The New Catalog is Here!!!!!!

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jun 27, 2007 in Other items

Mr. Brown brought me a special package today – two boxes of new Stampin’ Up! catalogs!!!!

Of course, I didn’t really have time to sit and pour through it yesterday as much as I’d like – the kids had swim lessons, I was getting ready for my Stamp-A-Stack, I’m trying to deal with a few issues at church, I just had a whole bunch of eBay items close and I have to ship them out…

And of course my husband didn’t understand.  I told him how excited I was and that I needed to take some time to look at it – he said, “Why?  It’s just stamps and stuff!”.  STAMPS AND STUFF??!!??!!  He really doesn’t get it – but that’s okay.  I don’t understand his obsession with cigars, baseball or golf, either.  :)

My first impressions of the new book?  I LOVE IT!

The thing that I think has improved the most are the samples!  Instead of just showing card after card with a scrapbook page thrown in here and there, they are showing other projects too – lunch tins, boxes, jars, bottles…it reads more like a magazine than a catalog.

I also think they improved the layout tremendously – especially the chart that lists all the inks, cardstock and markers.  They added some little images that make it much clearer what’s available.   The accessories are also much more organized and categorized.

The new stamp sets are great, of course.   And the new selection of patterned paper is FABULOUS!  I think it’s going to be wonderful to have a new catalog in 6 months, too – it keeps things fresh and interesting.

And I’ve started to compile my wish list…it may be a while until I can order everything I want, but I have to be patient, right?  I have a whole 6 months… 😉


Cards for Stamp-A-Stack

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jun 26, 2007 in Cards

Well…I survived the crafts at Vacation Bible School – but barely!  The last day of VBS I came home and went to bed at 8pm and then Sunday, I took a 3 hour nap – am I getting old or what?

Saturday was also Emily’s dance recital – she was adorable!  The girls dressed up in little bride costumes and sang and danced to “Love and Marriage” and “Goin’ to the Chapel”.

And Sunday, after my extremely long nap, I managed to find time to make up the cards for the Stamp-A-Stack I’m holding this Wednesday.  These are all pretty simple and can be done in just a few minutes – but they are all really cute!

I took it easy on myself this time and made cards that were inspired by the wonderful creations on Stampin’ Up!’s Stampers Showcase.  I also tried to use cards that featured punches - I made it a theme for this SAS.

If you’re attending the SAS and don’t want to see the cards early, then don’t peek! :)

Presents card

This card was Inspired by Rebekah Carafa’s card on SU!’s Stampers Showcase.  It uses three different sized square punches for the presents and the tab punch for the sentiment.  I just love that it’s so simple and can be done with any patterned paper – so cute! Thanks for the inspiration, Rebekah!

Ladybug card


This card was basically CASEd from Michelle Kious’ card on  Stampers Showcase – I just thought it was so clever and adorable!  I think she just used a different color green and applied the dots to the ladybug’s wings.  Instead, I punched out the circles and just let the black circle show behind them to make it easier for my SAS.  The red wings are a 1 3/8 inch circle punch cut in half and the heads are a 3/4 inch circle punch.  The antennae are drawn with a black marker.  Thanks, Michelle!

Lemonade card

This card was inspired by Lynda Gordon’s card on Stampers Showcase.  I rarely use YoYo Yellow and loved how she paired it with black.  I decided to use circle punches instead of square punches (since the square punches will be at a different station during the SAS).  I also used my airbrush tool with the marker to color in the sentiment block.  Thanks for the inspiration, Lynda!

Sunflower card

This card was inspired by a card by Steffany Wells.  I used slightly different colors than hers (Marigold Morning and Buckaroo Blue – I’m trying to get rid of my old InColor papers) – but other than that, it is very similar.  I used the large oval punch for the petals and the small oval punch for the flower center and leaves.  I also used the Word Window punch for the stem – I’m really trying to show how to use the punches!  I copied her idea of using the white gel pen to faux stitch the edges – thanks for the idea, Steffany!

Baby cards

These were inspired by Diane Vander Galien’s card on SU!’s Stampers Showcase.  She used bleach to color in the dress in the Buggies and Booties stamp set (one of my favorites!) and I loved the effect!  I did the same with a blender pen filled with bleach.  I will also let the attendees make one blue and one pink card – for the blue, I used Cool Caribbean and Taken with Teal and for the pink I used Pretty in Pink and Rose Red.  I also used the decorative corner punch on the corners and added a little diamond dust to match the sentiment.  Thanks for the inspiration, Diane!



Ugh! Menopause Stinks and Other Personal Confessions…

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jun 22, 2007 in Uncategorized

Okay, everyone. I need to use this blog for some accountability for a little while…and some personal info too. If you think it may be TMI (Too Much Information) for you, please skip the rest of this post. :)

Those who know me remember that about a year ago, I had a total hysterectomy right before Memorial Day weekend. I was suffering from advanced endometriosis and was in severe pain most of the time. This was my third surgery in a year to address the problem, and I had to take a radical step.

As a result of losing both of my ovaries, I immediately entered into early menopause at the age of 38. My doctor told me that I would undergo many changes to my body as a result of the lack of hormones – one of which was weight gain around my middle section.

Before the surgery, I was a yoga and Pilates devotee – spending about an hour, 5 times a week exercising and working with weights.

Here’s a photo of me and my daughter Emily two summers ago:

Kind of a hot body for a woman in her late thirties with three kids, if I do say so myself! 😉

And…this is me now…in menopause :(

I finally stepped on the scale yesterday (I was afraid!) – I’ve gained *40* pounds in the last year since my surgery!!!!!!!!!

How depressing. Sigh….

But…back to the accountability….

I know that if I put my mind to it, I can change this situation. I just need to dedicate myself to regular exercise again as well as a better diet. Not a diet like starving myself…just a diet like making better choices and watching what I eat (and how much).

Weight is a very personal subject for me. Even though I was always a thin child, when I was in college, my body chemistry changed and I put on some weight – as most college students do.

Then when I was about 25, I tried one of those diet plans and lost a great deal of weight. But I just couldn’t stop – I kept losing more and more weight and became obsessed with food.

I had an eating disorder. I can admit that now – I was anorexic. So many things in my life were out of control – and food was the one thing I COULD control. It wasn’t a physical issue – it was very much an emotional one.

Everyone around me could see that I was spinning out of control and wasting away, but I was helpless to do anything about it. I had many health issues – I even had to wear a cast on my arm as a result of nerve damage done to my arm due to the lack of fat in my body (every time I bent my elbow, it was as if I hit my ‘funny bone’ – the nerve was basically exposed).
Several doctors told me that I needed to gain weight or I would continue to be ill – I had blood tests that showed that there were almost no minerals left in my body. It seems odd to even think about it now that I’m on the other side of the weight issue…

So what saved me? I got pregnant with my son, Andrew. It was no longer all about me – I was responsible for another life. So I started to eat again and went back to a healthy weight and had a healthy pregnancy.

I never let myself get to that low point again – I made better food choices, exercised regularly and maintained a healthy weight through two more pregnancies and for over ten years. But when I started having endometriosis issues and surgeries a few years ago, I had to deal with weight issues once again.

And here I am now fat and in menopause. Did I mention it stinks?

I’m rambling here – back to the accountability.

I need to take control over the situation (that’s just how I am – did I mention that I’m a control freak?) starting right now. And I need to be accountable to someone or something – that’s where the blog comes in.

I’m going post some of my weight loss progress and struggles. If you feel like reading it, great – and if not, just ignore those posts. But at least I’ll feel like I have to actually *do* something about my health and weight – without going overboard.

I have to TAKE control without LOSING control.

I hope some of you can relate to my situation…wish me luck!


One Sheet Wonder Teacher’s Gift

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jun 18, 2007 in Cards, Crafts

Right before we went camping this weekend, the UPS man arrived with my new Stampin’ Up! supplies – I just HAD to take some with me to play with! 😉

I decided to make a gift for Matthew’s second grade teacher since tomorrow is the last day of school. I saw some great ideas on SplitCoastStampers for a little tote and card set that’s a great gift idea.

I used the new Brocade Background paper along with two of the new In Colors for 2007- Groovy Guava and River Rock. Oooh – and I got to use some of the new rhinestone brads too – it was too much fun!

Here’s the tote:

Considering that I was working with limited supplies (and room in a small camper during a thunderstorm) – I think it’s really cute!

Inside are 9 cards and envelopes made from one sheet of the designer paper.

Please excuse the quality of these photos – my camera was acting goofy tonight.

I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the new Baroque Motifs stamp set coming out in July!!!!!!

You can find more examples and templates for One Sheet Wonders here.

I hope she likes the gift…


Final Weekend at Otter Lake

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jun 18, 2007 in Family Stuff

This was the last of our three weekends at Otter Lake Camping Resort in the Poconos – and it was wonderful once again!  The weather was actually a little chilly and we had a few thunderstorms pop up out of nowhere (we had some crazy hail with one of the storms), but we still had a great time.

Emily and I went on a fire truck ride, then we rented a boat again (just Mike and the kids this time):

Isn’t that a pretty lake?  I was on the shore with Daisy who was finally brave enough to go in the water – resulting in a very wet doodle…

She was quite the center of attention at the campground this weekend – even more than normal.  SO many people stopped us and asked what kind of dog she is.  And I guess she was just ASKING for attention when she stood at the edge of our campsite wagging her tail at everyone who walked by. 

Matt and Emily brought their scooters and had fun riding up and down the hills (and speedbumps) in the campground.  There was only one minor injury (a skinned knee on Matt) which is remarkable for as fast as they were going! 

We also had a great lunch at a Mexican restaurant nearby and I managed to load up on some Vacation Bible School supplies at the local Odd Lot Outlet.

In fact, we enjoyed the campground so much that we tossed around the idea of perhaps getting a seasonal spot there someday.  Certainly not this season, but maybe in a few years.

As soon as we got home, it was so HOT that we broke down and put our window air conditioners in – this is the longest we’ve lasted without them.

Now we’re home for a few weeks until we camp again at Big Timber Lake for a whole week in July…


Another letter box…

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jun 18, 2007 in Crafts

I posted the instructions for this box in a previous post, but I just made another one for a submission and thought I’d share a few photos with you.

Here is the box closed:

And here is the box open:

I put a few small treasures inside – an old photo and a vintage heart charm.


June Blooms

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jun 11, 2007 in Gardening

Just a few quick photos of the blooms in my yard this week…

My white climbing roses are blooming – they are just a little past their prime (wish I would have taken this photo a few days ago).

My spirea is also starting to bloom:

I also have some rose campion in bloom:

And several window boxes with some wave petunia annuals:

The clematis on the fence has finally bloomed and is gorgeous:

I’ve also really tried in recent years to get some ivy established to cover the ugly, cinderblock foundation under my porch.  This spring, it’s really doing well:

I also have a few daylilies in bloom – nothing exciting – just the common yellow Stella de Oro:

But I have some other daylilies just starting to bud that are a wonderful, rich, purple color when they bloom.  I also have a bunch of bright, orange tiger lilies about to bloom too.  And my rose-of-sharon and butterfly bushes are budding too….

 Don’t you just love spring in the garden?  So full of anticipation for the beautiful show of colors about to explode… 


Cool New Stampin’ Up! Stuff

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jun 11, 2007 in Uncategorized

Today, the Stampin’ Up! demos got another little sneak preview into some of the stamps and other products coming out in the new catalog July 1st.

The stuff looks FANTASTIC – rich, bohemian paper, lots of new ribbons, pretty pearl and rhinestone brads, Prima-like flowers, gorgeous new colors, clipboards, scallop and star punches, cool new stamps…I’m in big trouble!!!!


Another Great Camping Weekend

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jun 11, 2007 in Family Stuff, Our Goldendoodle Puppies

We just got back from another weekend of camping at Otter Lake Resort in the Pocono Mountains – the weather was GORGEOUS! No rain for the Torrences this trip – how unusual…

We did get a really late start on Friday night because both Matt and Andrew had baseball games Friday evening- we didn’t arrive at the campsite until 11pm! But everyone slept in late the next morning, so we were well-rested and ready to go on Saturday.

The boys found some new friends and played basketball for a while on Saturday morning. We also swam in both the indoor pool and the lake – the kids really enjoyed seeing the fish in the lake swim right up to them. We also rented a pedal-powered boat in the afternoon – everyone got a turn…

Except for Daisy who sat not-so-patiently on the dock, watching us intently…

She did dip her feet and nose into the lake at one point – she looked really silly with a really fuzzy body and a narrow, wet head and paws!

Speaking of fuzzy – check out this photo of my son Matt with Daisy…what is it they say about people starting to look like their pets (at least in the hair, anyway…)?

Matt and Daisy

On Sunday, Mike, Andrew and Matt went hiking early in the morning at Bushkill Falls. They completed the Red Trail – 1,267 steps in all! Matt even got a T-shirt to prove it. Emily, Daisy and I stayed behind at the campground – the family hiked the shorter Blue Trail at Bushkill Falls last year and it was really hard for Emily to keep up with her little legs. So this year, we decided to just let the boys hike while we had a leisurely morning at the campsite.

The falls are so beautiful!

We also brought a new horseshoe-type game played with large washers – the boys loved it! We saw some other campers with the game last year and bought it ourselves to try out this year. It worked out really well – Mike and I even won a game against the kids. :)

Oh – and the caterpillars were still out in force. But this week, Emily decided to take a few of them home as her new ‘pets’. We picked up a little bug-catching kit at the Target Dollar Spot this week and she brought home about 4 or 5 of the little caterpillars along with a whole tiny habitat complete with rocks, leaves and sticks – this girl’s not afraid of bugs!

We all can’t wait to go back again to Otter Lake next weekend. It’s hard to believe that it’s not actually summer yet and that everyone has to go back to school and work tomorrow morning. Sure feels like vacation-time to me.

As for crafting, I did have some time while we were away to read a book about using transparencies in paper crafts. I got some good ideas and can’t wait to try them out…


Daisy Graduated Puppy School!

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jun 8, 2007 in Our Goldendoodle Puppies

Today Daisy finished her puppy obedience class at PetSmart! How cute is this picture?

She can sit, stay, walk on a loose leash, lay down, ‘leave it’, come on call, roll over and give a ‘high five’.

Here’s Daisy with me – this photo came out really weird because of the way I was squatting down, but she looks cute anyway…

After class today, I signed her up for the Intermediate Obedience class – it starts next week.

She also had her 4 month vet checkup last week – she is now almost 26 pounds (she was 18 at her last appointment). She’ll probably be about 50-60 pounds when she’s full grown – just a big, fluffy teddy bear!

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