Paper Crafting Porch Pick Up Kits

Sun Prairie, you are lucky to have me in your midst! I am a paper crafter hoarder. People into crafting have been training for staying at home and crafting for years. My chosen craft is creating greeting cards, scrapbooks and small gift packaging using Stampin’ Up! supplies.

Stampin’ Up! is a direct selling company which is based in Utah where most of their products are made. As a Stampin’ Up! Independent Demonstrator for over 16 years (the company is in their 32nd year in business), I have been enjoying product deliveries directly to my front door via UPS. I order my supplies online and you can too. Click the Shop Now button on the right side to zoom to my online store. Please make sure my name is in the upper right corner of the screen when placing your order or select me as your demonstrator.

If an online order is not your style, I am offering Paper Crafting Porch Pick Up Kits. Select either the greeting card making kit or the mixed media kit. Both will share similar supplies as shown in the photo: ink pads, ribbons, self adhesive embellishments and cardstock sniblets, full sheets of cardstock, full sheets of designer series paper and lots of assorted image wood mounted stamps.

The greeting card kit will include scored and cut cardstock ready to make 16 greeting cards with envelopes. The mixed media kit substitutes the scored cardstock and envelopes with 12×12 cardstock and designer series papers.

Either kit option is $20 per kit. Add $5 for inclusion of a tombo liquid glue. I am happy to add more consumable supplies to your kit so you set for a bit:) Just let me know what you want more of: solid colored papers, patterned papers, embellishments or ribbons. I also have glue dots in stock for $6 per box.

Porch Pick Up and payment left under the pallet tree on my front step at my house in Sun Prairie. Click the Contact button to message me to set up a pick up time. Let me know which kit you are ordering and if there are any add-ons. Thank you for allowing me to share my stash with you and helping to keep your family entertained while we stay at home.

Super Awesome Kit Maker Shirley

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The Adventures of Shirley’s Spuds aka what’s for dinner

I do love a good potato. Baked, fried, hash browned, pancaked, twice baked, curried, boiled, YUM! They all have a place on my plate because they can be crispy and soft, mild flavored or boldly spiced. Would you like to join me as I share my spud secrets?

A good recipe takes some planning and cooking time. As a collective community, many of us are home bound and have the time now to explore in the kitchen. As a bonus, spuds are cheap. I just snagged a 10 pound bag of russets for $3.50.

I love crispy potatoes so decided on potato pancakes for my first recipe. Actually, I got the idea to share my spud secrets while I was making french fries a few nights ago. Yes, you can make french fries at home. They are so good piping hot out of the oven! I’ll feature those in an upcoming post. Now back to the potato pancakes recipe.


4 large russet potatoes, peeled and grated

1/2 cup grated onion

1 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1-2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Peel and grate the potatoes. I use a Kitchenaid stand mixer with the grater attachment. A box grater using the largest grate opening works too. Grate the onion using the same method.

Toss the grated mixture with 1 teaspoon salt.

Let the potatoes, onion and salt sit in a colander while you are preparing the rest of the dinner, about 15 minutes. The potatoes need to drain liquid so they fry with minimum grease spatter and turn crispy. Use a paper or clean linen towel to ring out the last remaining liquid and/or to speed up the draining process. Discard the drained liquid.

The drained mixture is next mixed with 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of flour and 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Add more or less flour depending on how wet the potato mixture is prior to adding the egg.

This photo shows the ingredients just prior to mixing the egg. Those 4 potatoes in the background will turn into baked potatoes today with homemade french onion dip, YUM. Now back to the current recipe…


Now heat a large skillet with at least 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or the fry oil of your choice. There will be 2 fry batches using my 11 inch skillet. So I want all the oil in the pan from the start to fry both batches.

Be patient and wait for the oil to sizzle. Test the oil by flinging a few droplets of water from your fingertips into the oil. If the droplets jump, then the pan is hot. The oil should be shimmering too.

Now drop about 1/3 cup portions into the hot oil and flatten. If a sizzle sound is not heard, the oil is not hot enough. So wait a few seconds before continuing adding to the pan. Leave space between the mounds, enough to reach under with a flipper. Flip when the edges start to brown. Do a peek under to ensure the entire patty is brown before flipping. We want a nice, crispy patty! It should be only a few minutes of cooking on each side if your oil is hot enough.

Work quick after addition to the pan starts. So have the rest of the meal ready or enlist your house mates to time the rest of the meal so you can enjoy the hot, crispy potato pancakes with your other dishes.

We enjoyed cilantro topped crispy tuna quinoa bites on lettuce wraps with the potato pancakes. I’ll share those in another post as some point. I did not take prep photos of that dish. But it might be something you would like to try. They are crispy and delicious too:)


The second best part about this recipe is that there are leftovers. The recipe makes enough for 4 people. I pair the leftover pattys with fruit and tea for a quick breakfast. My tea blend lately is mint and fennel with a sparse portion of Thai basil since my basil stock is almost out.

Hope you enjoyed my first Adventures of Shirley’s Spuds!

Super Awesome Spud Maker Shirley


Paper Pumpkin is for Family

It’s day four in my area of the kids staying home from school. I would anticipate that the transition to home schooling is being made with varying degrees of success. You might be thinking ahead for fun projects the kids can do on their own or with minimal help from you. Paper Pumpkin is your answer!

Paper Pumpkin is a paper crafting kit that is delivered directly to your mailbox. Give the kids the task of picking up the mail and they will be pleasantly surprised to find a box waiting for them around the 15th of the month.

The April kit is focused around the idea of making connections with family. Watch the short video and keep your eyes peeled for a sneak peek of the design.

Looks like something you would like to try? Watch the few minute video for the March kit showing assembly in fast motion.

The project design is always a secret to help with the fun surprise. But, they have been giving clues as to what is in the box lately. So we know the April kit will be greeting card designs.

FAQ’s: Your first box comes with a clear acrylic block to mount the stamps on. Reuse the block with future kits so don’t throw it out! Boxes start shipping on the 11th of each month. So you have until the 10th of each month to order subscriptions or skip a month in the subscriptions. Want a box each month? Then purchase a 12 month subscription!  Next, set up your account by following the instructions in the email that is sent after you make your purchase so Paper Pumpkin knows where to ship the boxes.

Here are the subscription prices. Purchase the 12 month option for the lowest price of about $22 per box, depending on the tax in your area.

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Sign Me Out! Purchase subscriptions through my online store by clicking here or click the Shop Now button in the upper right corner. Make sure my name is located in the upper right corner of the online store to make sure I get the credit for your purchase. You will get an email with further sign up instructions including a promo code which is linked to your purchase. Please use host code VQ4JQT4G if your purchase is under $150. If it’s over $150, do not use a host code so you can spend all the host rewards. I’ll send you a thank card for purchasing with me:)

Purchase a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription by the end of March and receive free, exclusive Sale-a-bration rewards. These rewards are available for viewing at my online store by clicking here. In addition, a 12 month subscription earns you host rewards. Purchase another subscription with the host rewards!

Please share this post with others that might like an affordable perk-me-up in their snail mailbox too! Thank you for sharing!

Super Awesome Stamper Shirley

Paper Crafting Blog Hop Happy Birthday!


I hope you are enjoying our Happy Birthday themed Independent Stampin’ Up! Demonstrators Blog Hop. Fellow demonstrators from all over the globe are participating so we have a wide array of fun projects to share with you! You may have arrived from      Annette McMillan’s blog. She had a fabulous project!



The supplies used plus one white pompom to stand in a for golf ball from the Assorted Pompoms pack and patterned paper from the Country Club package…paper snip blades were run along the garden green mat to give extra interest. I got a little crazy with the number of Stampin’ Write markers I used. I got ’em, may as well use ’em. I love how saturated the colors are when using these markers.


Thanks for hopping with us each month. Now click on the next image to zoom to Tracy Held’s blog in Australia and see what fun project she designed.


Here is a list of hoppers in case you get off the trail…

Shirley Merker YOU ARE HERE!
Tracy Held
Sue Boerner
Sandra Roberts
Sandy Ward
Sue McDonald
Arlene Carter
Anastasia Radloff
Annette McMillan

All the supplies to create this hand stamped greeting card can be ordered through my online store here. Please use the host code found on the right side of my blog when ordering through my online store if your order is under $150. If it is over $150, don’t use the code so you can redeem all the host rewards.

If you do not already have a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator, I would be happy to be yours. Ready to enjoy the demonstrator discount? Join my Super Awesome Stampers Team for the best benefits! Click the Contact button above to get the conversation started.

Super Awesome Stamper Shirley

Cleaning Protocol, I got this one!

Good Morning Stampers. Many of you offer to help clean up after attending an event. Thank you for the offer, but I got this! I have a system I use between events that involves disinfect spray, wipes, hot soapy water and fresh air. Yes, I open the windows except on blizzard days;)

Here is what I do:

1) The stamps and blocks are rinsed under the wash tub faucet to remove excess ink. Stamps are removed from the block and cleaned with stampin mist on the stampin scrub and set aside to dry. Blocks are dunked in hot, soapy water until the rest of the clean up is done. They get a good 30 minute soak:) They are rinsed in hot water and then air dried.

2) Open the windows, in part to reduce the cleaning agents smell. I am sensitive to all smells and is why you won’t smell perfume when you enter my house.

3) Unroll a wad of paper towels. Wipe down all the ink pads, community utensils, big shot and big shot accessories with disinfectant. Now is a great time to invest in your own utensils so you don’t have to use the community ones.

4) Wipe down the door handles with disinfectant.

5) Wipe down tables and chairs with disinfectant.

6) Vacuum the floors. I frequently steam clean the carpets and ask that your shoes be removed.

7) All Done!

My cleaning protocol has been in place almost as long as my Stampin’ Up! business of close to 17 years. Germs have never been my friend since I am the one most likely to get sick after a gathering with people. Perhaps I was fighting cancer all those years so germs took a backseat in the fight. We will never know. Since my cancer treatment was severely harsh, it’s been a long fight back to relative health. I am ever vigilant about germs since I know I can barely fight my own, let alone the ones other people carry. I have taken steps to rebuild my immune system but it will never return to optimal levels that most of the population enjoys. When I get sick with a cold, it takes me weeks and many boxes of kleenex to recover from effects that are noticeable. I am sure the cellular level is still working hard long after the sniffles are gone. That’s why I drink kombucha, teas and eat mostly things that grow out of the earth.

I am a scientist so understand the world we can only see under a microscope and even smaller than that. Tiny molecules that can only be detected with very expensive and large equipment. I worked first in an environmental lab cleaning up Super Fund sites where gasoline tanks were leaking. I moved on to working in a pharmaceutical lab; testing the drugs I would later take to combat my cancer. Since I understand how germs work, my cleaning protocol has been in place since the beginning of my business, keeping you and me at relative safety from the germs. Doing what I can for sickness prevention is the best way to keep living life on track.

Please know that you can ask me about my cancer journey since I don’t bring it up in conversation. If you are curious to learn what my experience was and is like, I can answer questions. I can tell you that all the weight that I lost has found me again;)

Until we meet, stay well!

Super Awesome Stamper Shirley