Friday, October 31, 2008

Witching Hour

I'm sleepy. Prepping for club.

Here are the treats I made for my office. If you are careful, you can get 35 scallop punch outs for your York Peppermint Patties out of a single sheet of DSP.

Hope you had a good Halloween.



Here's how it went down. It turns out that Splotchy is a feline Dr. Frankenstein. Sweet, demure little Splotchy has a cat/bat monster lab on the rug by the back door. At sunset, he transforms my wicked Maddie Bat into her true form.

Luckily I caught the whole thing on film. Yes, a Pulitzer awaits.

Happy Halloween!!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ain't Life Grand?

I saw this "floor" idea on the Crafting the Web blog - I LOVE it. Theresa was creating a card for a challenge that featured one of the Twilight books as an inspiration piece. I thought the chandelier from Grand Soiree would be PERFECT over my fake marble floor.

It's really easy to do.

Just draw a grid with a ruler - I used my favorite clear ruler that has all the measurements in red in a grid, so it's easy to line up. My squares were an inch apart.

Then, because I'm mistake prone, I wrote a little W in each square I needed to leave white.

After that it was easy to mask off those and sponge in black. I had a horizontal "room horizon" line to work with too - don't forget that.

Then, I stamped the chandelier in VersaMark and embossed it with clear.

I masked the floor and sponged black on the top, so that the chandelier looks like it's lit in the dark.

A girl can't really do black and white without RED, can she?

All the sudden I'm in the mood for a party!!!!

One of my catz is a superhero - check little Splotchy (no cape necessary) in mid-miracle. And then kitty secretz...

Hope you are having a good night!!


I'll post a card later, but...

Can I just say that this makes my heart race every time I see it??

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Rat Fairy and Realtor Litter

I know - the title is a lot to take in. But it's really a few things that need to be said to you, my beloved readers. But first, a card...

And sorry for the silence. Busy few days!! But here's an idea that's been in my head for a week or so. It's my beloved Sizzix bird, on Basic Black with white gel pen dots. I tried to make him look like the Always bird. Then I mounted him on *sigh* the kraft prints paper from the hostess set - I LOVE the kraft DSP - and then onto black, and finally onto a kraft card base.

The black dots are made with my glaze pen. Not all the colors of these are as opaque as the black. Not sure how I feel about that yet. But I love the black.

So I hope you enjoy it. I've been playing with my new camera so be patient with my pics. As you know I do not read directions...

Speaking of patient, are you ready for the title fight??

You're familiar with the tooth fairy, right? It's like organ donation for kids. It always kind of grossed me out, to be frank. Rip out a body part, stick it in your BED (ick!!) and some random lady comes and takes it and gives you money. What the heck???? This was nothing like Santa and the Easter bunny for me. In my twisted little mind (too much Edward Gorey I guess) I was wondering where this gross tooth warehouse was that this broad was flying off to every night after playing body part snatcher all over the world.

Anyway, apparently there is a rat fairy also, in keeping with the creepy fairy tradition. Now before I get started and everyone thinks Texas is like London in a Jack the Ripper flick, all dirty and teeming with rodents, we have these rats called roof rats. They zip around on tree branches and jasmine vines (they LOVE jasmine) and start hurtling across our roofs every night looking for a way into our attics in the winter. Or if you have a deck, they love to live under the deck and come out to eat dog food or whatever people leave out. We have every sort of varmint you can imagine in the Lone Star State. And it's not because we're dirty. And I dont kill things, but sometimes people have to.

Well anyway, my sister has the perfect rat storm. Her yard is surrounded by large trees that touch all the roofs in the neighborhood, and she has a deck. Roof rat heaven. Except for the traps under the deck. That's kind of an "oh (*#$&" moment for the rats. Yesterday, after one of those moments, my sister had to remove the departed rat from the trap, and she bagged it up and threw it over the fence to keep the dog from getting it. Then I guess she forgot about it. Easy to do with two 150 pound great Pyrenees barreling around.. So she woke up this morning early, and remembered. So she went to go put the rat in the trashcan, and was VERRRRY surprised to find that the rat was gone.

And in its place? A QUARTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am not making this up!!!

Ponder THAT for a minute or two tonight my readers!!! Guess our coyotes are carrying tip money around now. Texas is such a polite state!

Now. On to some larger varmints - realtors.

Anyone who has ever sold their home knows about staging. It's that magical process of clearing out clutter in your home so that it will look spacious, organized and inviting. Some realtors are really good at the staging process. Ours was. A miracle worker, he is. And I love him and his wife.

But riddle me this. Once a realtor has made your home all OCD perfect and buyers are fighting their own mothers to put in a winning bid on your minimalist well staged home, and the new family moves in - WHY IS IT OKAY FOR THE REALTORS TO THEN THROW TRASH ON THE PORCH??

Seriously. Every day, I come home to realtor garbage piled up on my porch. Flyers, postcards, business cards - it looks like a ticker tape parade except without the parade, and plus a bunch of really bad photos of men and women who look like they've been to a Glamour Shot session where the best clothes were cheap suits from an 80s soap opera.

It makes me nuts. I don't think that anyone should be able to leave their garbage on my porch. Politicians, landscapers - anyone. I shouldn't have to throw out their garbage for them. I'm contemplating how best to make this point.

Perhaps a "put your hands together" moment with the rats and the realtors. Your suggestions are appreciated! :)

Finally tonight - I'm playing with my new ultra cool camera last night - the shutter speed is incredible - and I caught the kitties, well, in some strange moments.

I know u have been missing them!!

Hope your week is off to a good start!!



Saturday, October 25, 2008

San Antonio Regional

The emails and comments about the grocery store are hysterically funny. I'm glad I'm not alone. :)

Regionals are awesome. If you've not been, and there's one coming to a city near you - you need to go. If you're a demonstrator and missed the signup period, log on to Stampin' Discuss and see if anyone is selling their ticket. It amazes me how much you get for the ticket price.

We got the Best Wishes & More set, and did six adorable make & takes with it. I took hundreds of pictures of the display boards and I'll make some of those projects and post them in the coming days.

Before the pics though, Beate's Weekend Sketch Challenge. As usual I rotated it (yes, I have a sketch challenge mental disorder - Beate knows about it). For the big stripe, I punched 1" circles out of my leftover paint chips and then punched little semi circles out of the sides of them and fit them together like puzzle pieces. This way they lay totally flat on the card instead of overlapping. Jaron did a whole card like that at Regionals and it was really cool. I put the whole thing together with my new UHU glue roller. This thing ROCKS! It puts adhesive down in little teeny dots, similar to Dotto, but much flatter and stickier. The roller mechanism is very smooth and quick - there's no catching, and no glue gooping up the edge of the dispenser. There are also no little edges that come off in strings or get stuck somewhere they shouldn't. I'm impressed!! I got a little clipboard with it I'm going to do something fun with shortly!

For the second stripe, I took a piece of green galore grosgrain and cut the very edge off. Another regionals trick that lets you pull the long pieces out and make this cool fluffy fiber. I tied another piece of grosgrain around those.

The lemon/lime image is stamped in Yoyo Yellow and then rock & rolled in Green galore and covered with Tombow glue and Dazzling Diamonds glitter. The greeting is the square from the sketch, popped up and distressed.

Now another very cool thing about regionals is that I FINALLY got to meet Tisha Copeland of Say Cheese in person! I feel like I already knew her but it was nice to see this pretty & talented lady in person. :)

Why didn't I take a picture??

Our road trip to regionals was a blast - Cecile, Keli, Kim (two EMT's so we were safe!) and Neelam rode together and laughed so hard on the way home I think I have an injury. You do NOT want to know what made us laugh, trust me.

Keli was putting together her adorable swaps in the lobby, looking super glamorous, before the door opened.

Regionals are so small it's a lot easier to get to talk to Shelli, which is fun. She is such a warm and sweet woman, it's really amazing to get to spend time with her. Left to right it's Neelam, yours truly, Shelli, Kim and Cecile. I have no idea where Keli was!

Then I got a pic with me & Shelli. Seriously - have you ever seen another person look so fabulous in yellow? Her clothes are amazing. If I wore yellow you would all barf.

Today I have a long day of filming, so I'm not sure I'll have a post tomorrow with regionals stuff, but we will see!

The Decline and Fall of Spelling and Bag Boys

I suppose we should have seen the horsemen of the cultural apocalypse coming. Leg warmers, Bubble Tea, Paris Hilton - these were all signs of the end of days for common sense in America.

Take for example, bagging groceries. When my sister worked in a grocery store - Weingarten's, to be exact - there was an actual method that was taught. Distribute cans evenly across the bags, and - listen up children - THE BREAD GOES ON THE TOP OF THE BAG, NOT UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING ELSE.

You know how I feel about the grocery store behavior already - see this post if you missed it. But I never ceased to be amazed, as I was yesterday, at a young boy (usually boys do this) who takes a look at me - every 5'3" and clearly weak inch of me, more than likely in heels - and begins the customer experience by putting 4 HUGE BOTTLES OF CRUSHED TOMATOES INTO ONE PLASTIC BAG. THEN SORTING THROUGH THE REST OF MY GROCERIES FOR ANY MORE HEAVY STUFF TO ADD ON TOP. HEY EINSTEIN - DON'T FORGET TO PUT MY BREAD UNDER THERE.

Yesterday I had nothing to give this particular little half wit. I stared at him with all the emptiness of a Dementor. Meanwhile, the lady behind me inched up until I began to know her in the Biblical sense.

I said - "Would you mind spreading out those jars so that the bags are a little lighter?" (Stifling my other unclean thoughts and contemplating just getting a shirt that says that) He stared back. His look expressed so much. Like "WTH?" "Heavy? Like, I've never like carried a grocery bag anywhere so I don't like really know what that is, but DANG - like moving those jars - it like seems like a lot of work, dude." So I did it for him, resisting the urge to demonstrate that I did have SOME upper body strength by dragging him across the conveyor belt and using him as a human shield against the woman behind me who was busy crawling inside my shirt to begin writing her check.

And finally, I get home, make a few more paint chip notebooks and while working on the owl one (look closely) discover that our country no longer cares about the spelling of the word "Caesar". All hope is lost, my people - start saving ziplocs and growing beets - the end is near!

Off to regionals - pics l8r.

I will leave you with a kitty pic. This is Splotchy, on his (her) back in my left arm while I cook dinner. See his (her) paws all the way left, and crossed? Little nutball.

Have a great Saturday.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I'm, um... painting my room Yellow and Green

And brown, and lavendar.

Mmm hmm. That's why I have all these paint chips, sir. I am very indecisive. A person really needs a lot of ideas in front of them when contemplating painting.

And sir, you will be happy to know, that sometimes, when I'm done with the paint chips, because of my love for the environment, I turn the paint chips into teeny notebooks a la WhiMSy Love... (love her blog).

(Imaginary conversation with imaginary Home Improvement Store Spy suspicious of my paint chip consumption, and also probably my taste.)

Lookie what a great job I did after for whatever reason, I didn't paint my room Golden Delicious or Lemon Zest! Can you believe I didn't want those in big stripes on my walls? ;)

These are so cute and easy. And I'm such a ding dong that I didn't even realize they had lemon and apple names on them until they were all put together!!!

Anyway, the inside is a full sheet of copy paper, cut into 2.75" x 1.75" pieces. I just eyeballed the little flap at the bottom, inserted the paper and stapled them with my super awesome stapler. The important thing is NOT to make the top crease for the cover until you've done this step - because you will get it wrong, I promise.

Then tuck the top in and crease it and voila - teeny notebook. Perfect for taking teeny notes! (I wouldn't bring your notebook to the old home improvement store if you know what I'm sayin')

Have a great day.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Understand Blue Invents the Pinecone - Tutorial!

I invented the pinecone.

It's true. Again, Al Gore - Internet. Thomas Edison - Light Bulb. ME - THE PINECONE!!

I'm so excited about this. I've been on a punch tear lately, and I thought of this when I was punching out the little cats at Maker Faire. That new large oval punch is soooo perfect for a pinecone shape, that when the scallop border punch idea popped into my head I almost screamed and scared the pancake juggler that was standing at my booth.

Instead, I'm sure my face just contorted in a way that made him sure of his decision never to return to Austin.

Here's what I did.

1) Attempted to put several scalloped strips together and then punch. Hideous idea. Catastrophic failure. Almost busted my beloved wide oval punch.

2) Figured out how to successively punch the pieces, but then assembled them with dimensionals between the layers and added glitter and now it looks like a fat piney drag queen. Trust me - a picture of this hideous thing would just offend you. I tell you these things so that you know that there are no stampers that sit down like Cinderella and birds bring them ribbon and everything is perfect. Sometimes our trash cans are filled with little pinecone drag queens.

3) Finally, distressed each piece with my bone folder, pressed the edges of each piece into my white craft pad, assembled them with Snail Adhesive and had the pinecone I imagined, and not Priscilla Queen of the Desert.. (anyone? That was a fabulous movie if you haven't seen it.)

Then, you ask, how did I get that magical copper stripe? Well, here's how it happened. The little shoe organizer I have hanging inside my closet door that has ribbon and sponges and all sorts of things that don't really go anywhere else sometimes ejects random products in protest over being so full. It ejected some copper foil tape I bought at Hobby Lobby 8 million years ago the other day and was kind of in the back of my mind for a few days, in addition to resting on my floor.

Then, wiping away a tear as I used some of my hoarded copper cord and brads, I assembled the card with a cuttlebugged strip of Kraft Cardstock and some of the delicious Vanilla Hodgepodge Hardware, also hoarded.. The center of the loops of cord are secured with more copper tape.

I had that DD Pinecones set way back in the past, and I used to love it - I always added white to the edges for snow, and just really could never get enough of how it looked - so three dimensional and nice. So this is a little homage to pinecones past. And, to Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

Hope you enjoy it and can use it!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I love Nancy Drew.

My employer recently got rid of a lot of really nice office furniture. I scored a bookcase, and finally, an office chair that doesn't hurt my back when I stamp and blog. Thanks employer!!

But what it really means is that my Nancy Drew books that my parents saved for me have a home - out of the garage and onto a shelf where they belong.

Aaah. Look at them.

I have a collection of just one less than half of all of them. I wish I had the rest in the same editions.

I remember when I was reading them going to this store that specialized in pretty expensive dolls (the Madame Alexander dolls - I had Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and a few others), some hobby stuff and these crazy expensive books. I remember that it was a big deal to get one. I think they were like $3. Maybe $3.50. Definitely a luxury.

Anyone who has ever read The Secret of Red Gate Farm gets it about right now and is smiling from ear to ear.

What about the Ghost of Blackwood Hall?

Man. That was some good stuff.

Have a good Wednesday. Super innovative card tonight with something cool I invented, I promise. :)

Tuesday Creative Challenge

It's like she made this challenge just for me.

Here is the Tuesday Creative Challenge inspiration piece from my friend Lisa at Flat Fish Paper Arts.

Check it out and post a card - she is awarding a Hero Arts Stamp set!!! But whatever you do - don't make it better than mine! :) JUSTKIDDINGPLEASEDO.

I, of course, took just the colors.

Well maybe not just the colors. I did take the sentiment, which I interpreted as fall, which leads to Thanksgiving, which leads to another thank you card.

As you know, I have zero talent for coloring things the colors they are supposed to be. Mostly because I like to color them blue.

As you also may know, I particularly like to color pumpkins blue.

This is because I always imagine pumpkins as they are in the Charlie Brown Great Pumpkin scenes - moonlit and pale and blue under the stars.

So that's what you see here. I stamped them in black on kraft cardstock. Oh - the stamp set is Autumn Harvest - one I will never sell if it retires!! Then I colored them with Prisma colored pencils - turquoise and white. I masked them with Eclipse masking tape as I stamped them. Then I stamped the leaf from the same set and colored those with yellow and blue, and colored the ground rust. I stamped and punched the tag - the "Thank You" uses omitting from the greeting "Thank you very much." I went around the edge of the tag with my blue pencil, which I think is kind of cool looking.

I added that great twill tape and some thread to hang the tag and that's it - very quick and easy.

So go check out Lisa, her fabby blog and her beautiful kitty Purrcy, who sent cousins Maddie and Splotchy their favorite toys in the whole world - small furry mice that are apparently made of kitty crack. They are the only thing that make Maddie growl as fiercely as a teeny creature can growl whenever man or beast gets near her when she has a crack mouse in her mouth.

Have a great night.

Monday, October 20, 2008

God Bless America's Fighting Glittery Bears!

Coming up to the season of thanks, I pondered what to do for Shelli's Creative Challenge. For example, I could have used Season of Thanks!!! (duh!)

But on the way home yesterday someone on the radio said something about Veteran's Day, which is coming up on November 11th, and I thought to myself - veterans are something I am really thankful for. So while it might not be a traditional Thanksgiving type card, it's just as thankful!!

My little growling Riding Hood Red, White and Pacific Point Blue bears are tough military types, and so they can pull off the glitter without compromising their principles! (There's glitter all over the bears & stars in case you can't tell)

The little stars are from the same set - Under the Stars. The bears are stamped on watercolor paper, colored with reinkers and cut out and popped up with dimensionals. The stripes in my flag are the gorgeous ribbon from the mini cat and the blue & white panel is a piece of my Pacific Point Blue DSP.

I used omitting to stamp the Grateful for you from Puns from the Past. Then I punched it out with my large star punch.

I was at lunch with a friend last week at cheeseburger paradise - Mighty Fine - and I work very close to an Army base, so there were a lot of military people having a cheeseburger in our vicinity. My friend asked why the flag looks "backwards" on the sleeves of their uniforms, so I will share my answer with you in case you didn't know, and you can be proud of knowing a little flag trivia.

The US flag can never be depicted in retreat.

So picture a flagpole on the right side of this flag and imagine it being carried forward - the flag is in the correct orientation - not in retreat. Were this flag reversed, it would be going in the opposite direction of the way Petraeus is facing - the flag would be in retreat.

Make sense?

That's your fact of the day today, my people.

Make it a good one!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Spiked Tooth Waffle Eating Bunny wins Best of Show

Today, I made my own LOL cat peppermint patty treat.

And this is what she had to say about it... She was really digging all the robots, and liked the ones that shot big flames out.

But seriously - it's like I went to sleep and woke up in a world I invented when I was six years old.

A world where the cool thing that gets an award is a fuzzy felted bunny with metal fangs eating a waffle... Am I awake?

I wish I could live at magical Maker Faire forever and cheer for the fangy bunnies. Congratulations Stab Happy owner lady - you are an amazing lady and I'm so glad I got to meet you. Congrats on your award.

Things I saw today - in no particular order:

  • Clothespin people that were incredible creative. Love the gerber daisy skirt. I love clothespin people a lot and have made many.
  • The most amazing Ukranian eggs. I learned how to make these today doing a "community egg"- just gorgeous and easier than you think.
  • This crazy owl hat thing that I wanted to wear around. I love it so much.
  • Some great handmade colorful outfits!
  • A guy who does pancake juggling. No, I'm not high - he juggles pancakes. I interviewed him and he will be on my TV show - yes, I knew you wouldn't believe me.
  • Crazy little monsters you could make from a kit.
  • A three legged dog.
  • A pit, where people were making mud with their feet. I'm super confused because I thought mud didn't need to be made, so much. I guess it's the drought. :) When I walked by the strange mud making ritual I heard a guy guessing "they must be making frog houses", at which point, I got extremely curious about what in the world THAT could possibly have meant and made a mental note to google about 8000 things related to it.
  • A cool bat house, maybe two or three inches from front to back - it's about the size of a cereal box, and our crazy little bats like to stuff themselves in there, like 75 furry bats to a box. I totally wanted to get one but didn't have any money. I got a little bat ring instead. Someday I will have a bat house and it will be stuffed with hot furry bats.
  • A knitted boot.
  • Giant fishing lures - where in the world did they get those hooks??
  • Booglie eyes all over my table when I had a Lucy moment. Oops.
  • The Amazing Hancock Brothers making me some bat prints on their cool press. I love John Hancock! (yes, that's his real name!). When they were making the last print, the block broke - so I got the last print ever from it. I'm happy about that! What sweet people they are.
  • A "gore cannon" that shot fake blood all over people and they walked around looking like zombies all day. The boys loved it!
  • Cool bags made from bags - she actually crochets grocery bags together.
Back to cards tomorrow, but tonight - enjoy the wonder of American creativity and craft.

This was one of the most fun and interesting things I've ever been a part of and I'm very grateful for the experience to meet all these wonderful innovators.
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