Meet Bella

Pookie – Captain Stupidhead – was supposed to be The Last Cat.  If I said it once I said it a bajillion times. But somehow when my son was home for a few months last fall he persuaded us to visit the Maui Humane Society. I’m still wondering how it all happened, but the fact is, Bella is here to stay:

Maui Stamper Meet Bella

It is really, REALLY hard to get a decent photograph of a black cat, especially one that is almost never still.  And when she is still, she is plotting something –  pouncing on your foot, planning an attack, stealing something off the stamp desk, drowning a catnip mousie in her water bowl. She can be an absolute pain in the…neck.

Maui Stamper Meet Bella

But she’s also a very social cat, and she likes to hang around even if you’re doing something really boring. Move from one room to the next, and she’ll soon come around the corner. Forget to feed her, or fail to notice that she’s decided she’s hungry, and she’ll be relentless with her complaints and little snagging paws.

Maui Stamper Meet Bella

Bella is still a kitten, and she does some pretty dopey kitten things. This is a little nook in the kitchen where we stash old newspapers before recycling, and she decided it was a good spot for a nap. She’s asleep in there. Seriously. Look at those legs.

Maui Stamper Meet Bella

Speaking of legs, she’s also a bit of a kluge, and regularly falls off things. Maybe it’s poor balance, maybe it’s just not knowing where her body is, but there’s a lot of thumping and crashing in the Bella Universe.  She sounds (and from the rear, looks) like a bowling ball when she goes down the stairs. (By the way, this is MY chair.)

Maui Stamper Meet Bella

Her favorite toy is something called Da Bird, a gift from Sara. It requires a willing fool with an opposable thumb to keep it moving. She will play FOREVER with it and is never still long enough to be more than a blur in a photo. However, watching the lizards on the lanai – through the door –  is a close second. I’m pretty sure she’s going to give herself an NFL-sized concussion one of these days trying to get through that glass door.

Maui Stamper Meet Bella

What she really loves is to be in the way. Trying to get something done? She’ll hop up behind you in the chair and weasel around to your lap. Walking from one room to the next? Bella will scoot in front of your feet and get them all tangled up, leaving you shouting and stumbling to keep from falling on your face. Putting on shoes? Forget tying those laces – they’re her personal playthings.

And don’t get me started on Bella and ink. She wants to be in the middle of everything, including ink pads. She would be Bella of the Technicolor Coat if she were anything but a black kitten.

Maui Stamper Meet Bella

Did you want to sit here?

Maui Stampere Meet Bella

Things will never be the same.

I think we’ll adjust.

By the way, the Maui Humane Society does WONDERFUL work, including their innovative Wings of Aloha program. Please consider supporting them – we do!

 

 

 

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RemARKable Memories

My favorite way to preserve memories is with photos – just ask my family!

Maui Stamper Hello Life RemARKable Blog TourI began with the Hello Life Project kit (#137949 $24.95), but chose to change it up with my own color palette.  Most of my accents are Bermuda Bay, with a little bit of Pool Party thrown in.

Maui Stamper Hello Life RemARKable Blog TourI used the On Film framelits (#132969 $29.95) to create an additional photo mat – it’s a bit larger than the ones provided but coordinates perfectly.  I also chose to make a tassel instead of pom-poms using the Pool Party Bakers Twine available in the Occasions catalog.  The technique is the same, but you only cut one end of the looped twine, and you tie off directly underneath the end that remains looped.  I used thin white Bakers Twine to tie off the tassel and wrapped Bermuda Bay 1/8″ taffeta ribbon over that, securing with a glue dot.

Maui Stamper Hello Life RemARKable Blog TourI punched some flowers to create a blossom at the end of the banner, and added stamped images from the coordinating Hello Life stamp set (#137136 $24.95).

Maui Stamper Hello Life RemARKable Blog TourI stacked banner pieces from the kit and pinned them on with the clothes pins which were included.  Everything on the frame can be moved, allowing maximum flexibility as I have new photos to enjoy, and I have heaps of pieces left over for additional embellishments and projects.

Maui Stamper Hello Life RemARKable Blog TourThis was an AMAZING tip we learned from Carrie Cudney at convention last summer!  Line up your self-adhesive stickers on a window sheet…

Maui Stamper Hello Life RemARKable Blog TourPlace them where you want them, press down the exposed top half to secure, and gently remove the window sheet to press them in place in a gloriously straight line!!

Maui Stamper Hello Life RemARKable Blog TourCrystal and I worked on these together, and as you can see, the same kit in two different sets of hands can turn out as two completely unique projects.

Maui Stamper Hello Life RemARKable Blog TourShe made flowers too, and hung them from our gorgeous new White Jute.

Maui Stamper Hello Life RemARKable Blog TourIt would even be possible to just FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS and make the kit exactly as it was produced!  Just print some photos – you know you have them stored on your phone, your hard drive, discs, wherever – and get them in front of your eyes!

Click below to be inspired by Audra Monk.  Links for the entire tour at are the bottom of the post.

RemARKable Blog Tour Memories March 2015

 

Nancy Amato – http://stampinallnight.blogspot.com/2015/03/remarkable-stampers-blog-tour-memories.html
Melissa Bolinger – http://creativeblessingsbymissy.blogspot.com/2015/03/remarkable-blog-tour-memories.html
Tamra Davis – http://www.theCardLadies.com/remarkable-blog-tour-making-new-memories-from-old-stuff
Connie Diebler – http://tinyurl.com/q594mtn
Becky Jensen – http://www.stampthat.com/blog/blog-tour-scrap-club/
Anne Matasci – http://wp.me/pCcBw-1ON   YOU ARE HERE!
Audra Monk – http://thecraftyyogi.blogspot.com/2015/03/memories-remarkable-blog-hop.html
Maria Pane – http://stampinandscrappinwithriri.blogspot.com/2015/03/remarkable-stampers-memories-blog-tour.html
Andi Potler – http://www.absolutekreations.com/2015/03/12/remarkable-stampers-blog-tour-memories
Michele Reynolds – http://inspirationink.typepad.com/inspiration-ink/2015/03/memories-blog-tour.html
Pam Staples – http://wp.me/p3p2VA-WR
Janet Wakeland – http://wp.me/pHIQD-7aO

Memories, old and new

I’m spending a few days with my parents in Santa Barbara before heading over to Salt Lake City for Inspire.Create.Share, the 2014 Stampin’ Up! convention.  It’s been a great visit, starting with lunch at the Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company with my dad:

Maui Stamper with Dad I had the Danish Red along with a Farro & Arugula salad and both were delicious – but not as delicious as the time we spent together!

Day Two the first order of business was Girl Time:

Maui Stamper Girl Time PedicuresMy mom, my sister and I went to Magic Nail for wonderful pedis.  I almost got the same color they chose, but at the last minute Ampara convinced me to go with the blue.  I thought it would be too light on my toes but she (as always) knew what she was talking about!

That afternoon we headed down towards East Beach for the Maritime Museum annual Cardboard Canoe races.  My parents told me they never miss them because the entertainment is so hilarious.  No kidding.  The teams get two sheets of cardboard, a yardstick, a box cutter and some duct tape, plus an hour or so of design/build time.  The first two rounds were the kids’ divisions, and the last round was “grownups”.  Seriously, you have to put that word in quotes in this case.  They line up on the beach:

Maui Stamper Cardboard Canoe Races East Beach Santa BarbaraHere we have your basic box lined up next to a Viking Dragon boat.  You get the idea.  I wish I would have take a video of the race to the water, as that box in the foreground got hung up in the yellow starting line rope and the 1912 Box ‘o Bolts got their paddle kicked away by a bystander.  The distance to the buoy isn’t far, and what you need are mad paddling skills to get out and back before you sink.  Trust me, my parents were right – it was hilarious!

On Sunday I met up with one of my besties from 6th grade.  We have a lot of shared stories and memories between us!  I think there might have been a few ghosts of Puppy-Love-Past following us around, too.   (wink!)   Needless to say, we had a wonderful couple of hours together:

Maui Stamper and 6th Grade BestieAmazing how the time has flown by.  This was a sweet visit, and tomorrow I’ll be on the early bus to LAX.  I’ll be in Salt Lake just after lunchtime with Cheryl and it will be full steam ahead from there on out!  I’ll do my best to share what I can, but the best place to find up-to-the-minute posts is on my Maui Stamper Facebook page – click Like to see updates, but remember that Facebook has a “use it or lose it” kind of algorithm – if you don’t interact with the page from time to time by commenting or liking, you’ll stop seeing the updates.

See you all in Salt Lake!

It’s Tuesday – time for Weekly Deals!

First the deals:

Maui Stamper July 17-23 2014 Stampin' Up! Weekly DealIt’s not necessarily obvious at first glance, but the Large Scallop Edgelits die coordinates with the scalloped Delicate Designs Embossing folder – they are gorgeous together!

I’m happy to be home after 8 days in Boston mixing work and pleasure.  Sorry, but I have to share a Mama-brag:Maui Stamper My Guys at AWWAMy handsome son and his handsome dad attended the American Water Works Association conference this year as members.  Nearly every year since 2000, my family has tagged along with my husband to this conference, enjoying the city while Dad worked.  This year my son was a registered student member – and I was VERY proud!

We also had the opportunity to see the Sox play in Fenway.  My husband absolutely loves baseball, and Fenway is an amazing place to watch a game. Thanks to a wonderful friend with family tickets, we had incredible seats – right behind home plate – which made the experience all the better.   It was a little drizzly at the start of the game, but the rain quit and the Redsox won!

Maui Stamper Family at FenwayI’m happy to be back on Maui and in my craft room again.  There are great memories from a great week, but truly, there’s no place like home.

Don’t forget – the DEALS are good for one week only!  Shop HERE!

 

An elf…by himself

Years ago, when it became apparent that my grandmother could no longer live in her home, my sister and I made the arrangements to settle her in a new living situation and then turned our attention on the home she had lived in for nearly 50 years.  What we found could fill a book, but this time of year I’m always grateful for Gramsie’s elf.

Maui Stamper Gramsie's ElfHe pre-dates the whole “Elf on a Shelf” phenomenon by decades, although I don’t know exactly how old he is.  His feet are weighted with lead, and his body feels as though he has a wire frame.  Because of those weights, he doesn’t sit on the shelf very well, but he always comes out for Christmas in my house and finds a comfy place to watch all the proceedings.

This isn’t his usual spot, but there was too much light on the glass shelf where he has been sitting this year for me to capture his charm.  I’m kind of grateful that we bypassed the Elf on the Shelf tradition, because December with three children was always so busy that I’m sure I would have failed the test.

Maui Stamper Gramsie's Elf

This charming fellow reminds me of my grandmother, and when I catch sight of him throughout the month I think of all the different family celebrations I’ve been privileged to share.  I didn’t have a large extended family growing up, and our celebrations were always rich in tradition but relatively quiet.  I vividly remember my first Christmas with Mr. Maui Stamper. He comes from an enormous extended family and there was a lot of laughter, teasing, hugging, and pandemonium.  It was a big change for me, but I learned to love it just as much as the traditions I had grown up with.

When we moved to Hawaii, our celebrations involved just our immediate family.  Once there were three little stampers running around on Christmas Eve, we parents were desperate to get them to bed so that we could finish all the wrapping, assembling and staging.  There were a number of years where it seemed we had barely put our heads on the pillow before we were awakened by excited little voices proclaiming that Santa had come.  Our oldest daughter figured out how to brew a pot of coffee, and one memorable year the three children appeared pre-dawn with fresh java – who could resist that?

This year the newlyweds are spending Christmas with his family in Mauritius.  We have our middle daughter and our son at home, and our traditions are changing again.  They’ve decided we should exchange our gifts of Christmas Eve so that we won’t be in such a rush to get to Mass in the morning.  I’ve got my fingers crossed that there will still be a fresh pot of coffee.

Merry Christmas, and if you celebrate something else, Merry That to you too.

Maui Stamper 2013 Christmas Tree

Gratitude

I’m pretty much a “glass half full” kinda girl.  It’s a choice – and why not choose the happy option?  I have a loving husband and family, and more than enough “stuff”.  And I live here:

Maui Stamper La Perouse Bay(photo credit to my brilliant son)

Mr. Stamper and I are living The Duo Life this Thanksgiving.  The newlyweds are in Australia where Thanksgiving fixin’s are hard to find, my middle daughter is with her young man and his family on the East Coast, and my son is with his roommate in Chicago – and they apparently went to the circus tonight.  Go figure.  The two of us are going to Mass in the morning (how better to say thanks?), then helping serve a sit-down meal at the feeding program at our church.  Later we’ll join a group of dear friends out at Green Acres (aka Haiku) to celebrate our gratitude with good food and a refreshing beverage or two.

We have been richly blessed, and as we grow in age and wisdom we are realizing that the best way to show our gratitude is to pass those blessings on.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.

 

The wedding invitation

It all began – at least from a paper point of view – with the invitation:

Maui Stamper Wedding InvitationI made about 8 different samples and sent them off to Australia for Carol and Clarence to see.  Thank goodness for Skype, Viber and email!!  We compared and adjusted and tweaked until we were all happy, and then I set to work creating the invitation.

Maui Stamper Wedding InvitationIt doesn’t look like much here, but it was beautiful to hold and very elegant.  I scored an    8 1/2 x 11 sheet of card stock as a tri-fold, then created a panel to complete the front.  That Elegant Lines embossed panel was spritzed with Champagne Mist shimmer paint, and I made a few extras that came in very handy later on.  There’s a little Very Vanilla Seam Binding across the bottom, with that Decorative Label embellishment popped up on Stampin’ Dimensionals.

And no, there isn’t a larger Decorative label punch – that’s two Garden Green labels cut in half and attached to the back to create a mat – you can see it clearly in the first photo.  We were careful to keep the front smooth since we didn’t want to pay for any additional postage due to extra thickness – these invitations travelled far and wide and the necessary postage was already enough!

Maui Stamper Wedding InvitationThe interior was simple – just their invitation to the guests and a few stamped images.  The extra layers of paper gave it substantial weight that felt good to hold.  We used Blushing Bride ink with Garden Green and Brushed Gold cardstock – I didn’t have enough Pear Pizazz cardstock when I made the invitations.

I sent out the U.S. invitations and shipped the rest to Carol and Clarence to mail in Australia and Mauritius.  I confess I was relieved when Carol texted me a photo of the box of invitations safe and sound at her desk in Perth!