Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Momster... Redefining Beauty

My Momster is in the top 10!!!

If you haven't heard - I entered the Blend Creation Metal for Monsters contest to design a Mother's Day Monster to go on a pendant for charity. My momster is both loving and fierce!

And only 11 votes separate #1 and #10, so I need your vote! Click here and then email them your vote if you like mine! I am #10.

Here's the link to vote.

OMGosh I'm so excited.

My little momster has started a conversation about what is beautiful among some of my buddies..

What is beautiful? What makes something good - the thing itself or the person that thinks it's beautiful or good? That should get your head spinning...

A few opinions... If you see it in nature, it is both good and beautiful. If you think it's divinely given, it's good and beautiful. If it increases joy or decreases sorrow, it's good and beautiful. Even if it's a little monster. :)

But especially if it's a butterfly. I LOOOOVE it when the monarchs come to town. My walks are so colorful and sweet. So I took the God's beauty set and concentrated on increasing joy. The best way to do that is with contrast and color. My card base is basic grey, and the images of leaves and flowers are in Basic Black. The flutterby is stamped on Whisper White in Basic Black. To color it, I first colored the whole thing with a Summer Sun marker. Then I colored the edges with my Pumpkin Pie marker. Then I went farther in with Only Orange. Then I blended all that with Summer Sun again.

I cut the butterfly out and folded it in half, and attached it with a glue dot.

I stamped the butterfly in black on the card so that the antennae would show up.

After all that I made the white spots with my gel pen. Aaah, spring.

Hey - do you want to sit in on one of my webinars? I have a Blogger webinar on Friday at 7 central for anyone who wants to know how to set up and customize a blog.

If you're interested, click the link below to sign up.

Have a great... What day is today? Wednesday? Where does the time go?

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Monday, March 30, 2009

The Blue List, Baby!

Okay - for those of you that are new, I have something that I call the Blue List. It's a list of things I love. Unfortunately, I do not have Tiger Woods style endorsement contracts - these are just some of my fave consumer products. It's like a kajillion 4011 times better than Oprah's "O" list for the following reasons:

1) Very few of us can spend - "O"- $450 on 1/4 oz of some sort of exotic eye cream, or lavender flavored truffles from the Isle of Man. That's stuff for more of a "O- I'm sorry you're not a billionaire" list.
2) I'm smarter and I've read better books.
3) No one shops or cooks for me (dang it!) so I actually know what I'm talking about.
4) I can't stand Dr. Phil. There, I said it. That needed to come out. I feel liberated.

Oh PS - and totally unrelated - did you see THAT MR. SLAP CHOP GOT HIMSELF SLAPPED BY A HOOKER??? That is what I'm talking about! I knew women wouldn't be able to take this for very long without SOMETHING going wrong!! Sorry Vince - I knew that one line spelled doom for you buddy. Hope you've learned your lesson.

So anyway, very few things make it onto the Blue list - I gotta REALLY like em. So today, I have three things I'm adding - the first one because many of you asked about it and I need to share.

#1 - the Magpie storage system for my pens, that turned me into Penerella... Click the link to see it on Overstock.com, which is where I got it. at the time, they had the cheapest price. I have three of them, and each square stores 30 copics, 40 SU Markers, about 45 Sakuras - you get the idea. Each one has 9 squares, and the little drawer is adorable. I believe it also comes in white, and it's very well made and takes up very little space.#2 Olay Regenerist Daily Thermal Mini Peel. Here's the scoop. It is not making me look like Catherine Zeta-Jones, unfortunately. It is not turning back time or making people shriek that I'm getting younger right before their eyes. I'm not sure it's doing anything other than making me happy - but check this out. IT GETS HOT WHEN YOU TOUCH IT TO YOUR FACE!!!!!!!!!!! I'm not even kidding. Get your face wet, put it on your hands, rub it on your face and BAM it gets really super warm!! I wash my face like 30 times a day now!! I love it! You gotta try it. There's nothing like it when you're tired after work or a workout or you need to wake up in the morning. You will thank me later.

#3 Except for the odd guilty pleasure, I hate processed food. I'm a bit of a purist. But where I work, we have a garage that it takes ten minutes to get in and out of, so there's half your lunch hour. And as you know, I have a lot going on, so I don't always have a home cooked leftover to bring myself for lunch. I sure wish I had a wife! So I'm always looking for something yummy I can have on hand when I need to make stock trading videos and eat at my desk. Well boy did I find it.This is completely crazy good. It had some semi cooked noodles, this insane peanut sauce, little veggies and crushed peanuts that you just microwave and put together. OMG. They have a zillion other flavors too. What super fabby is they are shelf foodies - no freezer. I got mine at HEB so maybe your grocery store has them. I think you can also order direct from their website - here or Amazon.

Back with a card and some fundraiser pics tomorrow - the fundraiser was AWESOME! We're doing another one in the fall if you missed it! (Hey Jennifer!!!!)

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Caturday to Remember…

Wanna hear about my experiment yesterday? I call it the One Hour Experiment. I had a million things to do yesterday, and I'm such a procrastinator. I just wanted to cross some things off my insanely large list.

My trip to Starbucks was the best trip to Starbucks ever. The trip back was even better. One should never conduct an experiment without a fabulous excursion to the coffeeshop they love so much, IMHO.

So after that, here's what I did. I wrote down everything I had to do and I gave each task exactly one hour of my full attention - I actually set a timer at the beginning of every hour to make sure I didn't cheat. On a sunny, purrfect Caturday, with two little furry temptations draped across my desk,I launched the experiment. I spent an hour on my fundraiser, finishing my 20 documents I had to create in Illustrator, uploaded them to Kinkos for printing, with 18 minutes to spare. No glances at Google Reader or email. Next - for a fun break, Google Reader. I had more than 1000 unread items again. Finished that with four minutes to spare. I used all the spare minutes to do laundry and whatever else I wanted. Hour three - cleaning. No problem - 25 minutes to spare, which I filled with daydreaming, Twitter, email, videos. Hour four - organized the contents of my new bookcase in my stamp room. Hour five - lunch - made chicken salad with onions, walnuts and Mt. Olive banana peppers. Hour six - put away everything from the $7 stamp sale and stamp camp. Hour seven - returned emails and finished some last touches on the charity stamps for A Place to Bark (you will love them). Hour eight - STAMPED! That was all I felt like doing in my experiment, so I took kitteh pictures and relaxed till my massage. Not so much a massage - a torture session to get my knots out. My skin hurts today. But I can move.

I never would have gotten all that done if I'd done it freeform. I would have spent much more than an hour on Google Reader, chased butterflies, etc. An hour isn't that long if you have something you're putting off or don't like to do, and it's plenty of time for something fun. You should try it if you're behind. The only way it works is if you do not allow distractions. You just do the one thing for the hour, and if you finish early, do whatever you want with the leftovers.

Now speaking of distractions, it's GORGEOUS outside here. Just perfect days the last few days. I love spring. I love quotes about spring. I can't wait for a walk today after I get a few more things out of the way. So yesterday in my stamping hour I stamped a little spring card, with a greeting I printed first onto my white cardstock. I color matched the red to my moonlight pen I used for my little redwings. Actually, I dont' know if these are redwings, I just know they have red wings. To me, that makes them redwings. They were supposed to be robins, but I accidentally colored their wings. :) Anyway, I stamped the tree from Branch Out in black and then the little birdies in Sahara Sand. The Gelly Roll Moonlight pens are nice and opaque for my little splash of red. I made little leaf buds (click for larger view) with my green Gelly Roll metallic. Since I organized my pens I'm on a bit of a pen kick. I mean look at this - don't you want to use every pen in here???art walk 1215 copy

Anyway, after that I outlined each birdie with my super skinny Micron pen.

The DSP is from Basic Grey, and the grey strip is SU! Basic Grey.

Here's what the kittehs did to help. First, Maddie made me get everything out of the way. "Here - move all that stuff."Thanks - much better. Now I can look out the windowz.

When she's in the sun you can see that she has mahogany striped fur on her body and her head is all black. She's totally multicultural. Why does she haz so many markerz?

You know what would make dis nap better?

A fuzzy friend.

My fuzzy friend can clean my neck.

And tell me stories and talk about lots of things till I sleep.

Night night kitteh.CU on Sundeh. :)

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Difference Between Women and Men

I bet you thought you already know. But you don't.

It's here, in this video. (If you're in reader or seeing this in email, click to the blog).

This is incredible. It's a promotion for the TV Show Afterlife in England. It's not only brilliant, it's a spectacular psychological experiment. Clearly, the X Chromosomes really enjoy it, and the Y Chromosomes just get mad.

Speaking of experiments, I'm conducting one today.

When I post my card later today, I'll let you know how it goes.

I hope your Caturday started as well as mine did!

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Play (A Splotchy Tutorial)

There was an article in our local paper about a book called "Play."

I'm pretty sure you know why I really felt like I needed to read it!!! The author has made play his career (why didn't I think of that??) and is actually the founder of a heavenly organization called The National Institute for Play. I know it sounds like I made that up on Caturday all high on cupcakes or something, but I swear it's true.

He studies the importance of play in humans and other animals and has made some amazing statements in just the few pages I've read so far. Here's one.

"When we play, we are engaged in the purest expression of our humanity, the truest expression of our individuality. Is it any wonder that often the times we feel most alive, those that make up our best memories, are moments of play? That is something that struck me as I was reading obituaries of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, stories I began collecting because they were such poignant and gripping portraits. Soon I realized that what people most remembered about those who died were play moments or play activities. The March 31, 2002, edition of the New York Times, to take one example, has obituaries with these headlines: "a Spitball-Shooting Executive," "A Frank Zappa Fan," "The Lawn King: A Practical Joker with a Heart," "A Lover of Laughter." What dominated the profiles beneath the headlines were remembrances of play states with loved ones, which were like joyful threads running through their lives, weaving memories and binding them together emotionally."

I decided to think about that on my walk today and see how I could possibly squeeze more play in. I have been doing too much stuff lately and I need more unstructured play time. So while I was seriously pondering play on my very serious walk, I saw two things that made me smile. The first was this hilarious group portrait someone did in wet concrete on the sidewalk in a new subdivision. I love this!!!!!!!! Their play became mine today! Then, when I turned onto my street, there was a moving truck, with some movers putting things in – like a group of little kids bikes. When the second bike went up into the truck, one of the movers honked its horn – like a little Groucho Marx honk. It was hilarious, and group of six hardworking movers busted out laughing. Just a little play.

Just give it a little thought. I made a card about it to help you ponder. It's the UpsyDaisy set and the Contempo Alphabet, as well as the fabby new Urban Oasis DSP, Basic Grey and Summer Sun.

First, I inked up the stamp in Summer Sun and stamped off twice before stamping it. Then I inked it up, stamped it off once, moved a bit to the left, and stamped it again. Then I stamped it full strength, again moving a bit to the left.

Then I added shadows with my Micron .01 black pen. You have GOT to get one of these. I have them in several sizes - .03, .05 etc. but the .01 is my favorite because I like teeny precise lines. To give you an idea of how big the line is - it's about HALF the width of the fine tip of a Stampin' Up! marker. That is a fine line my friend. And makes all the difference on an image like this, where a heavier line would really interfere with the color. Click the link in the first sentence if you want to read about the pens and their archival properties if you are a scrapbooker.

Splotchy felt like he needed to do a little tutorial on play, so here is is, playing with the new mouse he got from his friend Cooper Harris, who is one of my many cat readers. The mouse makes real life mouse squeaks and Splotch went crazy when I opened the package.

You have to click the picture to see it move :)

You could learn a little something about play from the beasties. Have a great Friday. Hope you get to play. :)

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Who Knew You Didn't Need Thumbs???

Check out this video!!

(If you are reading via email or a reader - click over!)

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Monday, March 23, 2009

My Heart

But first, my back. I spent today buying, lifting, taking home, dragging in, building, taking apart, building again, things to help me organize the stamp room a little better. Kneeling on my slate all day. Ouch. Then, one cheap piece with a drawer doesn't even work! GRR. But I got a lot of stuff organized, and when a bookcase arrives (check out Staples.com - I got a 48" tall bookcase for 30 bucks! What the heck?) Tuesday I'll be really organized and even have a little lounging spot for the kittehs. I don't think my desk has ever looked like this. I threw out the big vertical organizer thingy and now I just have some gifts I treasure, my spinny thing, my lamps and space! Love it!So anyway, there's this Blue October Song - it's very sad - about a guy who tells an old girlfriend who is about to get married to someone else.. "I want to give you something I've been wanting to give to you for years - my heart." It was stuck in my head the whole time I was making this card, which, believe it or not, started out as a card about a fish. So there you have it.

Here's the song if you wanna have a listen while you peruse the art. BTW - if you're reading this through an email or reader subscription, you may have to click over to the blog to see the link to the song.

Maybe this is what his heart looks like. Or maybe that is mine, since it's a nice cobalty blue and yellow. Maybe his is a little different.
Here's how you make a Blue October heart. Start with a Sticklers gold outline sticker. You've probably looked at these in the store and thought - I'm never sticking a gold sticker on ANYTHING. Ahhh, but maybe that's cuz you haven't seen them all decorated like cloisonne at the Sakura booth at CHA. But I digress. Stick your sticker on cardstock.
Then, use a combo of Sakura glaze and souffle pens to fill in the open areas. It really starts to look like cloisonne. The rest of the card is simple. The card base is SU! textured Basic Grey. Then YoYo Yellow, then Urban Oasis DSP, then the new printed window sheets from the upcoming Occasions Mini. Here's a peek at them. I'll give you a sec to catch your breath!! :) Of course the print on them is white, not black.
You always need to use a little trick to hide your adhesive when you're working with window sheets. Since I knew I was going to add my heart, I stuck a mini glue dot under where the heart would go and attached the window sheet there. Then I attached the heart with dimensionals. I added some of the fuzzy new ribbon originals and a white rubon (now retired).
I bet if he gave her a shiny blue & yellow heart she'd have run away with him. :)

Have a great Monday.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

I knew it!!!

I knew that Irene (the creator of the Doodle Factory) had little magical coloredy eggs hidden all around her sassy apartment.... and that late at night she hears little crackling sounds, and scurrying. Then, when she gets up in the morning there are hundreds of creatures bounding around biting her furniture and making little squeaking sounds!!!

Here's proof!! The humble beginnings of Tobias, Squirt and Prince Mortimer!

Now speaking of Irene - check out what her main squeeze did!! This is amazing. That is a very arty house!!

(If you're reading in a reader, there's a video embedded here - if you can't see it - click over!)

Have a great Sunday!

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hurry Up!

No, please don't.

Is there anything more stressful than hurrying?

I was in the grocery store the other day and a woman was yelling "Hurry up!" to her son, who looked like he was maybe 3. He had found a bug crawling around by the grocery carts and was in that classic scientific toddler pose, knees bent, butt almost touching the ground, elbows bent, head down.

Hurry up and miss studying a bug for the first time? Hurry - discover everything in the world with new eyes FASTER because I have somewhere to go??

I absolutely cringe when I hear people yelling at their kids to hurry. It seems like America has imposed its impossible schedule on the teeny ones, and I think that's sad. I don't remember ever feeling rushed as a child. I don't remember my parents telling me to hurry up or running from place to place in the car. I remember tons of time to just discover things, mostly on my own or with my fellow troublemakers in the neighborhood. The only ruling schedule was our dinnertime, which always came right when I found the perfect spot for hide and seek or dead in the middle of a football game my team was winning with our mad skills. Yes, mad skills. Don't mess with me. I was the quarterback for the Packers WAY before it was cool.

Don't yell at them to hurry. They're brand new. They haven't seen anything yet. What would you not give to be completely fascinated for ten minutes by a bug under a grocery cart and not have any other care in the world?

Think about it. Let em have ten minutes. They'll never get it back.

You probably need ten minutes without another care in the world. I think you should make this card. :)This is my contribution to our Sale-A-Bration stamp camp today. I wanted something with some super bold colors and patterns, which Stampin' Up! has been nice enough to give us in this new catalog.

The card base is the kraft striped piece from the Taste of Textiles. It's really sturdy and perfect for a full card. Then the Urban Oasis gave me the black squiggly bit and the polka dots are from the Rockabilly collection. I saw this card by Julie Davison and loved her layout and the rounded corners on the edge pieces, so I borrowed it. Thanks Julie!

The heart from Polka Dot Punches is stamped on Kiwi Kiss and popped up with dimensionals.
What will I do when Kiwi Kiss and Pacific Point Blue are retired? Tie myself to the SU! production line until they agree to make them permanent colors? I don't know. Maybe. You didn't hear that from me.

The pennant with the greeting from Sense of Time (inspired by rush-y grocery mom) is snuggled around the button with the help of my 3/4" circle punch. Just a nice finishing touch.

Slow down. Stamp something. Have a fun lazy Saturday.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

The Kindness of Strangers, and Friends, and Pom Poms

I'll try to go in order, but a warning. I'm sleepy. I'm a little unorganized. My class and $7 stamp sale are tomorrow. I apparently procrastinate (surprise!). This is your official ADD warning. This post may not make any sense.

First, the kindness of strangers....

I got two wonderful surprises this week! My beloved blogging buddies - Linda and Sue - sent me pressies!!! Wait, no - they didn't.. They sent the REAL bloggers - Maddie & Splotchy - pressies!!!

Seriously - check these out!

The first one I got from Linda is called a SmartyCat Chickadee Chirp - it's a little bird that has a motion activated bird call that sounds SO real!! I love this thing - it's actually an extremely pleasant sound that I kind of wish was going all the time! What a cool find!They went NUTS!!! It's made by www.worldwise.com if you want to check it out!!

The second one is from my Irish blogsister - Sue, who is from Vancouver. It's this ADORABLE little pig named OINK that I cannot get away from these cats. They are now whooping each other for the bird and the pig! He might get waterboarded under the bed!! They adore him and so do I.Maddie & Splotchy love you guys and thank you from the bottom of their furry hearts!!Oh

Oh - speaking of Irish - here was my St. Patrick's Day Black & Tan - ain't she beautiful??

Then, today, I get this picture. Meet Webster - one of my reader's - Jayne - beasts, checking out my MOMSTER from yesterday!! This completely made my day today.

All this has made me think about tomorrow being CATURDAY!! Yay! Everyone can lounge around a little!!
So I'll leave you with Maddie, and her love/hate relationship with the pompoms. This pompom is tiger striped like Webster and she loves it.

Tomorrow - check in early for my SAB camp project - you will see it before they do! SSSHHHHH..

Have a great Caturday!

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

I Made A MONSTER!!!! (And you won something!)

I did! I made a monster!! Blend Creations is having a Metal for Monsters design contest for Mother's Day, and I decided to enter a monster and see if I could win. Wish me luck & votes!

Mine is this little Mom-ster, with a baby, and I wanted her to be fierce like a mom, but loving - as you can see she wears her heart on her tail!! :DClick Here to go there and see if you feel like casting a vote for me! :) I'm #10!!

Now - let's talk about YOU, especially the three of you that won the blue Sakura pens!!!

First, there's Rachael, who was the first to guess that my favorite SLC restaurant is Takashi. Not only is Rachael correct, but I've been dreaming of Strawberry fields ever since that post!!

Second, there's Kristie, in the land down under, who knows that I'm an obsessive Virgo. Although the person who was precisely right was my beloved friend "Anonymous" who said I was right on the line. And indeed I am. I'm teetering between a Virgo and a Leo if you must know.

Finally, the girl who made me laugh out loud. Georgann Ganas, who said:

"And my favorite craft product is glitter. How can you not love glitter? It adds such fun and whimsy and reminds me of projects I made my mom when I was little. Wait, I still make projects for my mom with glitter(we're both stampers) and she loves glitter too! And you can hide those little 'oops' with some glitter. Now if only I could find a way to use glitter to hide my thighs."

OMG I laughed about her glittery thighs!!!

Thanks so much for playing. I'll get to work dreaming up another prize!!

Ladies - please privately email me with your addresses! :)

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

1 Pixel of Soap

That's what we've come to.

1 Pixel of soap. Do you know what a pixel looks like? It's (*#$&ing small. (see above)

Confused? You should be, because I'm mad, and I am SUPER confusing when I'm mad.

Here's the deal. I like to wash my clothes. I know - I'm an elitist. But I do. I like to put them in my awesome little frontloader that holds like 46 pairs of jeans, and kills germs and massages my delicates and whatever else goes on in there.

However, to clean one's clothes - hey Sheryl Crow - listen up - you NEED SOAP!!!! Without soap, you just have wet clothes, dummy. Even Maddie thinks that's funny. Lordy - look at those fangs!!But here's what's happening. I have a high efficiency washer, which means I need high efficiency soap. In olden times, they used to call high efficiency soap - DISEASE. CHOLERA. THE PLAGUE.

But now, it just means - yay - smaller soap. I have carbon credits! Whoopee. Whatever. Well anyway, I'm good with the HE soap (which I think is missing an LL at the end, but I digress) even though you have to meet someone in Nepal with a password to get it because grocery stores only carry a teeny amount of it.

But when I go to the store last week and I find that the HE soap has had a visit from Rick Moranis and Honey I Shrunk Your Soap team, and the NEW AND IMPROVED container of SUPER CONCENTRATED SOAP is the size of a freaking pixel, I am not gonna lie - I blurted out a completely unladylike word, which made the guy next to me laugh. He was trying to figure out the Swiffer accessories and was possibly even more miserable. Seriously - soon, we will all be just thinking happy thoughts to clean our clothes and will achieve that fabulous Utopia Sheryl Crow dreams of where one square of toilet paper is passed around among two thousand people who are so comatose from smelling people who've cleaned themselves with a pixel of soap they don't even care about the TP situation. Yeeps. Seriously - can I have my soap back? Sometimes MORE IS MORE. I want to be clean. Cholera and stink are bad. Can we agree on that? Gimme my soap. I'm dangerous. I'm a woman on the edge.

But that doesn't mean I don't love spring!I do.

I had like WAY more than a pixel's worth of fun with my new Sakura toys on this card. I tried something a little different here - a little outside my comfort zone.

First, I stamped and embossed the flowers so I would have a little reservoir for my glaze and souffle pens. Well, that might be a lie because I didn't intent to use both when I started.

But I started with the glaze pens, and I love these pens!!! And I love the way they look on kraft cardstock. Note - when you are using them, please note they have a clear shiny medium in them, so when you are coloring with white like I did on the lilies, when you first put it on you might think you're not getting ink - but be patient, let it dry and you'll get a gorgeous opaque glaze.So I added glaze to most areas of the flowers, but then I wanted some lighter colors than I had so I moved to the souffle pens. They also have a gorgeous 3D texture to them but are a more matte finish and a seriously cool opaqueness. I think the combo is super fun.

The images are DF Easter flowers. The ribbon is Stampin' Up! Ribbon Originals. The greeting - which is heartfelt - is Starving Artistamps.

We are all so exhausted from beating our clothes on a rock to get them clean, we have to go...

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

If YOU had a Friend..

You would consider yourself lucky, right?

A friend that makes sadness less sad, pain less painful, joy more joyful? :)

Maybe that's what the luck of the Irish is all about. Maybe the Irish are a friendly and befriended people. A person could do worse than friendly and befriended, yes?

I think so, anyway. So I made a card about it. :)

I made this card with the same technique I used on the blue dog a few posts back. First, I stamped them in Kiwi Kiss, after stamping off once. Then I colored the whole thing with colored pencils, first a nice lime green, and then shading with a darker green. Here's what it looks like before blending with odorless mineral spirits. Pretty easy and quick.

But after it's blended, it becomes this nice sunny green shamrock that exactly matches Green Galore. The card base is textured Basic Grey, and the bigger four leaf clover I made with the SAB set - Polka Dot Punches. This is the set we're featuring in our camp this weekend. (If you haven't signed up yet and want to, please email me.) I stamped the hearts in Basic Grey and then punched them out with my Full Heart punch.The greeting and the shamrock are from Pinch Proof. Cute.

So I wanted to wish you all a Happy St. Patrick's Day today. And a little Irish blessing from a little Irish girl for your Tuesday, St. Patty's Day, 2009. May YOU find a friend that makes sadness less sad, pain less painful, joy more joyful. Wealth, is what that is. :)

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