Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World

So, I had the day off today and finally got around to playing with all my pictures from our trip to Walt Disney World a couple of weeks ago. DH and I took our first adult only trip and we had such a great time. Not that traveling with our now 19 year old is all that bad but it was really different just having to think about what two would like to do as opposed to three. I mentioned before that we spent a glorious day at Animal Kingdom and had a lot of Disney "magic" bestowed upon us that day. First off let me say that neither of us work for Disney or have any relationship to anyone who works for Disney. We just happen to love spending time at their parks and have over the past 10 years really grown to love Animal Kingdom. One of my favorite attractions at Animal Kingdom is the safari. I LOVE riding this attraction. The thing I like best is you just don't know what's going to happen because the animals are so unpredictable. We've had ostrich and rhino's walk right up to the truck. We've seen lots of animals and very few. My favorite time to ride this attraction is in the early morning. We've also found that when it's a little misty, the animals are pretty active. Late afternoon (around closing time) is another good viewing time. On the morning we were there we were picked as the First Safari Family of the day and got a private safari which was fantastic. Mainly because they slow down for you to take pictures and for a picture nut like me this is HUGE! To top it off you have a guide telling you about all the animals and their personalities and a wonderful driver to boot. This morning we saw a lot of aniamls. It was chilly for Orlando, in the low 40's but the animals were really out and about. We also did both of the nature walks this day and some of the photos on the collage are from those. I've had so many people tell me that when they visit WDW they don't bother with Animal Kingdom because "it's just another zoo, I can do that at home". Well to quote one of my favorite WDW Animal Kingdom commercials, Animal Kingdom is NATAZU (NOT A ZOO)!

After riding our first safari and getting our "head of the line" pass for the rest of the day we headed over to catch Finding Nemo, The Musical. In what other theme park can you see a Broadway caliper show? I swear, I've been to Broadway production and this one has Broadway written all over it. The fact that they took the movie and condensed it down to a 35 minute show and didn't loose any of the story amazes me. The music, the performers and the puppetry are all just amazing. I have to say that while I admire and respect all the performers, there is one that stands out. After doing some investigating, I've found out that his name is Victor Chan. He is one of the performers who plays Crush. Again, while the other Crush performers do a respectable job, when Mr. Chan performs the show is just over the top. So, Mr. Chan if you ever see this let me just say in my best Crush voice, "you so totally rock Dude!" We bought the soundtrack for this show on our visit and now I can enjoy the music at anytime including Mr. Chan singing "G0 With the Flow" my absoluetly favorite number out of the whole show. In the 2 years I've been seeing this show his performance gets better and better and Disney is so lucky to have him along with all the other great performers in this show.

Following lunch and one of our favorite spots to eat at Walt Disney World, Yak and Yeti's, we headed over to catch the Jammin' Jungle Parade. Ron, Cameron and I are Disney parade nuts. We've been known to sit and wait hours for a parade. Well, only once did we wait hours and that was for the last performance of the Electric Light Parade at Disneyland. We do however stake out our spot way in advance. We have a favorite spot for the JJP and so Ron and I arrived about 45 minutes before the parade so ensure we got our spot. There was a nice cast member standing nearby and we struck up a conversation with him while we waited. One thing I love about WDW is talking with the cast members. They are such an interesting lot and it always amazes me how many of them truly love their jobs. The parade was getting ready to start and he asked us if we'd like to stand in the VIP section because it was going to be empty that day. Of course we said yes, and moved to an even better spot than we had. Talk about a great spot. I think you can see from the pictures that we got a lot of attention from the characters. I love the one where I'm hugging with Chip and then Dale comes over and gets in front of me, that was fun! Then of course there is Minnie blowing kisses at Ron, I swear she is such a hussy and always flirting with my husband and now my grown son! LOL! Mickey really needs to put a ring on her finger and soon!!

After the parade we headed over to see The Festival of the Lion King. This show has been "running" for 10 years at Animal Kingdom and still fills up their huge auditorium every day for almost every performance. Yes, it's that good and yes, it was the show that prompted the Broadway production. I love that they took the floats from the Lion King parade from years ago and used them for this show. BTW, Disney also took the "spitting" camels from the Aladdin parade (probably the BEST Disney parade ever) and is now using them on the Magic Carpet Ride at Magic Kingdom. How's that for reusing! Anyway, we got great almost up front seats for the Festival of the Lion King. Ron was picked as part of the audience participation to imitate the sound of the warthog. He did a great job and seemed to enjoy himself (pics in the collage). I love this show so much. The music, the artistry, the performers and all outstanding and it's no wonder it's been running for 10 years. It's a quality production and another reason why Animal Kingdom is my favorite of all the Walt Disney World Parks. What I love about some of these pictures is that because we were so close, we got some really great photos of the performers. I just can't help but smile when I see these people enjoying performing for all of us. To think that they do this every day, several times a day amazes me and they do it with fantastic smiles!

I'm so hoping that my post today intices you to visit Animal Kingdom the next time you are at Walt Disney World. Now, if you have small children I don't advise that this is your first park to visit BUT I do highly recommend this park for all ages. Another reason to visit, there are A LOT of character greetings in the park and usually the lines aren't nearly as long for the characters here than at other parks!

Now, I'm off to stamp so I have something to post tomorrow!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New "STUFF"!

So, I got my first new catalog order in last week and just haven't had much time to play with it. But I did sit down to play with two of my new Big Shot items. I bought several new Big Shot items but I was most excited about these two things. The exclusive Stampin' Up Texture plates, and the Movers & Shakers Curly Label die. I used an older set but one I personally haven't used before so most everything on this card is "new" to me!

All products from Stampin' Up!:
Stamp set: Cheers to You
Ink: Basic Black, Chocolate Chip, Old Olive Marker, Ruby Red marker
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Old Olive, Whisper White, Riding Hood Red, To The Nines Specialty DSP (love this thicker, textured paper!)
Accessories: Curly Label Punch, Movers & Shakers Curly Label Die, Stampin' Up! Backgrounds Texturz Plates, Pennant die (Large scallop), Riding Hood Red striped grosgrain, dimensionals, 5/8 inch chocolate chip brad

I hope you can see the texture on the Old Olive cardstock back. It's really cool in person and gives so much added dimension to the card. I can't wait to have some time this weekend to play with my other new things!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Scallop Envelope Box

My stamp club made these cute little boxes on Saturday. I have to say that I don't even know where the original idea came for this box. There are so many variations floating around but I love this one. It uses four of the scallop envelopes cut from the SU exclusive Big Shot die. They are all joined together with sticky strip to make this cute, little box. All products from Stampin' Up! except the filler and candy :)
Stamp set: Love You Much
Paper: Kraft, Riding Hood Red, Very Vanilla, Candy Lane Designer Series Paper
Ink: Riding Hood Red, Ruby Red craft
Accessories: Heart to Heart punch, Small Tag punch, Large Tag Punch, 1/16 hand held punch, dimensionals, Iridescent Ice embossing powder, sticky strip, Pretty In Pink grosgrain ribbon

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I'm such a loser....

sigh! I can't believe it's been so long since I posted. Following leadership, Ron and I spent a glorious week ALONE at Walt Disney World! I have to say it was a great trip despite the major Mommy guilt I had for part of the time I was gone. We had such a great time and once again has some Disney magic thown our way at Animal Kingdom. Have I said how much I love that park? If you didn't hear me before, I really love that park! We were once again chosen as the Safari Family of the day and got to do a private safari and given the head of the line pass for the rest of the day. We rode the safari five times that day and even got so lucky as to get to ride a second time with the guide that chose us that morning! I have wonderful pictures, I can assure you, but they are on the laptop and I haven't had a minute to move them over. That very same day we got to stand in the VIP section for the Jammin' Jungle Parade too! We also got to see Finding Nemo the Musical twice that day and were so happy when our favorite "Crush" performer was in the second show! Oh, and Ron got picked out of the audience at The Festival of the Lion King. As one of the female performers came up and said, "I bet this man thinks I'm the gift." And Ron of course said, "yes" and she asked him his name and then said, "I think that stands for this is my lucky day." Later on in the show she asked him to come up and make the sound the warthogs make---let's just say that was a hilarious moment. Add to that the VERY light crowds and the day was just AWESOME! Again, I have pictures and will try to get something posted on that entire day on Wednesday when I have a day off this week. We spent our last day visiting all four of the parks, we called it Ron & Sharon's Four Park Foray. We had such a great time bouncing around and revisiting all of our favorite attactions! However, we were exhausted by the end of the day and I don't recommend that especially to those who have small children.

Yesterday my stamp clubs came over and it was so great seeing all my ladies once again. It's been ages since we met (November to be exact) and I think everyone was glad to be back together.

Here's one of the projects that we did yesterday. I can't take credit for this cute project, the idea came from my friend and fellow demo, Stacy McCain. Thanks Stacy for the inspiration!!

All products from Stampin' Up! except the coasters and the calendar.
Paper: Regal Rose, Rose Red, Pink Pirouette, Rasberry Tart Designer Series paper
Ink: Regal Rose
Accessories: Rose Red grosgrain, Boho Blossoms punch, Crystal Effects, Dazzling Diamonds glitter, glue stick, sponge
I have a picture picked out from our trip to put on this little calendar frame. It will look great sitting out on my desk all year!
Have a super week everyone! I promise to be better about posting this week.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Love You Much Mini Album Swap

Today, I'm going to show you the mini album that I swapped with some friends. I really love the way these little books turned out and the girls all loved them as well. This was made with the CD Envelope Jackets. I did a class on these back in December and will be doing one in February as well.

To the left is the front of the book. I really love the flower detail on this. I used the Designer Flower Brads and colored them with Crystal Effects mixed with a reinker and then sprinkled them with Dazzling Diamonds glitter. A little messy but the result was worth it. See for yourself, here's a close up.

These books have several pages in them. Here's the first two
pages. There's also a page that pulls out from the pocket on the left hand side, so three scrapable pages!

Next is the last two pages but these are unique because they also feature a pop up piece with three small envelopes. Inside the envelopes you can put other small pictures or save it for journaling!

Here's the book fully open so you can see what it looks like all fanned out! I can't wait to fill mine with some special pictures.

This book was made with the Love You Much Stamp set, Candy Lane Designer Series Paper and the new three Heart punch!
I'm off to the convention center...more later!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Inspired by Nature

We are getting ready to head over to the Orange County Convention Center and I wanted to share one of my swap cards with you before we go.

You might recognize this card, I did one a few months ago using the same layout and image but I wanted to share this card with you as well. It features the new Candy Lane Designer Series paper!

All products from Stampin' Up!
Stamp sets: Inspired by Nature, All Holidays
Ink: Pretty In Pink, Riding Hood Red, Chocolate Chip marker
Paper: Pink Pirouette, Riding Hood Red, Close to Cocoa
Accessories: Crystal Effects, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter, Pink Pirouette & Riding Hood Red striped grosgrain ribbon, Riding Hood Red taffeta ribbon, small oval punch, large oval punch, dimensionals

More later when we return from the convention center!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sweet Stems and Rasberry Tart

Here I am in Orlando at the airport waiting for my friend and roommate for the week to arrive. I wanted to share with you one of my favorite new sets out of the Spring/Summer catalog and some beautiful new Designer Series Paper, Rasberry Tart! What I really love about this paper is that you can use it with so many different colors of cardstock!

All products from Stampin' Up!:
Stamp sets: Sweet Stems
Paper: Regal Rose, Rose Red, Shimmery White, Rasberry Tart DSP, Kiwi Kiss
Ink: Basic Black
Accessories: Scallop Circle, Big Shot Pennant Die (large scallop), Regal Rose Marker, Rose Red marker, Pretty In Pink marker, Old Olive marker, 5/8 inch double striped Rose grosgrain ribbon

We'll be off to check into our hotel, have dinner with some other friends, and then to get a good night's sleep so we are ready for check in day and make and takes tomorrow! I'll report in after we check in and get the NEW catalog!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Elegant Thank You

Hi everyone! I'm busy packing but wanted to stop in and do one last post before I leave for Leadership. This is one of my swaps I did for leadership. It features a new single image stamp Elegant Thank You and of course the ever popular, Upsy Daisy. One announcement about the new catalog there will be a selection of single image stamps available. Something new for Stampin' Up!

All products from Stampin' Up!:
Stamp sets: Elegant Thank You, Upsy Daisy
Paper: Baja Breeze, Not Quite Navy, Basic Black, Shimery White
Ink: Versamark, Kiwi Kiss, Baja Breeze, Not Quite Navy (not sure why but the Kiwi looks yellow on my screen)
Accessories: Black embossing powder, Ticket corner punch, Scallop Square punch, scoring blade, dimensionals
This card is done with the grid card technique.

I'll be checking in from Orlando tomorrow!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Big Ol' Hungry Bear

I apologize for posting so late today. I had a busy day working in the stamp room, having lunch with a friend, and doing some shopping before I leave for Leadership on Tuesday. I hope you'll think the wait was worth it! I LOVE this card! I made it for a Leadership dinner a few online friends and I are having on Friday night. I made ten of these and ten was enough, it took me many, many hours to make them. When I first saw the new preview set Just Buzzin' By, my first thought was now I have a honey jar to go with my bear! Just so you know the set is precious just the way it is, it features three charming bees, a very nice hive, the honey pot, a flower and two verses. But I knew I had to pair the honey pot with my bear. I had this idea in my head for weeks and finally sat down earlier this week to get it on paper. All supplies from Stampin' Up!
Stamp sets: Just Buzzin' By (available Jan. 19th), Under the Stars
Paper: More Mustard, Ruby Red, Chocolate Chip, Watercolor paper
Ink: Basic Brown, More Mustard ink and marker, Close to Cocoa ink and marker
Accessories: Earth Elements and Neautral Watercolor Wonder Crayons, Aquapainter, Crystal Effects, Dazzling Diamonds glitter, dimensionals, Spritzer tool, Vintage brads, Chocolate chip double stitched grosgrain, More Mustard grograin, sponges
Here a picture of some of the detail on the card. I used Crystal Effects to make the honey have a shine to it and I used Crystal Effects and Dazzling Diamonds to add some sparkle to the bees wings!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Rasberry Tart Squash Book

I'm hosting a mini album swap at leadership next week and wanted to share with you one of my creations for it. I've always loved these squash books, it's amazing to me what you can do with just cardstock! This one features the new Rasberry Tart designer series paper and and Sweet Stems, both will be available in the upcoming Spring/Summer Idea book and catalog! The Rasberry Tart paper is just beautiful. I've been creating with it and I just love all of the colors together in this paper! Left is the book all closed up. It measures just 4x4 inches when closed. To the left is the book when all closed up. All products from Stampin' Up!

Stamp sets: Sweet Stems, Baroque Motifs, Sweet SerendipityPaper: Riding Hood Red, Pink Pirouette, Kiwi Kiss, Pale Plum, Shimmery White, Cameo Coral, Rasberry Tart DSP

Ink: Riding Hood Red, Cameo Coral, Riding Hood Red, Pink Pirouette, Pale Plum, Kiwi Kiss, Basic Black

Accessories: 1 1/4 inch circle punch, Large oval punch, Scallop Circle Punch, Ice Circle Brads, 1/8 inch handheld punch, Dimesionals, Wide Oval Punch, Scallope square punch, Baskets & Blooms Die for Big Shot (tag), Riding Hood Red taffeta

To the right is the book fully open. There are spaces for 4 photos. Below are the left and right hand sections close up.

I really enjoy making little books like these. They make great gifts for special occassions and are great for Grandma brag books!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Love You Much...still..LOL!


Sorry, I know I've been on a kick with this bundle this week but that's what happens when I get new toys to play with. I pick them up and can't seem to put them down! I had a lot of fun designing this card and am so pleased with the way it turned out!

All products from Stampin' Up!
Stamp sets: Love You Much, Heard from the Heart
Paper: Kraft, Pink Pirouette, Riding Hood Red, Very Vanilla, Candy Lane DSP
Ink: Basic Brown, Pink Pirouette, Riding Hood Red, Close to Cocoa
Accessories: Flower Fusion 2, Riding Hood Red taffeta, Aquapainter, Pretties Kit (rhinestone brad), Scallop #2 die for Big Shot