Saturday, January 30, 2016

Southwest Florida Eagle Cam & Misc.

I know some of you like watching the eagle cams.  We have one here in Iowa in Decorah but the eagles here have been getting their nest ready so the female can lay her eggs soon.

Two eaglets have recently hatched in Florida so if you watch this web cam you can see them being fed several times during the day.

Bill and Tim have been keeping busy going to various farm related classes since Christmas.  Bill always goes to the dentist, eye doctor and gets a physical this time of year. We've been working on all the paperwork for taxes and are now just waiting on the rest of our 1099's.  Farmers have to file taxes by Mar. 1.    

I've been keeping busy with P.E.O., Tues. Bible Study, and lunch & shopping with friends.  Great Niece, Lacey, just had her 11th birthday party which we were invited to at the Pocahontas bowling alley (6 lanes!).  We all had supper there and bowled a couple of games.  She got lots of nice gifts.  

A couple of weeks ago, I got to have lunch with friends at The Chocolate Season in Algona, a link to their web site is HERE.   It was very good, and I'm looking forward to going back.  They make everything there including quiches, soups, sandwiches, salads and desserts.  And very fancy chocolates.
I had the wild mushroom soup (loved it) and cranberry turkey sandwich.  For dessert I had chocolate truffle cheesecake - so good!   I also had the little bite of brownie you can see in the picture.  They serve a bite with every meal.  If you like chocolate, both of these desserts were amazing!  

We've had snow on the ground for quite a while now.  This weekend is warmer so some may melt.   We're supposed to get 1-2" of snow tomorrow and then around 4" and lots of wind Tues. and Wed.  They were thinking LOTS of snow at first but now we're down to 4".  The blowing snow will be the problem.  I have 3 things to go to on Tues. of course.  All may be canceled.   

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Happy 20th Anniversary to Me!

Today is my 20th Anniversary as a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator!  It does seem like forever ago that I started in 1996, but yet it doesn't seem like it has been 20 years either.

I've always been a card sender.  I remember many times looking at Hallmark cards in the store and being irritated that people around me would be talking a lot, and I couldn't concentrate on picking out the perfect cards.  And so many of the cards said such dumb things.

One of my friends from jr. high, Debbie, and I had lunch one day, and she told me I needed to try to get my hands on a Stampin' Up! catalog.  She had been to a party and learned how to make your own cards with rubber stamps, ink, glitter and embossing powder. So I decided I'd just book my own party and see it all right away.  I invited my mom, my best friend and a couple of other people to my little dining room.
Debbie started it!

As Jodi demonstrated some simple cards and techniques, my eyes and smile got bigger.  My mom, best friend and I were all hooked right then!  My list of things I wanted to get started making cards was really long so I started thinking about signing up to be a demonstrator, just for a little while, to get all of that stuff on my list at a discount!  But did I want to SELL??

I mentioned it to Mom & Dad.  When Dad heard that there were only about 20 demonstrators in Indiana so far, he said you better do it.  So I signed up pretty quick (because I wanted to get my stamping stuff and get started making cards!).   I had my first "guinea pig" party at my house and invited only about 3 friends to practice on.  It didn't seem hard because I was looking down at the projects and just explaining how to do it.  A month later my friend Marie (at that first party) signed up to be a demonstrator too!  

Then a friend from church had a party and lots of women came.  (I remember our minister's wife saying "they even make their own envelopes, haha" like we were CRAZY!)  But that first church friend had several $900-$1000 parties with me!  And from there it spread.  At one time I had 300 demonstrators under me.  

I was divorced and working to pay for my house and car, etc.  Dating was not going well at all and NOT fun.  Stampin' Up! came at the perfect time for me.  I worked full time during the day, and every night I was either at someone's house doing a workshop or working at home until about 11:00 at night entering orders or getting ready for the next workshop.  It kept me BUSY and meeting new people.  It was kind of fun having workshops in other peoples' homes - some were very nice.  And, it was a nice second income plus I could buy all the stamping & scrapbooking supplies at a discount and without spending any of my other income for them.

One group of customers was from another country - I can't remember where now, but they always had a meal before the workshops and wanted me to eat with them.  From them, I learned to like baba ganoush (and how to make it), Greek salad, and also Big Train spiced chai tea (made with milk)!  That is my favorite hot drink still.  The hostess's husband made the tea for us.   

Being the Manager of 300 demonstrators also kept me busy.  My group name for my downline is Stampers At Heart.  We attended many Stampin' Up! Conventions and Leadership Conferences in fun cities like San Diego, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Memphis and Orlando.  I had meetings for my downline, to help them learn new stamping techniques and business ideas, and helped to keep them motivated. 
I don't know what year this was.  Stampers At Heart at a convention.

Teaching people the art of rubber stamping has been rewarding.  It's a feel good thing for both the maker and receiver of cards.  It's a relaxing hobby and cheaper than therapy we say!  When I had classes in my home in Indiana, I enjoyed baking something good for them and they looked forward to the pecan pie in the fall, the warm corn dip in the winter, etc.  

The best part has been learning this fun craft - I'll always make my own cards - and the many friends I've made; both customers and demonstrators.  I still have some customers in Indiana that call me with orders and we catch up, and I keep in touch with demonstrators from all over that I've met at events.  Stampers seem to ALWAYS be nice people!  Including the owners of Stampin' Up! - Shelli & Sterling Gardner from Utah.  (You can read Shelli's blog HERE.)  Stampin' Up!, and its great products, have been a big part of my life, and I'm very thankful for it.

If you'd like to order Stampin' Up! products from me, you can shop any time at  Right now we have Sale-A-Bration until the end of March.  For every $50 you spend, you can choose a FREE Sale-A-Bration product.  See my SU! web site for more details!      

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Fun Experiment with Frozen Orbs

I saw this idea last year and was hoping to remember to do it with our great nieces this year.  You put some food coloring in a balloon (use bigger balloons - these are kind of small), put the opening of the balloon on the end of your faucet and fill with water.  Tie and then shake gently and put outside (or in your freezer) to freeze.  It takes quite a while to totally freeze them.  Like longer than overnight in 0 degrees.

When totally frozen, and with rubber gloves on, snip the balloon with scissors or a knife and peel the balloon off.  It comes off very easy.  If doing several colors, you'll need to rinse your gloves in between colors because the food coloring will get on your gloves and transfer to the next color.  You see some blue on my yellow one.

Most winters if we have snow it stays white everywhere all winter.  (I was used to it melting between snows in Indiana)  So I really like it that these will be colorful decorations in the snow by our front sidewalk all winter!  My favorite is the dark blue one and the yellow one on the right in the front.
I have a couple more out there that still have the balloons on.  I think one may be purple because the girls wanted to mix red and blue to try to make a purple one.  They thought it was fun. 

It will be fun to see how long we have them.  April?  Anyone want to guess?  Leave your guess in the comments below.  

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Stampin' Up! Year End Sale

Products have been marked up to 60% off, including some products from the Holiday Mini Catalog. You'll find stamp sets, big shot dies, paper, punches, embellishments and more on sale. All sale items are only available while supplies last. Also, don't forget to check out this week's Weekly Deals and Clearance Rack!  Happy Shopping!!  See details and shop at or contact me to place your order.Thank you so much for your business this past year!  I really appreciate it.  I'll be celebrating my 20th year with Stampin' Up! in January!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

It's Cookie Walk Time!

Yesterday was the Algona Methodist Church's annual Cookie Walk.  I happened to find out about it 3 years ago and went to my first one that year.  This was my 3rd time to go.  So fun to walk in the room and see and smell row after row of brightly colored little Christmas cookies all layed out neatly in rows!  Bill's mom went with me this year.  She said she had never been to a big Cookie Walk and she LOVES cookies.  

A couple of years ago I asked lots of questions in case our P.E.O. group would want to do one for a fundraiser.  I think the lady said that every family in the church makes 4 dozen cookies to donate for this.  We pay $8 to fill our buckets.  Even though it only takes 10 min. to fill your bucket, it's such a fun Christmas tradition!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

More on Rolfe Author, Ruth Agle and Hazel Twigg & The Hollyhock Hideaway

As promised, here is Ruth's bio.  She announced on her blog yesterday that there will be a very special price for her books ordered on Amazon on Black Friday!  Think Christmas gifts! 

Hazel Twigg & the Hollyhock Hideaway is basically about three things.

The first is Iowa: Ruth Agle is the middle child in a family of seven kids whose dad had a healthy dose of wanderlust. She’s lived in many places from Hawaii to England. Nine years ago, she moved to a small, dusty town in Iowa with a population of less than 600 because it beckoned her with its flashing stoplight and cold but welcoming people.

The second is dolls: For the past 25 years Ruth has been collecting composition (sawdust and glue) dolls from the 1920s and 30s. These dolls are often found abandoned in attics or forgotten in closets or tucked away in barns. She gently restores these O.L.D.s (Once-Loved Dolls) and makes new clothing for them so that they can go back out into the world and be loved once again.

And third: All her life, Ruth has believed in magic. She read all the Oz books she could get her hands on and dreamed of one day visiting that place.
Which brings us to her book.

Hazel Twigg is a little girl with no known relatives other than her overprotective mother, who never lets Hazel out of her sight. One ordinary day, two things happen to Hazel that have never happened before: her mother not only lets her out of her sight, but she puts her on a train to an unknown destination to meet a relative. A relative! From the moment Hazel meets Aunt Ruth, strange things start to happen. Hazel finds herself pulled into a world of magic, where old dolls come to life and sinister forces use every means in their power to remove Hazel from the Hollyhock Hideaway and to stop Hazel from achieving her destiny as the last Holder in the Hollyhock line. And it all happens in a tiny town in the Midwest. Land of Scotcharoos, ham balls, and tenderloin sandwiches the size of platters.
Hazel Twigg & the Hollyhock Hideaway is a very homegrown book in its very early stages of life. It’s the first in a series. The entire book is 81,000 words and 410 pages long. Even though it is novel length, it has been beautifully illustrated done by artist Nina Khalova, who lives in the Ukraine. It’s available on Amazon, or if you happen to catch a “Hazel Twigg” presentation at your local library, books will be available for purchase there. For more information or to contact Ruth, go to 
another of the amazing illustrations in the book