Not what I planned

I had plans tonight to finish the card I started last night and post it.  Well, obviously that didn't happen.  Instead I'm not feeling well at all.  Hopefully it won't be the flu.  Knock on wood please.  The time is only 9:15 pm and I've been ready for bed for hours now.  I'm trying to make it through Chicago Med.  After that, I just have to get through work tomorrow.  Then it no work until Monday!  WaHoo!!

Have you checked out the Sale-A-Bration catalog?  You can see the whole catalog by clicking on the catalog picture on the right of the screen.  Here are some of the stamp sets you can get for FREE with a $50 purchase.  These are the stamp sets that I have seen the most on social media.  I wish I could afford all of them.  In a different lifetime.  


Product List

If you could choose just one, which would it be?  I'm between Beautiful Peacock or Lots Of Lavender.  

Have a good evening!

Until next time...Stampin' Always,

Cheryl, HomeStyle Stamper


Feeling Squirrelly

It's Monday again.  How was your day?  Mine was okay.  I got my jobs done at work early today which was good since it was a short day for me.  Yay!  Tomorrow I work all day.  Bummer.  But I'm not at the registers so that's better.  I think we got about another 2 inches of snow this afternoon.  Not much, but enough that my husband did shovel the driveway when he got home.  

Did you watch the Superbowl?  I got bored with it in the 1st quarter.  The Packers weren't playing, so my attention span was pretty short.  I was kind of glad to see the Eagles win only since they never one a Superbowl.  Usuallly I cheer for the under-dogs.

Another card with the Hedgehugs stamp set.  This was a fun card to make.  As I was trying to design it, I realized the background was way to white.  So it's tonedown the white by sponging Daffodil Delight and Pumpkin Pie.  Almost gave it a sunset feel. It actually turned out the way I had imagined.   Make sure you sponge a space large enough so you don't see the edges through your framelit cutout.

I couldn't resist the bluebird.  He just added a nice touch in the corner.  And it worked out well having the sentiment come down from there as a banner.  I actually fussy cut out the squirrel and bird.  That's something I tend to avoid.  But they deserved to stand out.  I didn't realize the ribbon I used was retired.  If you have the Emerald Envy Crinkled Seam Binding Ribbon, that would look good too.  

Look at the card inside.  Just having a little fun, but aren't they cute?  It's a nice surprise to open the card and see this.  I didn't add a sentiment because I felt it would be a great card to send a hand-written note.


Kind of a bland color combo, but by sponging with the Daffodil Delight and Pumpkin Pie really adds life to the card.  

Click on the first picture for dimensions and instructions.

Until next time...Stampin' Always,

Cheryl, HomeStyle Stamper


Product List
Big Shot





Stampin' Club


Hard to believe that Stampin' Up has been around for 30 years!  I can't remember exactly what year it was when I became involved in Stampin' Up. 

Over ten years ago I joined my first stamp club.  I met some great women and shared many conversations and laughs.  That is my favorite part about going to my club.  We talk, laugh, and share our ideas.  It's a night that we are away from our husbands and families.  Don't get me wrong, we do love them, but we deserve it.  

This is the time of year the I enjoy as a demonstrator.  We are done with the major holidays...Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Besides Valentine's day, there isn't much going on.  Bring out the new stamp sets!  I've bought some sets, but still haven't used them in club.  I can't wait!  Don't forget there is the new Occasions catalog and SAB to think about.  There is no theme to work around unless I make club a theme (which I have done before).  

What we do in club varies month to month.  We typically do at least 2 cards.  The third is sometimes a 3-d project, or maybe a new technique.  I do like to challenge my people in doing different things.  I design all the projects and provide the materials.   As I said, sometimes I do a theme, but other times it's just random cards/projects that I have come up as.  Usually it's not the same from month to month.  

Club is about the members, not me.  If there is a stamp set, technique or project they wish to do, I will do my best to make it happen for them.  They can have a say in what we do.  I value their opinions.  My club people are the greatest.  I love it when they bring in their own creations for show and tell.  We all inspire each other.  

Details about my club

  • We always meet the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 6:45.
  • I design all the cards and projects.  This does vary each month.  Usually it is at least 2 cards.  Sometimes we will do a 3-d project.  Othertimes we will learn a new technique.  
  • Except for the basic adhesive, I provide all the materials.    
  • Club members rotate being the monthly hostess.  This means they will provide a small snack and will receive the hostess benefits.
  • Members agree to spend $25 before shipping and handling and are due at club time.
  • Outside orders are always accepted.
  • Visitors are always welcome.  They can come and meet us, see what club is about.  No obligation of purchase is necessary the first month.  

Are you around the Fort Atkinson area in Wisconsin?  Interested in seeing what we do?  Contact me.  I would love to chat with you. Bring a friend too!   Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, February 13.  Hope to see you then!

Until next time...Stampin' Always

Cheryl, HomeStyle Stamper




Tasty Thursday - Pasta Alla Vecchia Bettola

I found this recipe on Pinterest on  The entire name is Ina Garten's Pasta Alla Vecchia Bettola.  That's a mouthful.  The girls and I call it Vodka Sauce.  Much shorter and easier to say.  

The three of us absolutely love this sauce.  My husband, on the other hand, doesn't care for it.  So, we make it when he is travelling for work.  Like this week.  Even put some in the freezer for Megan who's at college.  That will make her very happy.

When I first saw this recipe, I saw whole canned tomatoes.  Yuck.  I'm Italian and love my spaghetti, but not chunky with tomato pieces.  But keep reading.  After the tomatoes are all cooked, everything goes in the blender for a smooth outcome.  My kind of recipe.

It's not hard to make at all.  But it does take a while.  First you have to reduce the Vodka and onion, then bake everything for 1 1/2 hours.  It would be a great recipe to make for company.  Make ahead of time and then just make the pasta and reheat the sauce when it's time to eat.  

Ina Garten's Pasta Alla Vecchia Bettola (aka Vodka Sauce)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 medium Spanish onion, chopped to yield 2 1/2 cups

3 cloves garlic, minced

crushed red pepper flakes to taste

1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 cup Vodka

2 (28-ounce) cans peeled plum tomatoes, whole

Kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

3/4 pound penne paste or whatever shape you like

4 tablespoon fresh oregano

1/4 to 1 cup heavy cream

*diced Pancetta (optional)

grated Parmigiano or Pecorino

Preheat oven to 375F

Heat the olive oil in large oven proof saute pan over medium heat, add onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until translucent.  Add the red pepper flakes and dried oregano and cook for 1 minute more.  Add the vodka and continue cooking until the mixture is reduced by half, about 5 to 7 minutes more.

Meanwhile, drain the tomatoes through a sieve.  Now you have to crush the tomatoes with your hands right into the vodka/onion mixture.  Be careful because they might splatter all over.   Add salt and pepper.  Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and bake for 1 1/2 hours. 

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente.  Drain and set aside.

After the tomatoes have baked, place the mixture in a blender or food processer and puree in batches until the sauce is a smooth consistency.  You may have to do this in several batches.  Return the sauce to the pan.

Reheat the sauce, add the pancetta, 2 tablespoons fresh oregano (if using) and enough heavy cream to make the sauce a creamy consistency-start with a quarter cup, taste and adjust to your taste.  Add salt (optional) and pepper to taste, simmer for 10 minutes.  Toss the cooked pasta in the sauce and cook for 2 more minutes.  Stir in generous handful of grated cheese.  Serve with an additional sprinkor of cheese and a sprinkle of fresh oregano (optional) on each plate.

*The original recipe doesn't call for pancetta.  We have found that it adds just enough of a salty flavor.  Since no meat is in the sauce, it compliments the sauce very well.  

The finished product with our favorite Parmesan cheese.  This was actually our leftovers tonight.  Just as good as when it was made.  We have learned to double this recipe so we can freeze the sauce for college and still have leftovers.  

Go ahead and check out the original recipe  This recipe may take a while to make, but it's totally worth the effort.  

Until next time...Stampin' Always

Cheryl, HomeStyle Stamper




Sending Hedgehugs Love


Today was a fun day.  I went shopping with some friends from work.   We first hit a store in Madison that sells upcycled products.  They had some very interesting things.  We went to two other stores before heading home.  We also found some other antique stores that will be on our list for next time.  Great day.  Great friends.  Need more of these days.

Finally dug out the Hedgehug stamp set.  They are soooo cute.  The flower is such an adorable touch.  I had to make it stand out a little by doing that in a different color.  I right one was colored with the Chocolate Chip marker so I could do the flower in Garden Green and Cherry Cobbler.  

You really have to be open minded when creating.  I found the heart paper in the Coffee Break dsp.  Who would have guessed?  It fits with the hedgehogs perfectly.

The bottom of the card seemed a little bland, so mushrooms to the rescue!  By stamping on cardstock with the same color gives it a nice watermark look.  You can see it, but it's very subtle.  Exactly what I needed there.  



 Looking at the color combo, it's looking kind of drab.  But the Lemon Lime Twist really brightens it up.  I really wasn't liking the way the Garden Green looked against the Lemon Lime Twist.  The solution was using the ribbon.  Broke the colors up and added texture to the card.  Perfect!

Click on the picture for dimensions and instructions.

Until next time...Stampin' Always

Cheryl, HomeStyle Stamper








Loving the Strawberries


Here goes take #2.  I was almost done with this post and my computer froze.  GRRRR.  I'm so frustrated right now.  

Onto the card. 

Doesn't it make you hungry for good strawberries?  I already can't wait to go strawberry picking.  Around here, that is end of June.  So far away.  Last year I made strawberry freezer jam.  I've made it before, but did my family go crazy for it.  I made 2 batches I was afraid it wasn't going to last.  Some did make it to college with my daughter.  

It might be hard to tell, but the base is Night of Navy.  I like the color, but it's not a go-to color for me.  Especially for the card base.  But in this case, the Night of Navy totally works.  

The only strawberry that is punched out is the one by the sentiment.  The others are stamped directly on the Whisper White and I used the strawberry outline stamp.  It really does define the strawberries. 



I've also been playing with the Hedgehug stamp set.  I'll be posting those the next couple of days.  Hope you enjoy this card.

Click on the above picture for dimensions and instructions.

Until next time...Stampin' Always, 

Cheryl, HomeStyle Stamper



Join Me!

It's been a great journey since I've joined Stampin' Up.   I've only been a demonstrator since Sept. 2015,  but I've been around Stampin' Up clubs for over 10 years.  It took me that long to take the plunge to become a demonstrator.  I haven't regretted it at all.

One exciting benefit about being a demonstrator is that we get to see the catalogs ahead of everyone else.  They are available online to view about a month before our customers can see them.  We can also order things ahead of time!  By doing this, we can play with the new stamp sets in time to show off our projects when the catalog goes live.  The sneak peaks are great!   I already can't wait to see what the new In-colors will be!  

Have you thought about joining?  During Sale-a-Bration is the absolute best time to join.  Your starter kit contains $125 of product you pick and pay only $99.  Stampin' Up doesn't have a pre-determined starter kit.  They realize that those becoming a demonstrator probably already have a bunch of their products and we don't like to double up on products.  You can pick between the Annual catalog and Occasions catalog. ANYTHING is up for grabs.  It's a perfect way to even get the Big Shot!  

Plus, during SAB, you can choose anyTWO extra stamp sets for FREE.  Again, any stamp set from the Annual or Occasions catalogs are eligible.  And they can be at any cost!  

Oh, the starter kit also ships for FREE.  We all know that is quite a savings right there.  

I would love for you to join me on my Stampin' Up journey.  Let me know if you have any questions.  I'm there to help you out.

Until next time...Stampin' Always,

Cheryl, HomeStyle Stamper