another variety of small, sweet pepper. Don't be afraid to ask your produce manager for suggestions.  I find that the larger bell peppers have a little bitter flavor that doesn't pair well with the peach.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's an "IDEA BOOK"

People have asked me in the past...why does Stampin' Up! charge for their annual catalog?  To me the reason is super simple.  It's not just a catalog.  It's an Idea Book.  How many of us pay $7, $10, or even $15 for a scrapbooking or card making magazine at the store?  I know I purchase plenty of them.  But they don't always do much for me because I'm in love with Stampin' Up! However, right under my nose is the best place ever to get ideas for beautiful cards.  It's in the awesome Stampin' Up! publications themselves.

The layout for the card to the right was taken right out of the 2012 Sale-A-Bration catalog (SAB kicks on on January 24).  I changed up the colors to suit my interests but the rest of it is compliments of the Stampin' Up! designers. Super cute, super simple, and the super best reason I save a copy of every Idea Book, mini catalog, or SAB brochure that Stampin' Up! produces.  Trust me, I'm not this creative on my own but don't tell anybody, ok?  I'm trying to keep it a secret cuz who looks at those crazy pictures anyway??

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Since I didn't get a white Christmas

I decided to grab my brayer and create a background that reminds me of present day Chicago.  Blue-gray skies, a few sparkles at the tips of the trees, but no snow.  It's kinda crazy if you ask me.  I remember as a kid, we'd be wearing snow pants to school by Thanksgiving and Christmas break was spent building snowmen and riding sleds.  We haven't had a winter start off that way in quite some time.  I suppose I shouldn't complain because as soon as it hits, I'll be the first one to complain!

I haven't used my brayer to do a background for ages.   Since the sky is so gloomy, I made my background match the outside with a little Bashful Blue, Sahara Sand, and a little Night of Navy.  The trees from Lovely As A Tree are stamped in Always Artichoke Craft Ink and embossed with clear embossing powder to give them a little pop.  Finally, even though you can't see it in this photo so well, all of the trees are dotted with Dazzling Diamonds and there are some litte mounds of ice in all that white space.

Now, I'll never admit this to anyone out loud but, I'm kind of hoping we get a little snow sometime soon.  We've missed the Christmas window but maybe we can see some beautiful winter wonderland sometime soon.  Afterall, nature makes wonderful inspiration for art!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dominos are not just for playing games!

We're having a party on Saturday.  It's just a little open house for our family and friends.  One of those "drop by for a bit, say hi, and carry on" kinds of parties.  Not a major shindig but I did want to make a little something for everyone who comes by.  It's kind of my way of saying thanks for taking time out of your busy holiday schedule to spend time in my home.  I introduce my dominos!
Seriously one of the easiest things I've ever made.  Stamp your favorite image with Staz-On ink on the back of a standard domino.  Staz-On is permanent without heat setting making it a perfect medium for this project.  Then use some permanent, fine tip markers to add a ltittle dazzle and color to each one.  Finish off the ornament by wrapping Sticky Strip completely around the edges of the domino.  Then use some form of 3/8" ribbon (I REALLY like the 2011-2013 In Color Ribbon for this) to wrap around, being sure to leave long ends to hang your ornament.

These are really easy and quick ornaments to make.  We did this project during one of my stamp club meetings in November and the girls went gaga over them.  If you're looking for a quick, easy and inexpensive project, this may just be a winner!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Oh, I actually have to send my cards??

I'm sitting here picking at my lunch going over my to do list and realized...I actually have to send these cards to people for Christmas if I want them to actually feel them, touch them, hang them up and know I love them.  Adding an item to my to do list that says "gather addresses".  That will be a very helpful step in checking off "send cards" from the list.

This is one of the cards from one of the many Christmas Stamp-A-Stacks we had in my little korner of the world.  I saw a smilar design somewhere out on the world wide web.  Sorry, I don't know where but happy to post a link if you are the creator of the idea.  I thought it was super cute.  Just thought I'd share.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Does Kelli Stamp?

Yes, Kelli stamps.  She also tries to live a gluten free life, raise kids (teen boys to be exact), survive a crazy fulltime job, keep the dogs out of the peanut butter, and be a generally good person...but not always in that order.  She's on a new journey to find herself and figure out where she fits in the world, trying to make it all make sense without spinning wildly out of control.  Rereading that, I find referring to myself in the third person totally creepy.  So I won't be doing that anymore.  Sorry bout that. 

You might be redirected here from my original blog - or perhaps you've wandered here on your own.  Either way, welcome!I decided to totally ditch my 4U blog for a few reasons.  First, I decided that as a "stamping blogger", I'm not very good.  Lots of pressure (self induced, of course) to post all sorts of new and exciting project ideas all the time.  Don't get me wrong, I'm always trying to come up with new, fun, and sometimes innovative stamping projects and I love to share them.  But let's get honest, there's more to stamping than blogging.  Want to see all of my new projects?  Come on over and stamp with me and I'll happily pull them all out. When I have time, I'll post.  I promise that.  I just can't say how often that's going to be. 

Second, I really started thinking about the "4U" part of the name and realized it's kind of deceiving.  At the end of the day, I really stamp for me.  I know, selfish right?  When it comes down to it, however, stamping is my therapy (of which I need more than I get!)  I love to share.  I love to create. I love to stamp with other people who love to stamp, too.  I love to teach.  I love to hide in my stamp room, the only place in the house where my children only go if they're treatened with death (even then, I think they weigh their options.)  I just plain old love to stamp.  So, I really think "Kelli Stamps" is just a little more honest representation of what it is I do. 

Then finally, there's more to me than just stamping.  I want a place where I reserve the right to rant about how hard it is to find a decent gluten free cracker, the ridiculous cost of car insurance for a teenage boy, the fun I'm having watching my sister raise her first child, and anything else that pops into my krazy little brain.  What's kind of funny and ironic to me about that "need" is that these are all the things that inspire me to stamp.  So, don't worry, it won't be Krazy Kelli all the time...just on occasion.  And maybe, just maybe, as I head down this next adventure in self discovery, I might share something a little more inspirational than a color combination you haven't tried yet. {Note to self...change blog design.  It doesn't work anymore}

So, since you made it this far down in my raving, here's my share for today.  This is one of my favorite Christmas cards that I made this yea, inspired by a project from Stampin' Up!  You can see the original here.  I'm a big fan of the "alternative colored Christmas card".  My eye tends to shy away from traditional red and green and more towards blues and pinks and yellows for Christmas.  I wish I had made more of these to send but since I couldn't make up my mind on which I liked best, I made a whole slew of different cards to send this year.  Now, let's see if they get in the mail before Christmas!

Stamp Sets: Four Frames, Delightful Decorations, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Card Stock and Ink: Bashful Blue, So Saffron, Real Red, Whisper White (ink only)