Monday, December 31, 2007

Wild, Sweet ... Orange

Have you had this tea at Starbucks? It's incredible. It's the most intensely flavored tea they have I think. I finally bought myself some.

I wasn't feeling so hot today so I made myself some and forgot that I had the box in my hand when I went to sit on the couch for a while. It is a beautiful box - vanilla with bright sunny orange accents and copper type. In the copper type is some philosophy, some practical things, like contact info, and some beautiful little details like a symmetrical cross, some filigree, a signature and some things that look like tax stamps. In black on the copper top is just the word "symbol". They put a lot of art into a box of orange tea. On the back it says "Did you know? If you were to invert the first letter of this tea's name, you would change the description of it entirely." From Wild to Mild in one letter.

That's how things are too. A little tilt and everything is completely different. I, personally, am glad that it's wild, not mild. Go get some.

Anyway, after I felt like moving around again, I gave myself my own inspiration challenge with the box. All I wanted were the vanilla, the copper, the orange and the words to come through. Hope you like it.
I used the little chipboard diamonds from the on board blossoms and basics with Encore Copper and Copper EP for the accents. I pulled the paper out of a copper metal edged tag to frame the stamp from the Simply Sent and used a rhinestone brad in the center. The orange background paper is from Basic Grey. It has a lot of texture built in that you can't really see in my photo.
The top 2/3 of the card is stamped with the crackle background stamp in Creamy Caramel. Other colors are Pumpkin Pie, Basic Black and Chocolate Chip (all Classic Ink).
I hope you all have a happy New Year's & a safe one. Feel free to post a New Year's resolution or two.
2008 is the year of blog candy on Understand Blue, and you just never know when I might start. I just got over 1000 visits, so I'm feeling generous! Plus one of my resolutions is to re-org the stamp room and that means my downsizing is your gain!!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wacked Out

Okay - I know this is a little wacky, but I just loved the colors in this Basic Grey paper, and I'm trying hard to bond with this set from Stampin' Up! (see Stampin' Kub's blog for a beautiful card with it) so I put my hands together for this crazy bright fun card. I cuttlebugged the whole card front with the floral embossing folder.

Jenn said I should share my favorite gift. Tough one. My husband got me a Garmin Nuvi, which I love. I'm a complete map freak (among other things I'm freaky about) so it will be the gift I will just wear right out. I'm actually kind of hacked that I have known everywhere I've been going lately so I haven't gotten to truly navigate. I can't wait until the first time I get lost. Truly. I will be stoked. I kind of enjoy getting lost anyway.

The most beautiful things I got were a stunning cameo from my mom and a book from my dad. My mother had given me a cameo a few years ago that was just stunning. Blue, white, perfect. On a really delicate chain. One day at lunch at Central Market, it slipped off never to be seen again. It just made me sick. I hope whoever found it loved it as much as I did. So she replaced it this year with this beautiful cameo that is also on a delicate chain, but has a pin on the back!

The book is called the Art of the Snowflake, and it has these stunning photographs of snowflakes that are just indescribable. You should buy this for everyone you know! He gave it to me because I sent out a Christmas card a year or two ago with an anatomically incorrect snowflake! It's true - mine had 8 legs, and he was terminally scarred by this as a scientist. So this book proves once and for all that snowflakes have a geometry based on 6, not 8. ALLRIGHTY I GET IT. And now you all do too. :)

The funniest gift I got was from my sister in law. It's a t-shirt that says "English Major - You do the Math." LOVE IT!!!
Then I got tons of other gifts from incredibly special people. There are things that people give you that just define treasure, you know?
I know you do.
I kind of feel a bunch of posts coming on, so bear with me.

Senility - It Comes sooner than you think

It really does. Like, uh, around my age. No, I'm not going to tell you. Shh.

Okay - so I forgot to post my Christmas card!

I have excuses I promise, which I also won't go into. Anyway, here she is. This angel is colored with copic markers, and then painted with interference ink refill for the Opalite Ink pad. You can't see how pretty that makes the blue. You also can't see the stickles on her wings. I stamped Joy in the Opalite Ink, and the snowflakes are just white (stamped off a few times for some) on a Basic Grey base, with the Sanded background in Basic Grey.

And speaking of Basic Grey - I had gotten these little 6x6 pads of Basic Grey background paper that I made this little birdie from. He's paper pieced from a piece of red with a nice chocolate chip texture on it, and that's where I punched the red circles from. The other background paper was actually from a different non-coordinating pad but they look cute together. I thought a greeting would just clutter him up.

What did everybody get for Christmas? I'd love to hear, if you haven't given up on me for being a bad blogger.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Gift

I made a set of these from the Simple Delights Simply Sent Kit.

The designs they include are simple (on purpose for beginning or busy stampers) so I like to change them, but I loved this stamp set. Card base is Soft Sky, with US Vanilla, Chocolate Chip and River Rock cardstock. So, (hard to see) I stamped the main element in Chocolate Chip craft ink and embossed with Iridescent ice EP and added the brad. Pattern at the bottom is stamped in Soft Sky, and the greeting is in Chocolate Chip classic ink. It's so nice to have all the stock pre-cut. I think the whole set of 5 took 15 minutes all the way to boxed. These are for Grayson... Hope everyone is having a great Christmas.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

To answer your questions..

Okay - someone asked me where I got the burnishers. I got mine at a local store called Memory Depot, and the only thing that is on the package is a weird picture that says "Estiletes Lujo" (or maybe Luja) Desde 1987.

Perhaps Thomas Pynchon or Umberto Eco are embedding clues in teflon burnishers, because this means absolutlely nothing to me, but may help you in your quest! :)

Speaking of the burnishers, here are a few little gifts I made with Papertrey Ink tins & Hershey nuggets.. And I'm such a complete ding dong. I have been using the Stampin' Up! rubons this whole time and never saw that there's a sheet of white ones in the package too! I was wondering how they did that in the catalog!! DUHHHHHH!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Deep Breaths...

I'm trying. Tonight I can look at the catalog. Actually, I already have and I LOVE IT!! For starters, it's PINK !! How fun is that? And I don't know where to start on all the things I want. All the rub-ons, all the paper, the "Always" stamp set, "Kind Thoughts" a couple hostess sets. Man. *sigh* And speaking of rub-ons, I've been using them a lot, and I have some tips. 1> throw away that insulting popsicle stick that comes with them. That is completely retarded. Get yourself a teflon tipped burnisher like these.

Then carefully set your sheet of rub-ons on your work surface. If it sticks to things (The Stampin' Up! ones are very sticky) then watch out. These might need TLC. The SU! ones are also very close together on the sheet, so this makes accidental burnishing likely and you might get parts of images you don't want. So learn from my mistakes and cut out your images before you transfer them. Then you will be happy. Keep the protective sheet for as long as you have the set also, you will need to store them together so that the images aren't damaged. These are lovely and detailed, so they are worth the extra effort.
A lot of you are asking what would possess a woman to make 180 cookies. Many years ago, when I was in HR, I started a tradition at our corporate office of baking treats for all of our branches at Christmas to show them our gratitude. We have grown a lot since we started, so the number of cookies has grown! This year we made 18 packages of 10 cookies each. For me, it was all about the package, of course. So I used the tea tins from PaperTrey Ink, covered them with DSP and filled them with a roll of 10 sugar cookies with matching sprinkles!!!

Finally, I want to show all you UB readers who do not live in Central Texas what lives in our trees. We have these "creatures" made from ball moss that clump all over our oak trees. Sometimes they drop into the street or your driveway and you can see this little scary tumbleweedy looking thing up close. Some people perpetuate the complete and total wicked lie that these don't hurt our trees, but they will kill an oak tree. Do you see this one clutching a branch of MY OAK TREE???? So stop lying. And to those of you who are not lying, stop believing the liars. Ball moss = badness. They even sound the same if you say em fast. I am pretty sure I saw beady little eyes on this one... ;)

More soon..

Monday, December 17, 2007


NOOOOOOO - not tonight!!! I have to bake 180 cookies tonight and I see in my mailbox - the NEW STAMPIN' UP! CATALOG?!?!!?




Sunday, December 16, 2007


My normal state. I know my last post was five seconds ago, but you gotta see this. Cuz it's zany. The cute little creature is a DoodleFactory image from Starving Artistamps and he's just the TIP of the cute iceberg, believe me.
I posted sets of this little cutie in my shop - how could people not want him?
I think I will put crystal effects on his little buggy eyeballs, what do you think?

Winter White

Hola amigas! (& amigos, if u r out there)
I am finally done with my Christmas cards!! In a few days after everyone receives them, I will post them here. They were a labor of love. Originally, they were very simple, no layers, on white cardstock. I was uneasy. So I added a glittery embossed snowflake for dimension. I still tossed and turned each night at all that white. Something wasn't right. One day at lunch, I zipped over to Memory Depot and discovered something that changed the design for good - it was the Opalite pigment interference ink in Glacier Blue. You must buy yourself some immediately. First, I stamped the "Joy" on basic grey and it was beautiful, Then I stamped some snowflakes in it - also beautiful, but not stunning. The cards still looked a little flat, despite profuse Copic Marker watercoloring, Twinkling H2O's and stickles. Something was missing. Late on Thursday night, with the house all to myself, I discovered that if you paint with an aqua painter and the refill to the Opalite ink all over your blue angel, you have an AHA moment of bliss! So, sad that I had already sent a few out, I cut apart all the boring white cards, careful to save my custom greeting on the inside, layered my card, and finally finished them all today. The last of them are drying in the kitchen.
So then I was left with 150 embossed snowflakes that I could not bring myself to throw away. So I carefully punched them each out and decided to turn my enemy - white, into my friend. Here is the result. I think I will use these for Thank You cards after Christmas. See what you think.
The rest of today will be spent crafting. Check out my newly added Etsy Shop - link at right. Last night my sister and I had a blast etching wine glasses and it was so fun!! So I decided I would open a little store just for the heck of it. I'll add cards very soon.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I'm SO not even a little dead!!!

In case you were wondering!! I'm just now sitting back down at my computer, so be patient on my email answer rate. As usual, there are other things I should be doing, like finishing my Christmas cards, but I wanted to give you a little preview, because I am in the process of learning some hard life lessons, and it was only after I started cropping these photos, that I thought just maybe there is a little metaphor in here. See if you like the message. First of all, sometimes, joy is hard to find. It might be upside down, backwards, or buried under something.

Surely you've been here. I am by nature a happy person, so these times are hard for me to adjust to. They are unnatural. But you just gotta go on, yes? And how does a person do it? Thank the dear Lord, with a little help from your friends, right? (to quote the boys from across the pond..) But also, you do have to find a way to believe that things will get better. Because, really, they always do.

Think about those shepherds seeing that angel - what was their reaction? Fear!!!! No matter what version you like, you will read about fear. It must have been a fearsome sight.

But angels (pictured here as blue, but of course...) never make for an unhappy ending. When you start with an angel, you always end with joy.

Right side up, all shimmery and blue... right?

You will see. I hope you like it. And if you want to start getting Christmas cards (or other goodies from me), all you gotta do is send me a card. Your girl loves the old USPS, and I'll add you to my mailing list if you just add me to yours.

I hope your December is going well. If you want to see a woman who has my complete and total admiration this month, I'm going to need you to check out Jenn's site and see what she has been up to. Those gifts she's made ARE SPECTACULAR!! And she is extremely busy. So, please add hope to joy. We can look at what she's done and hope to be half that good!!!!!


Monday, December 3, 2007

Some Christmas Ditties 4U

I am so excited that Martha's show is on Fine Living!!! It comes on every night and I love listening to Martha and stamping! I'm watching one with Russell Crowe on it right now - that's not bad either! She has great guests!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Uno Mas!

Sorry - one more. I had fun with this. The accents on top of the ribbon are actually from the scraps cut off my cross card, below this post. I thought they were pretty together. Dig the red & basic grey. the images are from Starving Artistamps - Equestrian 1.

Grab a Snack - Uber Post!

Okay- lots to tell you, so get comfy. I have a crazy week coming, so after Wednesday, you won't hear from me for a week. So I have lots to show you. First of all, another Starving Artistamps Creation - from the Southwestern Ornamentals. I love this little cross! I tried to emboss it and then use my metal tape on top of it, because this and the heart I think would look great with a punched tin look, but the embossing powder wasn't thick enough to show through the tape. Too faint to photograph. So I pulled out the colors of tin and went to work!

I used basic Grey ink and cardstock, white embossing powder, a vellum metal edged tag and the pretties kit for bling!

Then a project from my camp this weekend - a little ornament with the scallop punch. You just punch out 8 scallops out of DSP, fold each of them in half, and put adhesive on them (just one half) and stick it to the folded half of the next scallop. Before you attach the last one, put a loop of silver cord with one of the beads from the pretties kit on the bottom through the middle and then attach the last scallop. **TIP** stack up all 8 scallops after you punch them, and gently crease them in half. Use this as a guide to crease them in half. This is important because if they are not all folded the exact same way, the edges will not line up on the finished ornament. How did I learn this? The hard way, for your viewing pleasure, of course. Look closely at the photo - on the left you can see those scallops aren't lined up. On the right, they are.

Then, for my Christmas card club I did a Kristina Werner card which I think is just beautiful in its simplicity. The colors are blush blossom and sage shadow - two colors I truly never use but I think they are stunning together. To get the debossed square, you just Hermafix a piece of cardstock slightly larger than the vanilla layer, stick it to the front of your card, and then flip it over on your light table and go around the edges with your Impressor. It's a fabulous, simple and elegant technique, with none of the detail required for regular em/debossing with a template. Yes, indeedy-do - your girl is a lazy embosser! :-) The square is just drawn in chocolate chip with a Stampin' Write Marker. After that I did a brown (Love the non-traditional Christmas colors) snowflake card and a cute wreath card that you make with the scallop punch, the 3/4" round punch and the three for you punch. Then I did a punch/DSP card for the regular club and a very simple "best wishes" card based on one Spamela gave me at the SSSSS. I hope you're having a relaxing weekend. I plan to do Christmas cards and general stamping all day.

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