Konnichiwa and Happy T(ea) for Tuesday! Today I am coming to you LIVE from vacation in Okinawa, Japan!
I can almost guarantee that this post (and drink of the day) has more than likely NEVER been done here before! I also sincerely apologize in advance for those faint of heart, squeamish of snakes and most probably bringing you the heebie-jeebies!!
Habushu, also called Habu Sake, is a liqueur made in Okinawa, Japan. We had the luxury of toasting shots of it just days ago. . .
The distillation process is typical of other Japanese liqueurs, except this refreshing beverage gets a venomous habu snake shoved into the bottle. This viper is related to rattlesnakes and its venom can cause nausea, vomiting, hypotension, and possibly death. Don't worry about dying though, the liqueur usually neutralizes the venom.
Two traditional methods exist to introduce the snake to the liqueur.
1. Simply drown the live snake in the alcohol and seal the bottle.
2. Freeze the snake, gut it, then put it into the bottle. It will thaw quickly and drown. Removing the snake's intestines before drowning it reduces the stench vs. drowning it with guts intact.
Appreciated since ancient times by Okinawan people as a health drink, Habu Sake is prepared utilizing a special process that mixes high class Okinawan awamori, extract from the Habu snake and 13 different kinds of herbs native to Okinawa.
Vitality of the Okinawan habu is legendary. It is able to live one year without eating anything, and its energy is matchless. When it mates, it can go on as long as 26 hours. So, it’s no wonder that habu sake is often called Okinawa’s original Viagra.
Even among the different types of awamori, habu sake is a very special drink. The snake is said to have strong medicinal properties. For instance, some believe that it is good for back problems, arthritis, and removing toxins from the body.
I wish I could tell you one shot made me 20 years younger, cured every ache I have ever felt and gave me buns of steel, but alas, it was neither a miracle cure, nor fountain of youth. Quite frankly, I am happy enough to have downed a shot and lived to tell about it! Cheers to that!
To join in on T(ea) for Tuesday, visit Elizabeth and Bleubeard here.
Yippee! Woo Hoo! Today I'm sharing with you my new toy! I probably shouldn't be this excited about a 1 3/8" circle stamp, BUT I AM! I have been really wanting a new name stamp to reflect my Super Stamp Girl moniker, and now, thanks to Stampin' Up's latest and greatest photopolymer "Say it Your Way" personalized stamp, I have one! Here it is, fresh in all it's crinkly shrink wrap, unopened, glory:
Say it with me, OOOOHhhhh and AAAAHHHHHh! I want one too, Crystal!
You can completely customize this stamp with your own info. There are SO many options! Get creative, like I did! Use it for letters, labeling, gifts, thank-you notes—whatever you want! Our Circle Monogram Stamp comes in photopolymer only. Clear Block B (item 117147) recommended. Coordinates with the 1-3/8" Circle Punch (item 119860). You must purchase those accessories separately.
You can preview your stamp before submitting your order (note that font styles and images are set). Personalized stamps are nonrefundable. Stamp will ship from a third party vendor, separate from any other items included in your order.
Click HERE to purchase YOUR personalized stamp today!
We all know there's a Michael's, Hobby Lobby or A.C. Moore big box store in nearly every major city now, and yes, while they do typically have everything we need (and don't!), they don't afford some of the luxuries that smaller shops do.
Maybe you've heard me talk about some of these great local stores, all within a 40 minute drive:
1. The Inspiration Station in Stafford Springs, CT
2. Life's Memories and More in Palmer, MA
3. The Stamp and Scrap Nest in Simsbury, CT.
If you haven't taken a short road trip to any of these local stores, I'd highly encourage you to grab a friend (preferably one named Mastercard) and go!
And, don't forget, there's always ME! Your local talented, creative, sweet, smart, cheerful, generous, friendly, happy, positive, nurturing, lovable and AWESOMEST Stampin' Up! demonstrator! You can shop online anytime (even at home, in your Smurf jammies with bedhead and morning dragon breath)!
I would like to send a special thanks to the Design Team at the Paper Craft Crew for selecting my card as a Featured Artisan last week! To read the post click here.
Thank you all for selecting my card!
Many of you have raised questions over the past few months about the "old" linen style inkpads versus the "new" foam style inkpads. All inkpads in the current catalog are sold in the new foam style. I have recently just switched over all of my "old" inkpads to this new foam style. Now, while I don't recommend everyone else does the same, as it does become an extra expense, I really do enjoy these juicy, thick and squishy inkpads. No more tamping (yes, it's really a word - a combo of "stamp" and 'tap") on the linen pads and dealing with all those fraying edges!
Q: Why did we switch from felt pads to firm foam pads?
A: We have worked very hard to improve the functionality of our Classic Stampin’ Pads. The firm foam allows for better ink coverage; plus it stays juicer and lasts longer.
Q: Do old Classic Stampin’ Ink Refills work with the new firm foam pads?
A: Yes, with the exception of Basic Black, Basic Gray, Marina Mist, Perfect Plum, and Tempting Turquoise, which have been reformulated to work with the new foam pad material. We do not recommend using old ink refills in these colors with the new firm foam pads.
Q: My pad is too wet. What should I do?
A: The closer to the manufacture date, the juicer the pad will be. As the pad ages, this problem will fade. In the meantime, very light tapping will reduce the extra ink on the stamp.
Q: The firm foam on my lighter color pads looks blotchy. Is this normal?
A: Yes. The blotchiness is caused by the characteristics of the pad material. It does not affect the stamped image.
Q: When I first stamp with certain colors, my images seem a lot darker. Why is this happening?
A: When stamping with your old pads, you had to work hard to get even ink coverage on your stamp. With the new firm foam pad, the stamp gets a lot more ink on it so when you stamp, your image will appear darker. Once your stamped image dries, the color will look normal.
Q: How long will the pad last before I need to re-ink it?
A: The amount you use it will affect how often you need to re-ink. Please keep in mind that these pads release a lot more ink onto your stamp, resulting in a crisp, solid image.
Q: What are some additional features of the new firm foam pads?
A: The firm foam is nice and flat and will not become wavy.The firm foam material does not imprint on the stamp images like the felt pad sometimes did. However, because the firm foam material is a foam base material, the stamp image can momentarily leave an imprint on the pad, which can transfer to a second stamped image. By inking your stamp on different areas of the pad or waiting momentarily for the ink to rise back to the top, you can easily avoid this situation. The firm foam material is soft and has a nice bounce to it. It’s not hard like the felt is. You don’t need to be so heavy-handed!
Please note: We do not recommend using the Basic Black Classic Stampin' Pad on Whisper White or Very Vanilla Card Stock. Instead, we recommend you use the StazOn Ink Pad.
Have you ever stuttered and stumbled, muttered and mumbled, been left befuddled at a loss for words? You've created the perfect artistic masterpiece of a card, yet when you flip it open, you draw a blank. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero.
Will a simple "Happy Birthday" do?
Now, all your problems have been solved:
No? It doesn't? I'm going to Wikipedia "Ghiradelli" right now.
Be right back. . .
First things, first - did you know there is an extra "r" in GhiraRdelli? I though it was GhirAdelli! Whatdyaknow! Okay, so Wiki tells me that the company was founded by, and is named after, Italian chocolatier Domenico Ghirardelli. It says nothing about meaning "thank you." Hmmm. My bad.
But, all the same, it's a box! It holds chocolate! And, chocolate is a synonym for thank you.
In some alternate universe.
Potatoes. Potatos. Tomatoes. Tomatos.
I found this great tutorial online at Splitcoaststampers for how to make these GhiraRdelli treat holders. I thought they would make perfect thank you gifts for customers placing orders with me this month.
Each month, I host a card swap. Six people make six of the exact same card, and then we swap them around, so that you leave with 6 different cards every month! It's a great way of sharing our talents and having a wide assortment of cards for every occasion.
Here are the swap cards for February (no, that's not a typo, we're running a tad behind)!
Please let me know if you are interested in joining the swap club. There's always room for more!
I have a new kind of challenge for you today. I call it the "upline/downline" challenge, but I could have just as easily called it the "You Start/I Finish" challenge. Or, the Crystal/Laurie challenge. I, Crystal am the "upline", and my dear friend Laurie is the "downline". All this simply means is that Laurie joined Stampin' Up! as a demonstrator "under" me. Therefore, I am her mentor, her "upline." She is my mentee (mentoree? Hmmm?), my downline. Upline/Downline. Clear as mud?
Anyhoo, Laurie and I had both started these cards below, and then sat there staring into outerspace. Well, I was staring into outerspace contemplating intergalactal extra-terrestrial life. . . Perhaps Laurie was praying to the Gods of stamping creativity, but, alas, both of us were at a loss in how to finish our cards. So we sat there and stared. And stared. And stared. . . We stared at each other. We stared at the walls. . . We stared until things kind of got creepy.
When little fairies did not flitter down from the heavens magically finishing our cards for us, Laurie threw out the idea for us to swap cards. She would finish mine and I hers.
Here is the card that Laurie started:
And, here is the card I started:
Kazaam! POW! Bippity-boppity-boo! Thanks to the magic of the internet, some ink, punches and bling, here are the final results:
I added some flowers, banners and pearls to Laurie's card.
And, she added some butterflies and rhinestones to mine!
What a fun, accidental kind of challenge this turned out to be!
I love rainbows! How can you not? They're a brilliant burst of unexpected color in the sky on an otherwise cloudy day. They're cheerful and mystical and all scientifical when it comes to how the phenomenon is explained through refractions and light and prisms and so on and so forth! The Friday Mashup did a brilliant job in selecting rainbows as their theme for this week's challenge.
I decided to use the new Hexagon Hive framelit and punch out hexagons of every color. I see a rainbow of ROYGBIV in Real Red, Calypso Coral, So Saffron, Wild Wasabi, Marina Mist and Wisteria Wonder!
Here's hoping you find that pot o' gold!
Thanks for visiting and have a S-U-P-E-R day!
Hello fellow WOYWWers! Happy Hump Day to you! Eeeeeek. Does anyone else besides me, loathe the term "hump day?" It's ONE of my pet peeves. The word "folks" is another. . . I digress. . .
I missed last week due to illness, but am happy to be joining again this week. I've really come to enjoy the comraderie and positive encouragement I have found amongst all you deskhoppers. So, thanks! A big hug all around the world and a S-U-P-E-R big hug to Julia, for starting What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday.
Unfortunately, there's really not much going on today! I was just attempting to make a quick challenge card that had the theme of "pinks and purples." I'm neither a fan of pink, nor purple, so it truly was a challenge for me! I had book club last night, "Code Name Verity" (which really stinks was the book club consensus) and stamp camp tomorrow night, so my "me" time has been gossamery. **Gossamery is my word of the day. It means non-existent.**
If all goes as planned (fingers crossed), I have a very exciting post planned for next Wednesday. Here's a little hint, it will be "Where in the World" is Crystal's Workdesk Wednesday!? So, be sure to come back and visit then! Thanks for the love!
Here are this week's Tuesday deals! Take advantage of the 25% off savings! Offer only available until Monday, March 24th.
Don't forget, there's still time to Sale-a-Brate! Earn a FREE product with every $50 you spend!
Happy T(ea) day to you! I was laying on the couch last night watching a new show called "Resurrection" and nursing the remains of last week's sickness, with a terrible cough that is lingering. I snapped a photo of the coffee table beside me originally intending to post that on this T(ea) for Tuesday, I was drinking water by the gallon to coat my throat.
Until I saw this:
My cough drops are actually made from tea! Who would've thought?
So, being naturally curious, I did a little more reasearch. Horehound tea is an herbal tea made with the leaves of the white horehound plant. The horehound plant is a perennial herb that is often seen growing in open meadows and pastures, as well as in waste places, along railroad tracks and on roadsides in many parts of the coastal U.S., in Canada, as well as in Great Britain, France and Germany. The horehound is characterized by the possession of a very tough and fiber rich rootstock that sends up many bushy, square shaped and down covered stems. The horehound has distinct shaped leaves, which tend to be wrinkled, have a rough texture on the top and are wooly textured on the underside. Tea brewed with horehound leaves can be used to treat a wide variety of minor ailments. It is particularly effective in alleviating the symptoms of upper respiratory disorders, such as wheezing, coughing or asthma, and aids in eliminating mucus congestion.
These cough drops really do work, too!
If you're interested in learning more about T(ea) for Tuesdays, visit Elizabeth on her blog and maybe we'll see you next Tuesday!
Hello and Happy Monday! I'm sorry I've been a bit delinquent in posting regularly these past few days. I blame this crazy thing called a full-time job that just impedes on all the downtime fun! Plus there's life, and laundry, and being sick and yadda-yadda-yadda. . .
I was finally able to get into my craft room this past weekend, so I was happy to complete a few cards for challenges, because it's been about two weeks since I last participated in any! Today's card is for the Paper Craft Crew:
I played around with so many different ideas before I ultimately settled on this sketch below. I am really pleased with it. I think the new Hardwood stamp is just great and combined with a little gingham and bright flowers it just screams summer picnic!
Early Espresso cardstock and ink
Melon Mambo cardstock and ink
Gingham Garden DSP
Petite Petals Bundle
Early Espresso Ribbon
Label Love Bundle
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a S-U-P-E-R day!
Sale-a-Bration ends March 31!
Earn one FREE item for every $50 you spend! Spend $100 get TWO FREE items! Spend $150, get THREE FREE items! Shop until your heart's content!
Click to shop!
Sometimes cute happens—and you’ve just gotta share it! Have fun coloring these adorable images with Stampin’ Write Markers—or use an Aqua Painter and our Classic Stampin’ Pads. Mix and match the faces, sentiments, and frames for endless possibilities.
I have really come to love the steel framelits and edgelits that Stampin' Up! offers. I love how small, thin and portable they all are when stored in my ArtBin Magnetic Storage Case. They are SO versatile, and boy, are they ever durable! At first, I wasn't really sold on these Dress Up Framelits. I'm really just not into the "girly-girl" things, but oh wow, do I not regret purchasing them! I love them so much! I recently spent an entire snowy afternoon just running pieces of scrap paper through my Big Shot and made dress after dress after dress (all while catching up on episodes of "Nashville.") What a great use of those scraps (and my time)! I stored all the pre-cut dresses in a Ziploc bag and they are ready to grab and go!
These are just a few samplings of some of the projects I have created with my Dress up Framelits. Why don't YOU try them and show me what YOU can do with yours! Say YES to the dress!
Dress Up Framelits Dies Item #130101 $24.95
Click HERE to shop now!
For the first time in three months, the weather did not ruin a stamp camp! So, if you missed stamp camp last week for some other reason, you missed out on all the fun we have!
Here are the 5 beautiful cards that we made:
It's almost never too late to sign up for a stamp camp, so mark your calendars for Tuesday, March 18th at 6:30 PM for the next fun night! We are going to be using a LOT Of new products like these:
Hexagon Hive Framelit Item # 133965 $24.95
Hardwood Stamp Set Item #133035 $13.95
Happy Congratulations Stamp Set Item #133047 $12.95
Photo by Adam Finkle, Article from Salt Lake Magazine
Shelli Gardner shares her secret: The chief executive of Stampin' Up! is not very creative. "I can't draw a stick figure," she says.
This from the self-made woman whose company has made millions persuading customers they can turn that Raspberry Ripple cardstock, some Betsy's Blossoms stamps and a scrap of Gumball-Green ribbon into a treasured greeting card or scrapbook page.
What she does know, says the 52-year-old with the wide smile and short-cropped brown hair, is what Shelli Gardner likes. And on this day, she's delighting in the food on her plate at Cafe Fraiche, a restaurant she decorated, named and installed in her own building at Thanksgiving Point.
"'K, how fun is this?" she says, looking at the toothpicks topped with red honeycomb balls keeping her hummus vegetable wrap together. "Who needs plain toothpicks when you can have cute ones?"
But more importantly, Gardner knows that if she wants something, other women will, too.
Some 50,000 Stampin' Up! "demonstrators" sell nearly $200 million worth of rubber stamp sets, papers, ribbons and metal embellishments to decorate cards and scrapbooks in the multi-level marketing company Gardner, a mother of five, and her sister LaVonne started out of desperation for some adult interaction and to make a little money. What began in her living room 26 years ago has grown into a 300,000-square foot distribution headquarters in Riverton and 80,000-squarefoot manufacturing plant in Kanab, where Gardner grew up.
"We felt like if we wanted to do [stamping], why wouldn't there be thousands of women in the United States—and now, of course, we're in several countries—why wouldn't other people want it?" she says.
Now she's betting on her latest creation, Brick Canvas, a building at Thanksgiving Point offering the things she loves: Bikram yoga (which she practices to ease her rheumatoid arthritis), a hair salon (which includes a baby grand player piano), a spa, fitness and nutrition studio, event space and Cafe Fraiche.
Her husband, Sterling, was skeptical. But, he says, "I've learned when she gets a gut feeling I might as well support her because usually it turns out really well." He initially refused to leave his home-building business for manufacturing rubber stamps because it wasn't a "real job." "I've learned to eat those words several times."
Gardner, who has skydived from 14,000 feet over Fiji, says she's a "go big or go home girl." Last year, she decided to "go big" on horseback riding, learning to feed, groom and saddle her own horse. During an August 25-mile endurance ride on the north rim of the Grand Canyon, the horse fell on top of her, fracturing Gardner's pelvis and right wrist, as well as her sacrum and left clavicle.
After weeks in bed, she's mobile again—counting the days until she can get back on her horse.
Gardner's injuries made it agonizing to continue her tradition of sending handmade birthday cards to each of her employees. When Sterling offered to sign for her, she said no. "We forget there's some satisfaction from creating something with our hands," she says, "and giving it with your heart."
To follow Shelli, go to www.soshelli.com
Here it is. . . The moment you've been waiting for all week long! My Top 10 cards from Pilgrim Pines! Or, perhaps you are more looking forward to the fact that today is Friday! Yippee! Can't blame you there - if only I didn't have this sore throat and the body aches. . .
I finally found the time last night to sit down and organize the 100 cards I made last weekend at Pilgrim Pines into categories. Birthday, Get Well, Masculine, Sympathy, etc. While I was sifting through, I also pulled out what I thought to be my "favorite" cards. That amounted to 32. From that pile of 32, I narrowed it down to 30. Then 29. 27. 24. As you can tell, it took me a little while to weed out enough to narrow it down to the Top 10 cards. But, here they are in no particular order:
Thank you for visiting! I hope you have a S-U-P-E-R weekend!
I recognize that I don't do much with scrapbooking these days - though that's where it all started out for me. Yup, I was a scrapbooker, before I found stamping! But, in truth, as I tell everyone, when you don't have children, then there isn't AS MUCH to scrapbook as say trips to Disney or summer camp every year. If I scrapbooked my two furbabies daily activities (which mainly consist of eating and sleeping) then I would look like a crazy cat lady! Guinness just had to go the vet months ago to have an upper fang removed. Imagine what people would say if I showed them a scrapbook of my cat going to the dentist! Oh, the gossip!
After this past weekend at Pilgrim Pines, I have been reinspired to get back into scrapbooking a bit more. What the ladies from Connecticut did with their Cricut's at the table beside us, was nothing short of AH-mazing.
So, for all you scrapbookers out there, I hope you find some humor in this post:
See "The Fanatic?" Yikes! I don't want to ever be known as THAT person! I think I'm a Cheerleader/Nerd/Rebel with a whole lot of dreamer!
Today's card is perfect for this beautiful, warm, oh so sunny spring day we are having! Oh wait, nevermind. . . It is neither warm, sunny, nor spring-y!
The Friday Mashup Challenge presents us with:
Okay, flowers, check. Simple enough. But, then I truly debated the meaning of the term "monochromatic" for this challenge. Would the DT want ONE color? Do they want white on white on white? Or, shades of one color? Pink on light pink on mauve on strawberry slush? So, I turned to good old Merriam Webster who defined monochromatic as "having or consisting of one color or hue." Hmmm. . . Pink on pink on pink on white it was!
Strawberry Slush cardstock, DSP and ink
Whisper White cardstock
Melon Mambo ribbon
Regarding Dahlias stamp set
Thanks for stopping by and have a S-U-P-E-R day!
Hi, I'm Crystal. . .
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I am Crystal Komara, aka "Super Stamp Girl," an independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator from Western Mass, and I am solely responsible for this blog. Stampin' Up! does not endorse the use of this blog or it's contents. All Images © 1990-2018 Stampin' Up!®
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