Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bonne Annee!

You've seen all the recaps, so let's see if I can't put a blue twist on 2009 before we say au revoir to one and bonne annee to the new..

2009 was:
Here are some crazy wishes for what 2010 will bring:
  • The end of the 2 year contract - SET US FREE, PHONE AND CABLE COMPANIES - SET MY PEOPLE FREE!
  • The end of cable "packages" - we will get to choose channels one by one and pay accordingly.
  • An application for the blackberry that will read my tweets and emails to me while I'm in the car.
  • Personal hovercrafts we've been promised for decades
  • An end to toupees, blue headlights, people saying "irregardless" and "expresso" and that squeaky sound dry erase markers make.
That should get it done.

Let's see what this little unpredictable little 2010 baby has in store for us, shall we?
Stamps: Buggies & Booties (Retired), Teeny Tiny Wishes
: Memento Tuxedo Black Paper: Whisper White Accessories: Copic Markers

Love you guys. Thank you for being here in 2009. It means a lot to me.

XXOO, Lydia

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Do you Want a Piece of Me?

I'm feeling a bit feisty this week for various reasons, some of which have been on the news and I will offer no comment at the moment. However, if you have earplugs and are up for three hours of straight yelling, feel free to call me any time!

BUT, I am going to express myself on another outrage that touches each and every one of us. Unwelcome, criminal touching.





(Not really - it doesn't have a brain in it, and I'm sure it's hideously unattractive.)

Here's an idea. Why don't you rocket surgeons who came up with this affront to the bread eating public just throw the bread on the floor in the bread aisle and let us pick it up there? For one thing, we'd be able to get at it before we starve to death, and for another - IT'S GOING TO GO ON MY FLOOR WHEN I RIP THE BAG OPEN ANYWAY, SO SAVE ME SOME TIME AND SOME CUSSING!

Seriously - do you want a piece of me? Come and get it, bakeries. Come. And. Get. It.

Warmed up? Good. Me too. Now all of this, of course, is related to a product critique. :) I wanted you to be good and sure I'm not gonna blow sunshine up anything when it comes to an opinion. You're gonna get pure, unvarnished old me. :)

So here goes. I got my Epic 6 letterpress kit and Epic 6 machine a few weeks back after a long wait (I pre-ordered it this summer), but I was too busy to play with it until today. So I busted it out, and here are some of my initial observations.

First, I was EXTREMELY disappointed to read "Made in China" when I opened it. I should have researched that. :(

Next, it's a nice size if you're working on items of any length and 6" wide. It doesn't have the nice solid feel in the handle that the Big Shot does - it's sturdy, but not AS sturdy or heavy. The operation of it is otherwise identical - base plates and a hand crank. I'm not interested in any of its functions outside the letterpress as of yet because I think the Big Shot is the best die cutting machine ever and have no desire to switch. But it's very compact, and I love that in a craft product.

Letterpress - I love. And this is the first tabletop letterpress machine. So bravo on the invention.

The process is fairly simple. Stick the designs on one side of the folding plate with some double sided adhesive (provided), ink them with letterpress ink and a brayer, put your paper opposite the dies, fold closed, run through machine.

Just so you know, letterpress ink is rough to work with. It's sticky, it smells, it's extremely hard to clean. I used to carve my own stamps and had forgotten what a pain it was. You have to be careful inking up the plates, both to get even coverage and to not leave voids. Cleaning it takes a herculean effort, although rubbing alcohol helps. If you have OCD, you will not enjoy letterpress ink.

The dies I ordered are gorgeous. They chose really timeless designs that will be so completely useful and stylish - I think everyone will find something to love. The dies are a thin, hard plastic. You need to be careful when removing them from the adhesive - I have a feeling they will break if you don't have a light touch - especially on the longer, intricate dies.

I picked kind of a modern one for starters, and I didn't do a good job inking up the die, as you can see. However, I think for a first try, it's not a disaster. This is my actual first pass through the machine. Look at the bottom of the stems and on some of the flowers for where I missed inking the die.But the beauty of letterpress is here with this machine. See how perfectly the design is recessed into the paper, despite my poor inking? See the crisp edges of each letter and shape debossed into the card?

Beautiful. Despite my bad first try, I loved the look of the pressing. So I thought - well heck - who needs ink? Those designs are pretty on their own. It would be fun to play with them just in white and skip all the cleanup for the evening. Especially since I want to try to learn needlefelting tonight! So I picked out one of the monogram dies and made myself a little "L" notecard.
Oooh - I like that. Like making my own monograms! Now see there's a little ghosting around the letter? That's the edge of the die getting pressed into the paper. I haven't looked around to see about other papers, etc. so this may be something easily fixed. However, I love it, and that ghosting isn't a deal breaker for me at all, especially for a homemade letterpress card.

Here's another ink-free design.Now how fun is that? Notice - no ghosting! There may be something about the smaller individual letters that presses the die harder into the paper. Repetition will tell.

Also, each of the dies are individual, so you can combine them any way you want to create your own little scenes, which is a big advantage over cutting and embossing dies.. With those, you'd have to emboss and then punch or cut out the images to combine them. With letterpress, you create your own designs with freely placed images. Freedom is a good thing!

There's a grid on the plate that helps you align the clear dies - and it's very, very easy to do. It's also a surprisingly fast process. I shouldn't have waited so long to play.

I think I'm going to have a heck of a good time playing with this and making elegant and simple cards. So that's the bottom line. If you want one, and you don't like messy stuff, just get it without the ink. You'll like it.

I hope you're having a good short week and enjoying the holidays still. Do you have resolutions? Wanna tell me?

Leave a comment and my favorite resolution will win a set of monogrammed notecards! :)

Oh, and since I'm still feisty, one more thing.... An important disclaimer ;)

Dear FTC and anyone else who feels the need to intrude upon my freedom of speech as a way to increase the revenue of the federal government by making sure that no one receives any 6 yards of yarn in exchange for a product review without paying the appropriate fine.... You're barking up the wrong blogger. I bought the Epic 6 letterpress machine with the roughly 40% of my hard earned dollar that was left after income tax, sales tax, shipping tax, trans fat tax, tanning bed and botox tax and gas tax. Furthermore, if I die because someone on a terrorist watch list is free to get on my plane and has a bomb in his girly pink terrorist panties, and is not stopped by a Dutch filmmaker who comprises the entirety of our homeland security system (even though he's not from our homeland - chew on THAT) then whoever I leave the Epic 6 to will pay inheritance tax on it. Happy? Good - I live for that.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Hey Baby...

I don't have time to go into the whole birds and bees thing here on my blog, and besides, I'm a LADY, but sometimes people have babies, and that occasionally necessitates a trip over to Patty Bennett's blog for inspiration, and then, a little baby carriage card.So easy. Fold a 5.5 x 11 piece of white cardstock in half. Put a piece of 5.5 x 5.5" DSP on top of it. (I'm using the new DSP from the Occasions mini) Position this stack just inside the edge of the scallop die so that you preserve the fold. Run it through the Big Shot and voila! Carriage!

Stick the DSP to the card front and then cut a little wedge out. I embellished it with buttons, wheels, the eyelet border punch and ribbon.

Here's what it looks like when you open it. Thanks Patty! Thanks birds! Thanks bees!!


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Sunday, December 27, 2009

If I Missed You Enough...

Wanna see something cool?

Take your scallop punch, and punch 8 scallops. If you're me, use an atlas.

Hold them together with a brad in the middle
Start scrunching them up, starting with the top scallop. Scrunch them one by one
When you're done, you have this scrunched up thing.Fluff it out a little, and you get a beautiful flower.

Now, what if I really, really missed you?

I think I'd take this flower, and I'd do this. << Click.

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Best Part of Christmas Shopping?

Getting to sit in the bag.

Had to share since you guys haven't seen the beasts lately. Splotchy has been sitting in this bag off and on for three days. I can't bring myself to throw it away..

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Friday, December 25, 2009


Merry Christmas, my beloved readers! I hope you are having a fun holiday and got lots of pressies that you're squealing over right now. I want to tell you that you guys are the best present a girl could get and I love every chance I get to interact with you!

As usual, I overthink my Christmas card every year. This year took longer than most. This is because I want it to mean something every time I make one, as I send it out to lots of good friends, and is my most important card of the year.

This year, I decided early that my theme was peace. Not peace as in war, but internal peace.

I think that peace on earth starts with just human peace, and this year, that was tough. Many people I know lost their jobs or have been otherwise affected by some terrible economic events. It's really been leaving no stone unturned.

But people found some truly amazing and wonderful occupations that are free, brought great joy and replaced some of their worry with peace. I watched this with awe and admiration.

Many began to focus all their spare energies on their Etsy shops. Some worked hard on getting published, or getting on design teams. Lots of my friends found the wonderful, hilarious, happy and sometimes profitable world of Twitter. Some friends rode their bikes more, learned golf, or taught themselves to knit. Most found that charity was more important than it had ever been in their lives.

It was truly a magical year that way, and I'm grateful for all of these things. If nothing else, Christmas should bring us all that basic human peace and gratitude that steadies us through the rest of the year. I hope it has done this for you.

After many false starts, I realized that in all of these things, it was simplicity that comforted people the most. And nothing says simplicity like white. So this is where I landed.

I hope this Christmas brings you peace, and comfort and joy. Thank you for being here.

Merry Christmas.


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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Cold, Hard... Crafts

This is the second year of our blissfully stress-free, no shopping, no gift Christmas. I love it. Everyone should do it.

With few exceptions, you can only give a handmade (with no new supplies bought) or a re-gifted gift in our family. It's quite fun, creative, and no one has to go to a store. You should try it.

I can't wait to see what everyone does this year. I'll be sharing mine after Christmas.

But this is something I did for an art fair earlier this year, except in a Bar/Bat Mitzvah theme. Now, it's Christmas. A festive little money book for anyone who really just needs/wants some cold hard cash for a birthday or Christmas. Cash - it's a classic. :)

Here's the outside. A simple vanilla folder, with a 1/2" spine, Dasher, and the new Fine Flourish from the Occasions mini in Going Grey, and the greeting from Merry Details in Real Red.
And here's the money shot.

Merry Christmas Eve!!! Tomorrow, a Christmas wish and my Christmas card.

Have a great evening!

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Festivus 2K9, Baby!

Amazing how a sitcom can be as ingrained in our culture as Seinfeld is. I don't think I've gone a week since that show started without having a Seinfeld moment or hearing the show quoted. Most of us say "No Soup for You!" weekly.

Well, today is officially Festivus. A day, given to us by Seinfeld, upon which we erect an aluminum pole, have the traditional Festivus meal and the airing of grievances, and exhibit feats of strength. Festivus is now a quasi real holiday, with even a Ben & Jerry's flavor in honor of it.

I would like to announce that 2009 is the Understand Blue official first observance of Festivus, and I will celebrate it each year now, as today has been a very memorable Festivus indeed.

I choose Oatmeal and Bacon as my Festivus meal. I'd like to air the following grievance: Time flies when you're having fun. Boo to that. My feat of strength? Ending the Festivus meal to go on with the day.

And instead of a Festivus pole, which would set off all the metal detectors on my blog - a card.Stamps: Dasher Paper: Ruby Red, K&Co. Patterned Paper, Balsa sheets Ink: Basic Black, Old Olive, Ruby Red, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Basic Black satin ribbon, slot punch, Big Shot & sizzlits die, Scallop dies, embossing folder, sponge
(All Supplies Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted)

A paper artist's wish for Peace on Earth this Festivus.

Peace Out.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Don't Name Your New Product "Aciphex"

Say it out loud. It's ridiculous. That is not an area where you really want "effects".

I always wonder, having been in many meetings myself, what the feelings in the conference room were when "Aciphex" was chosen as the new product launch name. Surely at least half the room met in the hall afterward and giggled.

My friend Ruthie has a theory about restaurant successes and failures. She says a restaurant will fail if people are embarassed to say the name of the restaurant to someone they are meeting. Especially if they are meeting there for a first date or a business appointment.

She uses as an example "Fish City Grill". Just say it a few times. It can go very wrong.

We have a restaurant locally which is excellent, but I have yet to hear anyone say the name. The name of it is "Estancia Churrascaria." It's a Brazilian steakhouse and quite delicious. However, this is what people say - "Hey - you want to go to Estancia?" or "We need to go to that Brazilian steakhouse - you know, the one on 290 near Brodie?" or, what I do, "Hey - meet us at Estancia blahbittyblahbittyblah."

Branding has very much to do with a good name. Someone recently observed that the most visited websites in the world right now are single, two-syllable words. Facebook. Twitter. Apple. Google.

A lot of people recently have asked me for help with Etsy, Twitter, Facebook. My best advice is this: Think carefully about your name. Make sure it doesn't limit you to one product, one type of craft, or one person. Martha Stewart is an anomaly. Most businesses need to be bigger than the person that starts them. So choose a word or words that mean something to you. Make sure no one else is using them. Then make sure if you say them out loud they're easy to remember, easy to associate with something about what you do, and that they don't imply that embarassing noises or lights are about to come out of your hiney :)

Anyway, a transition at this point is impossible with that image in your head.

So let's talk about this card. It's not original - I saw this adorable card and decided I would use it for my Christmas Party/customer appreciation Saturday. I wanted to do something everyone could go home and recreate without buying something new, so this punch art card was perfect.It's really simple. The mom's head is the 1 3/8" punch, and the babies have 1" heads. The mom's body is the large oval, and the noses are all hand cut from the small oval. The snow and the mom's nose are with the retired 1/4" circle punch, and the babies' noses are with the 1/8" punch. The baby's body on the right is the 1 1/4" punch. We hand tore the snow and glittered it with dazzling diamonds. The background is Ballet Blue, and I sponged the edges of the bears with Ballet Blue too. All supplies Stampin' Up!

It's sweet, isn't it?

I hope you are having a nice windup to Christmas. Today is the solstice, so we all got a little less sun and a little more time inside with the cookies today. :)

You know what? Make me laugh - since it's Make me Laugh Monday - and I'll send you this card! One rule - the laughs must be holiday themed!!


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Friday, December 18, 2009

The Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheer...

Is singing loud for all to hear....

It's true. I know because it's from Elf, one of the top three Christmas movies in the history of Christmas. (The other two are Christmas Vacation and the original Die Hard, in case you were wondering).

For many of us, a good chunk of the joy of Christmas is the chance to revel in its lovely and cheery and positive music. I think I sing out loud more at Christmas than any other time of the year, and despite the fact that I can't sing, I sing a LOT. :)

Anyway, I thought I should make a card that was quiet other than the music, so I made a little Christmas ditty with no words, just music.

I took sheet music, hand cut trees out of it and sponged Cool Caribbean around the edges. Then I added stickles on top of that.

Then, inspired by my beloved Mel and by Karla, I came up with this layout.

For the 3D "snow" I used the new Stampin' Up! dotted embossing folder for the Big Shot from the upcoming Occasions Mini. I cannot get enough dots!! For the curved top I just used my circle die after I had already cut the panel for the front of the card. Easy.

Here's a closeup.

I hand cut the little hills at the bottom.

So I hope your heart is singing with holiday goodness, and to make sure it is, here's a video with one of my favorite Christmas songs, and a beautiful and sweet home video from some random family in Utrecht. The animals at the end are precious. If you don't see a video player below, click here to see it.

Talk to you soon. Loveyameanitbye.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

I Think I can Retire now...

Because a crazy wild dream has come true. I really truly can't believe it.

(This has nothing to do with Tiger Woods, I assure you...)

Today begins a six month stint on the Dirty Dozen Design Team for Splitcoaststampers! I've been screaming inside my head since I found out. I thought the Dirty Girls were born with a secret mark that could only be seen with the help of Beate's lightbox and a special ceremony..

This is a huge honor, and I hope I can live up to it. All the DD designers, past and present, are my artistic idols and women I admire greatly.

The December Fan Club Gallery, is now open, and you do have to be an SCS Fan club member to see it, so join right now if you're not! I had fun with the theme of "Home for the Holidays" and put my usual strange twist on a few of them. :) Head over with the link above and check out the work of these amazing women!

So, if I had to retire from stamping tomorrow (God forbid) I could do it happily, and though I'd make a card to celebrate. This is a litte 3x3 kraft notecard with the new Pinking Hearts border punch, new Sending Love Epoxy Brads, (all from the upcoming Occasions Mini Catalog) and new unmounted stamps - Good Neighbors from the Upcoming Sale-a-Bration Catalog.

I wonder what I'll do now that I'm retired. Mmm... STAMP. :)

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Yes, That's Me on the Discovery Channel

Not too long ago, I met the owner of Love Me Do, a brilliantly conceived DIY Wedding company. She saves brides money by pulling together artists of various sorts to help her and her wedding party make their own invitations, favors, floral arrangements, jewelry, etc. for a less expensive and more beautiful and unique wedding day. Nobel Prize worthy, in my opinion. :)

Anyway, we've been chatting about various projects, and the other day on Twitter, she recommended to someone who needed an Etsy seller for an interview that they interview me.

The somebody was Amber Mac of Webnation on the Discovery Channel!

She is so sweet and fun and it was a great experience. Check out the rest of the episodes after you watch this!

Click here to see my interview...

The interview is on the Discovery Site now and will be on TV next week! :)

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How the Pioneer Woman Saved my Computer

I know that most of you are already huge fans of the Pioneer Woman's blog. If you have not discovered it yet, I apologize in advance for you needing to quit your job and park in front of your computer for 3 years while you catch up on the adventures of Ree.

My friend Kim alerted me that Austin was a stop on her book signing tour, thank goodness, so we braved fording the river, driving on one way streets, and standing in line to go see this amazing woman.

And amazing she was. Teeny, sweet, funny woman with an adorable accent. She's a real gal, not a practiced celebrity, and we loved her. She spoke for a few minutes, and then the signing began. Kim was nice enough to stand in line for for me, since the signing was on a school night and I wake up at 4:30 every day.

If you got your book signed, she gave you a sassy T-shirt. And lookie - the Marlboro Man signed it!! And yes, it says Lyndia, but hey - close enough! Look how freaking adorable this is!!

And the cookbook is amazing! I can't wait to try her cheesy olive bread and the cinnamon rolls that apparently make people do things like relinquish their citizenship and shave their heads. So I hear.

Something quite fascinating happened while we were waiting. It was a Pioneer Woman Miracle.

We were crammed into Book People like sardines. Hundreds of nice women, cheek to jowl. While we were waiting I told Kim the saga of my computer. My desktop computer is completely dead, which is part of the reason I've been posting less frequently. I ordered a new Dell. They shipped me the keyboard and mouse, but for some reason, had the wrong zip code on the shipment of the CPU. I got an email notifying me of this and asking me to correct it. I did, but did not get a response.

I called.

I held for 5 hours. I was transferred 8 times. As soon as I told each person the story, I was transferred. Absolutely the most maddening consumer experience I've ever had, and I've been a customer of BOTH AT&T AND Verizon.

At the end, a guy in India tells me I have to contact FedEx directly, which I know is not true. He says that's all he can tell me. I call FedEx just for my own amusement, and they of course tell me that only Dell can change the shipping info.

I call back. I tell them I want a supervisor. Of course, they can only put you in the queue - there's no such thing as direct escalation. Their live chat doesn't include live chat for order problems either. I'm furious. This company is in the town I live in and I can't talk to an intelligent human. I hold for 45 more minutes, and then I'm disconnected. At this point, I decide the computer can just go back to the factory and I will buy a Mac.

However, when I'm done telling the story to Kim, a woman who is sitting behind me asks for my phone number. She says she works for Dell and gives me the name of a person that will call me the following morning. She does not work in a division remotely related to customer service or my order, but she decided to help. It's people like this that make things work in the world. It's sad that she is covered up by layers of terrible customer disservice, because she is an ideal employee.

Sure enough, the next morning, the person she said would call me, called me. She contacted FedEx and corrected the order so the CPU would not be returned to the factory. She conferenced me with a person who would babysit it until I received it.

I have not received it yet, but three real, nice people who know how to solve problems got, and stayed, involved. Hopefully I will eventually receive it.

Amazing that this woman just happened to be sitting behind us at an event I didn't even know about and wouldn't have but for Kim. Amazing that she listened to my story in her free time, cared about it, and did something about it.

Amazing that the Pioneer Woman may, in fact, be responsible for getting me my new computer.

Thanks Ree. Love ya.



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Monday, December 7, 2009

Welcome to the Arctic!

BRRRRR..... Welcome to the icy blog hop celebrating the release of the newest Doodle Factory set - Arctic!

It could not be more appropriate for our Austin weather. I about gave myself hypothermia attempting a walk on Saturday morning!

To celebrate the release of this set, of course there is a major ONE DAY ONLY stamp giveaway, so be sure and visit each of the stops for your chance to win!

Now if you came here directly, you need to start the hop by going HERE, so you don't miss your free stamps. Don't worry - I'll still be here...

For my first card with this set, I had to throw in a bit of warmth, because you're about halfway through the hop and your feet are probably cold. First, I took the mountains and stamped them twice - because of the way Irene designed them, you can make a whole scene by stamping them repetitively. Then, using Copics, I colored them an icy blue and make the sky a nice night blue. Then I stamped three igloos, and colored them to show you all the lights are on inside. Doesn't that look homey? The light even spills out onto the snow. Then two little twitterpated penguins have snuck out for some snuggles in the moonlight.. :) Adorable!

Next, I took up the topic of patience. When you're surrounded by glaciers, you have a more expansive sense of time, right? So this little seal has to just chill out and wait for the opportunity to catch the colorful little fish under the ice. There's glitter on the surface, but of course you can't see it in this picture :-/ The images are colored with Copics. Oh, and all the greetings are from this same set -they come all together on one unmounted sheet.
Next, a Christ-moose greeting! I used the Stampin' Up! flocked paper - sorry my blog doesn't have the Feel-O-Vision app - and colored and cut out my moose to put him on top of the ribbon. The white panel is one of the little love notes from the upcoming Occasions Mini.
Finally, speaking of the Occasions Mini, the funky Sweet Pea paper cried out for my little skier! I colored him to match the paper and added some stitched felt buttons on a love not. Freezy does it people - the free stamps are coming!! :)

Finally - a little Eskimo couple, with rosy cheeks and quite a bit of enthusiasm for the cold!!

I used my new scallop border punch for the edges, Sweet Pea designer paper, and Copics for the little nose-rubbing cuties!Now, for the next stop in the hop, please visit the lovely and talented owner of Starving Artistamps herself - Tracey Berkey!

If you got distracted by the shiny penguins, here are all the stops on the hop in order!

Hop Kickoff - the Gallery
Juliana Swanson
Donna Duquette
Lori Tecler
Me - You are Here!
Tracey Berkey
Jenn McMillan
Eva Andren
Nina Aaslund
Dawn Mercedes

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dear Steve Jobs

Dear Steve Jobs,

I need you to design a bra.(My thought upon waking this morning)

I had this thought as I was wrestling with a jogbra - the non-magician equivalent of a straightjacket, except much more difficult to get in and out of. Also, in a straightjacket, you do not look as though you are hiding a baby seal in your shirt. After I had exhausted all the obscenities I knew, the light went off. The best designer in the world needs to tackle the bra.

The basic design hasn't changed since it was invented. The CONTENTS haven't changed for millenia. Please, Steve? For me? Think of the gratitude of all the chicks of the earth.

I've made a mockup for you.

I give you .. The IBra. It only has four apps, which you should be able to figure out for yourselves if you look closely. The slide to open should bring joy to all who see it. Please let me know when it's done, Steve. I love you.I will be in line at the Apple store when this baby hits the market, believe me. And I'll pay whatever.

Now, speaking of technology, several of you wanted to know why I think the Stampin' Up! unmounted stamps are superior. So, for Sue and everyone else, here goes.

After you remove the die cut cling mount stamp from the sheet, you remove a die cut backing from the matching label, leaving the label on the sheet. The die cut stamp and the die cut label are exactly the same size and shape.
Remove the backing from the back of the stamp also, to expose the cling mount. Set it down on the label, lining up the edges. See how the other label still has a protective cover on it?
The label will stick to the cling mount of the stamp, like this:and then when you put the stamp on your acrylic block - LOOKIE - YOU CAN SEE THE STAMP DESIGN - EXACTLY WHERE IT WILL BE WHEN YOU STAMP IT!Pretty sure if Steve Jobs wasn't busy working on my bra, he'd be kicking himself that he hadn't thought of this.

Good design is sooo important. God bless the Steve Jobs and Stampin' Up's of the world.

And on a serious note, God bless the 109 victims of that horrible nightclub fire in Russia and their families. What a tragedy. Russia has had a difficult few weeks - the terrorist attack, and then this. Say a little prayer for those people.

I picked out the new little Russian Matryoshka stamp for my card, since they were on my mind.

I love this image. Nesting matryoshka dolls are some of my favorite objects in the world, next to my IBra, because they are both ingenious and beautiful.

Nearly everything on this card except the ribbon and paper is from my Occasions mini pre-order! The striped background on the oval is made by stamping the new Solid Stripes in pink, then lining it up and stamping again in brown to make the alternating pattern.

Stamps: My Matryoshka, Solid Stripes Ink: Pretty in Pink, Chocolate Chip, Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Whisper White, Pretty in Pink
: Large Oval Punch, Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder, Scallop trim border punch,
Sweet Pea Stitched Felt
dimensionals, Big Shot, Ovals Die

What are you doing this weekend, besides putting the IBra on your wishlist? :) Leave me a note :)

Oh and for Mary B in Milpitas - the die I used on last night's project is in the big catty - it's the Bitty Box & Envelope die.

Loveyameanit(especially you, Steve Jobs)bye.

Have you signed up for the UBlue Cyber Club? Attended one of my Webinars?? Come on - get your geek on! :)

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Friday, December 4, 2009

I Fancy You

I think it would be cool if people still talked like that.

Fancy is a fun word. And like everyone says about the Eskimos having a squillion words for snow, we should have a squillion words for fancying someone.


I emailed Stampin' Up! tonight and told them the truth. I own a lot of unmounted stamps. I own clear ones, rubber ones, ones I cut myself, ones that are cut. I even own a few of the ones that have no foam and have the design printed on the back, which I thought was brilliant.

But deep etched red rubber is my soul stamp. It's high quality, lasts forever and the images are perfection. But you can't see through red rubber. So you depend on the outline of the image for alignment. It's no better than a wood block, really.

When I saw what they had done to these new unmounted stamps and how they solved that problem, I squealed. It's brilliantly, perfectly engineered. I could not be happier. I'm not surprised. Everything they do is first class. But these - a complete coup. Plus they come in a case with a printed label with stamp set images already on the cover. I'd love to show you, but we can't link to the catalog yet. I got mine on a pre-order. WHEEEE!

I am wowed. I fancy them. And here's what I did with them. One of the new sets plus the new Sweet Pea designer paper and the mini pizza box die.

So, so dang cute.

I hope you fancy it. There's lots more where this came from!!!

Wait till you see the rest of my goodies!!

What are you doing this weekend? Anything I'd fancy? :)

Have you signed up for the UBlue Cyber Club? Attended one of my Webinars?? Come on - get your geek on! :)

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Thursday Giggle...

Click here. Oh, and put your drink down. :)

Have you signed up for the UBlue Cyber Club? Attended one of my Webinars?? Come on - get your geek on! :)

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

White Paper Packages Tied Up With Strings...

These are a few of my favorite things!

(I know you're singing now...)

I was packaging up my Etsy orders last night from our Cyber Monday sale, and I used a couple things I thought were fun.

First, this beautiful blue/white and yellow/white twine I bought from another Etsy seller - Whisker Graphics. I LOVE this twine!!

Next, I needed a little stamp for my tags, so I turned to the most overlooked stamps Stampin' Up! makes - my incentive stamps. I LOVE INCENTIVE STAMPS! And not because of their price. I love the unique designs that you don't see elsewhere in the catalog, and I love their tiny scale.

The stamp I decided to use is from the Best Card Ever set, which contains all sorts of fun stamps for indicating your work is handmade.

I liked this because it's so simple, and just points you to the word art. (Click for larger image)

Speaking of art, if you want to see something fun you can do with shimmer paint and an old book, click the picture below.

Let me know how you're doing!

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Want FREE Handmade Goodies? (and the cutest kitten ever?)

But wait - there's more.. There's also the world's CUTEST kitten!!! But first...

You know how I feel about buying handmade. If you don't, please click here. It's not trivial.

To support the handmade art community, some Etsy sellers have gotten together for an unbelievable Cyber Monday event you won't want to miss!

Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving, and is called that because of the unusual spike in online purchases for the holidays.

A group of talented ladies who do incredible work, and then also me :), have teamed up to bring you a crazy bunch of gifts if you shop online on Monday.

If you purchase $20 in merchandise from ANY participating Etsy shop, you will receive a handmade item from EVERY ONE of the participating shop owners. So, let's say you buy $20 worth of jewelry from my friend Bunny. You will receive gifts from SIX shops! WOWZA!! Don't miss it.

You can see the official announcment in my shop, and you can visit all the participating shops to pick out what you want for Cyber Monday.

On your mark, get set, GO HANDMADE!!

Oh - I promised you a kitten.

Here you go. 1) You are welcome 2) I apologize to your family in advance for you watching this video 5,000 times and forgetting to bathe or cook.

Have you signed up for the UBlue Cyber Club? Attended one of my Webinars?? Come on - get your geek on! :)

Want to see my other blog?

Have you signed up for the UBlue Cyber Club? Attended one of my Webinars?? Come on - get your geek on! :)

Want to see my other blog?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I'm Thankful For..

Blue skiesThe mysteries of nature
My favorite cathedral
People traveling safely to parts unknown
Photography, to help us remember
Americans who give the last full measure of devotion
The details
Clean and simple design
Buildings that don't leave out the curves
Coconut Cream Pie
Stained Glass
The magic of light and shadow

And, of course, each of you. I hope you are having a safe and happy Thanksgiving. And if you are from outside our borders, a safe and happy Thursday upon which your American friends give thanks for your kindness and friendship!


Have you signed up for the UBlue Cyber Club? Attended one of my Webinars?? Come on - get your geek on! :)

Want to see my other blog?
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