Friday, December 31, 2010

A Wild and Crazy New Year's Eve

This is how it will go, according to my internal polling data.

Stamp and catch up on some computer things on my last day of vacation. Pay bills.

Have some blackeyed pea dip for luck.

Go to bed at 10.

If that was too much excitement for you, I apologize - that's how I roll!

I have to save all of my energy and squealing up for tomorrow, when the new Stampin' Up! challenge design team - the Creative Crew - is unveiled on Splitcoast! This group of fabby designers is going to head up monthly challenges in the SU Demonstrator forum, and WAIT till you see what the challenge gallery looks like!! SQUEEEEE!

I'll put up a home page story when we reveal it at noon CST tomorrow, so be sure and be hanging around Splitcoast if you've woken up from all your revelry! :)

In the downtime this week I've had a little fun with my owl punch, making gift card holders for some of my peeps.I folded a piece of Crumb Cake in half, and then put it just inside the bottom edge of the tag on my Two Tags die to make the holder - it's the perfect size!

Then I cut a piece of patterns pack DSP in Real Red for the backdrop for my Owlpenguin (idea from here).

So what are your exciting New Year's plans? Painting the town red? :)

I hope all of you have a safe and fun one, or an uneventful reading in your Snuggie™ one, or whatever you'd like most.

Loveyameanitbye. See you in 2011!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Blue Christmas...

Merry Christmas to each of you whose eyes rest here today!

I thought this year I'd deconstruct the Blue Christmas for you.

My favorite part of the creative process is designing, which takes place far from my teeny studio. It happens on walks, or with friends, or when I'm reading. You don't always know what goes into a card when you see it, and there's no better time than today to celebrate inspiration and design.

So here are all of the parts and pieces of my Christmas card this year.

Text, for the Christmas story - the greatest story ever told.

Music - a sacred joy of Christmas, and a powerful force for happiness and hope.

Peppermint - the most iconic, graphic and beautiful treat of the year.

And of course blue, so that I could give you a little piece of my heart.

Together, just a little paper wish for joy and peace.

I love making these cards. It's my favorite card of the year. For some of the people on my list, it's the only contact we have all year, and it's such fun to reconnect every December. I send 200 cards a year, give or take a few, so I usually start making them at Thanksgiving. Strange for a procrastinator, I know. :)

By the time I settle on a design, it has become the beginning of the holiday spirit for me each year, and it's just ... fun.

I took it apart this year so that you could see not just my deconstructed inspiration, but my deconstructed process. (Click picture for a closeup.) I added prices for all the consumables - I don't count costs for anything that isn't used up in the process.

You can see that adhesive is the most expensive part of the card, which - all in - cost 43 cents apiece.

Not too much for the greatest story ever told and a little piece of my heart. :)

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

So... If You Had

Just one Christmas wish, what would it be?Paper: Stampin' Up! First Edition, Very Vanilla, Basic Black Accessories: Tim Holtz Dies

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Bah Humbug Post

BWAHAH - fooled you!! I don't have a bah humbug bone in my body!

However, there does come a moment when you have to halt the Christmas preparations - the cookies, the preserves, the gifts, the lights, the yelling at people in traffic and shoving them on the baking aisle to get to the last can of sweetened condensed milk - and you have to make a birthday card.

So I dug out all my amazing pre-order goodies from the upcoming Occasions Mini Catalog and I made a birthday card for a friend.

The set is my fave from the mini cat - it's called Nature Walk. I have no more power to resist a set with a bird and speckledy eggs than I do butter or whipped cream.What's so superiffic about this little composition is the background, the left strip, the printed strip and the piece I stamped the eggs on are all from DSP from the new mini. The papers are AMAZING. The colored ones are from a package called Botanical Gazette, and the print, which I will buy a metric ton of, is called First Edition.

So the end result of this papery spiffiness is that this is a very quick card! All I had to do was add a little color to my birdie with a blender pen, and stamp the greeting.

BAM! There's your un-bah humbug birthday card!!

Now you may return to your regularly scheduled Christmas crazies! :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Reindeer Food

Look. As a person whose animals eat all of the following:

  • dryer sheets
  • ribbon
  • packing tape
  • styrofoam peanuts
  • pumpkin from the can
  • raw spaghetti
  • lint
  • embossing powder
  • cardstock
I would never advocate giving an improper food to a pet. Really - let them steal it and run under the bed with it like mine do. I think it tastes better under the bed.

No, seriously. I will really be serious.

Do NOT feed your pet reindeer this delicious Ghirardelli peppermint bark/dark chocolate combo that just happens to coordinate perfectly with your papercrafty Christmasy project that you did for your Splitcoast Shoebox Swap.


I don't think reindeer are supposed to have peppermint bark.

I have nothing to back this up - it's just a feeling.

What you SHOULD do with said peppermint bark is what I did though.

Step one: see THIS gorgeous creation on Splitcoast.
Step Two: Cut a petal card with your Big Shot Die from Tempting Turquoise.
Step Three: Stamp in black the wreath from Welcome Christmas on white cardstock and punch with this punch.
Step Four: Tie three sides closed with twine.
Step Five: Accent wreath with glitter and glue.
Step Six: Punch out a Martha Stewart teeny deer from Tempting Turquoise and pop him in the middle.

Add candy if you're not giving this to a reindeer. :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Come On Baby Light My Fire...

Well thank goodness Jim Morrison got pardoned this week. I'm very happy that our government is hard at work pardoning dead musicians. That sort of keeps them out of our hair while we craft and get through the holidays.

I adored The Doors. I loved Jim's spooky boomy voice and some of his creepier lyrics. I also love all musicians - Elvis, Buddy Holly, John Lennon and Jim Morrison - about whose deaths conspiracy theories abound. There's just nothing like walking down the street behind someone whom you firmly believe is Elvis. Or who really IS Elvis.

Chew on THAT. Mm hmm.

Well anyway, since old Jim was on my mind this week, I could not resist a fiery craft for my stamping class yesterday.

I got the idea from this great project on Splitcoaststampers. Brilliant. Literally :)

I decided to make my little set with the matchbox die to hold just one candle. The box base is Crumb Cake, and the sleeve is Deck the Halls DSP. The crown is from Artistic Etchings, and I used silver tinsel trim around the box, and a little rhinestone.
I made my votives by stamping the medallion from Artistic Etchings in Cherry Cobbler on white tissue paper. Then I sandwiched the tissue between sheets of copy paper before punching out a circle - 1.25" or 1 3/8" is fine. Then you punch a hole in the center of this tissue circle with a 1/16" circle punch. Slip that down over the wick, and heat the top of the candle with your heat gun until the tissue has been soaked by the wax. Do not hold the candle while you heat it - that little aluminum cup gets hot!

Then run some sticky strip around the side and add some of that fabby silver vintage glass glitter. Squish it into the tape with your finger.

Very fun, quick little holiday goodie for someone on your list.

Then, I had more 3D fun this weekend with a creation for Project Reanimate, which I have been neglecting.

To see what amazing household object I have reanimated with the help of my ADORABLE little Juniper Elf from the Starving Artistamps holiday release - head on over to this post for all the deets!

What are you cooking up for little gifties? You don't want to be unprepared if Elvis pops over for S'mores, you know.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ollie Does New York

My dear friend Libby mentioned New York today, so I thought I'd post this little ditty I made up when my friend Ollie the Octopus decided to hit the Big Apple.

He took one of my favorite paint chips EVER with him - I can't even believe I stopped hoarding this and used it on a card - and he used some Basic Grey Wander paper for a map. He's sitting on the notepaper pattern from the Basic Grey Whites collection that I cut with an eyelet Nestie. What you CAN'T see in this pic is his glisteny octopusivity that I created by covering him with Crystal Effects after I colored him with a Copic.

Maybe Ollie (who is one of a zillion adorable images from PaperWorks Co.) came to mind today because I am feeling a wee bit underwater... Anyone wanna throw me a paint chip? :)

Hope the ramp up to the holidays is going well for all of you beloveds! Who is going to Leadership with me? If you're not, I'll give you the live feed right here! :)

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?

Friday, December 3, 2010


I've always loved advent calendars because of all the suspense of opening teeny doors every day until Christmas. They were the perfect combination of mystery and surprise, and they were so elaborate and fun when I was a kid.

Despite that life long love, I've never really found one that I wanted to make until now. And ACK! I had so much fun making this. You should have heard all the giggling and snorting going on in here during this project!

Beate sent me a link to the lady that invented this amazing advent calendar tutorial, and I couldn't wait to make it. I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to use too, since I just got my uber fabulous Doodle Factory 'Tis the Season stamps and was dying to ink them up. I feel like stamping the little elf from this set on all that I survey!!

So without further ado - TA DA!!!!!!!!!!!!! The coolest Advent calendar ever!

Here's the basic creation before I added stamped images. It's 24 Real Red matchboxes, in alternating directions, with Candy Cane DSP accents and brads for drawer pulls. SQUEEE!!!

Here's a view of the top, stamped with 'Tis the Season on a Top Note die cut. And here are the four sides, aft er my stamped images were added.
It's just the picture that's wonky below, not the box :)

The Stampin' Up!/Sizzix Matchbox die got a workout, because the calendar takes 24 little matchboxes for the drawers. The Doodle Factory images are colored with Copics and I added Dazzling Diamonds Glitter. The greetings from this set are layered onto the little tag shapes that got punched out when I cut the matchboxes. I used my white gel pen on all the little drawers.

Once you have the drawers assembled, it really goes pretty fast. Cutting the matchboxes and assembling them is the most time consuming part, but it's not hard. It will take a full package of cardstock though - 24 sheets - plus your DSP for accents.

But I'm not sure I've ever had more fun making a 3D project in my life. I just love it! :)

Whaddaya think?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Unsentimental deer

I'm sure you know some sentimental deer, but this definitely isn't one of them! He's dry, reserved, and he would never hug you or cry - even during Bambi!

This is because I made him for Joan's Hope You Can Cling To "unsentimental" challenge (yes, that was in October, however, he is Christmasy, if not sentimental, so I saved him - stop yelling at me!).

I think that holiday cards are perfect for this type of challenge because of the simple iconic imagery that doesn't need a word to tell a story.

stamps: Stamper's Anonymous Reindeer Flight Ink: Versamark, Basic Black
Paper: Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Cherry Cobbler, Newsprint DSP
Accessories: Clear embossing powder, Heat Gun, MFT scallop Die-namics, SU Lace and tinsel trim,
glitter brads, Green Galore and Real Red markers, Viva Decor paint, SU glass glitter.

I just spotlighted this little fella, colored him and used the sassy glass glitter for an accent. I love this glitter!! It's my go to glitter now. I need billions more jars of it.

I'm trying desperately this weekend to design my Christmas card. I'm close, but it's not quite right. Have you designed yours yet? What style are you doing? I think I'm going with vintage this year. We'll see how I feel about it tomorrow after I've slept on the initial design.

I hope your Thanksgiving was fantastic (if you are in the states :)) and that you have tons of leftover pie! :)

Thanks for stopping by!


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 25, 2010

Hey Little Turkeys!!

Happy Thanksgiving my little bloggy turkeys!! I hope you have a day filled with yummy dishes to stir on the stove, and enough whipped cream to bury your pie.

I'm very, very thankful for every one of you that take time out of your day to stop by here to see me.

If I could have made a little peppermint patty turkey for each one of you, I happily would have!!

I CASE'd this design from the lovely and talented LeAnne Pugliese, and made a few mods.

My tail is inked with More Mustard, and then I colored parts with a Chocolate Chip and Only Orange Marker. His little noggin is More Mustard (1") as well, with a Cajun Craze topknot - I just cut a little strip into fringe and scrunched it. I gave him two different sized googlie eyes to make him look sort of crazy and desperate, since, well, it's not a good day for turkeys.

His beak is Pumpkin Pie (get it - Pumpkin Pie??), and his body is made of two 1 3/4" circles with the bottoms cut off. A Pearson Peppermint Patty is sandwiched in between them, and then you stick his tail on the back. I dotted his body with a white gel pen.

Then I brought him to Starbucks to give to sweet Holly at the window who handed me my Thanksgiving beverage. She squealed. :)

Thank you for reading this and for keeping my little turkey company.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

French Foliage, Fun, Felt, Frozen, Frolicking

I just got done with a weekend filled with tons of fun and art and general busy goodness. Saturday morning, I taught my Felted Cardstock class at Scrapology with old and new friends. It was a blast and I think everyone probably had a nap afterwards, because I wore them out! Scrapology is a spectacular store, and the owner is such a sweet lady. If you live in Austin, you really need to pop by. I'll be teaching there again on December 18th - we will be making thank you cards for all those Christmas presents you're going to get!

Then after the class, we raced to San Antonio for a wedding, which was tons of fun. An amazingly talented young lady in the family made cupcakes for the reception, and the pumpkin one with cinnamon frosting that I had was a complete religious experience. You would totally marry that cupcake!

This morning, my sister and I hit the Etsy Austin Craft Riot where we saw some awe-inspiring crafty creations. One girl made these gorgeous Tsumami Kanzashi flowers that we just loved. There were some really talented illustrators there too with fantastic cards and prints.

Then we hit East Austin for the East Austin Studio Tour, which has been redonkulously supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. There are so many world-class artists in Austin, and we got to see their homes, studios, work in progress, pets - everything. There were hundreds of studios on the tour and we did as many as we could on the two days that we went. Next year, we are putting on the Everest backpacks, getting a sherpa, and we are going to do every one, by golly!

One of my favorites today was Rob Rough. Here's one of my faves, with a giant bunneh.Look at this painting. Then look at it after knowing that those "paintings" were made with bleach on black denim! The pic doesn't do the detail and the technique justice. The range of light and dark he gets with this technique just made us gasp. He was a really nice guy, too.

So after all that amazing art, I feel funny bringing you a lowly card, but it's what I have - pa-rum-pa-pum-pum :)
I made this with emboss resist on the Newsprint DSP with the French Foliage set. I rubbed it with Pear Pizazz, and then Early Espresso. Of course, I then had to spray that whole thing with Gold Smooch Spritz. Then I stamped the leaves again on Pear Pizazz with Early Espresso and cut them out for the bottom. The circle I made with my circle die. Very easy Thanksgiving card. (All supplies Stampin' Up!)

Now I'm really in the mood for Thanksgiving themed crafts now that I have like five seconds between now and the actual holiday. Got any cute little turkey favor type things you feel like sharing with me? Leave me a link! :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mac and Geez!

Each week just gets crazier and crazier. This week we have the announcement that we will have hologram TV soon (I, of course, am picturing the squirrel from Christmas vacation running through my living room), we get free pelvic exams from the TSA every time we fly, and some guy gets drunk and almost eats all the remaining members of an entire newly discovered species of lizard.

How in the world anyone could possibly ever feel bored in this country is beyond me. It only takes five seconds to find a completely crazy story.

I wanted to share some things with you this week since we are getting close to the holidays, and we are all about to lose our collective minds for a month or two.

First, a recipe for macaroni and cheese, which I consider one of my specialties, as you know if you've made what I call Crack & Cheese, recipe here.

However, I was intrigued by a recipe shared by Lee during our Hope You Can Cling To chatter for crockpot mac & cheese. Yes, I said crockpot.

I went and bought a crockpot to try this, and it was worth EVERY penny - this mac & cheese is DIVINE!!! Never in a million years would I have guessed that this would do well in a crockpot. I suggest you run out and buy everything necessary for this right this second, and then come back here and thank me.

Lee's Crack & Cheese (with a few mods)

* 1 package (16 ounces) elbow macaroni
* 1 stick butter, melted
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
* 1/2 c. half n half
* 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cheddar cheese soup, Campbell's, undiluted
* 1 cup whole milk
* 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided into 2 C & 1 C
* 1.5 cups shredded asiago cheese
* 2 tsp salt


Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain. Place in a 5-qt. slow cooker; add butter. In a bowl, combine the eggs, evaporated milk, soup, milk, salt and 3.5 cups cheese (mix the 2 C cheddar with the asiago). Pour over macaroni mixture; stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for~ 3 hours. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cook 15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Whisper my name. :)

Next, in the animal department.... When Maddie gets crazy brain, she runs into my office, jumps and slides on my desk, and knocks everything on it down behind my desk, including her little furry thing she sits on. When I was at HEB the other day I saw these and thought I'd give them a try since they say they won't hurt furniture. Well dang it if it didn't stick the little furry thingie down on my desk and make me IMMUNE to crazy brain!! Highly recommend for those with animals with crazy brain. Or other people who need sticky stuff.

I saw this link on Splitcoast to Wal-Mart's Black Friday sale and wow - look at the price on that Canon Rebel! I also read that they were doing free shipping for online orders for the holidays, and I know everyone can use a break right now, so I thought I'd share.

This past weekend was Virtual Stamp Night - actually - you have until 10 PM tonight to upload your cards if you played - and it was amazing!! I didn't get to do all the challenges, but I sure had fun with the ones I did. The first one I did was a non-traditional Christmas challenge - no green or red. So I chose blue & orange, of course. I was inspired by the colors in the Travel Journal DSP, which is my background. The card base is Tangerine Tango. The ornament is the Heirloom Ornament Nestabilities shape, embossed in my Wizard, and sponged with Bashful Blue. I have seam binding and a Jolee's Angel sticker on top with some silver cord. The greeting is from Welcome Christmas.

I love that big bold JOY.

It's how I feel when I conquer crazy brain or have some really, really great Crack & Cheese. :)

Hope you have a JOYful Monday.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Easily Amused...

I'm easily amused. I could apologize for that, but why, when there are LOLcats and Zooborns and the Daily Squee should I apologize??

And besides, it's FRIDAY!

This is the first weekend in a long time that I don't have 80 squillion things to do, so I'm hoping for napping and crafting.

I thought I'd kick it off with some friends, because it's Friends with Flair Friday!

Here's my card for the blog hop, using some of my absolute FAVORITE things.

stamps: August Kit of the Month {All You Need} - Unity
Paper: Baja Breeze, October Afternoon Seaside, Very Vanilla, October Afternoon Wild Cards Road Trip
Ink: Baja Breeze, Real Red, India Ink, Red and Blue Twine, Corner Chomper

I hope you have a super fabby weekend lined up! :) I'm teaching a class at Scrapology on the 20th if you want to check it out!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

An Owlurkey of Thanks!

I made this little guy for Veteran's Day, because we are all so grateful for our brave ones.

I remember vividly when I studied Russian history and literature in college the horror of discovering for the first time what totalitarian states do to artists. It was shocking to read as a young, free girl how some of the most brilliant minds in that country were sent off to horrific labor camps in Siberia for just expressing themselves in their own unique, creative way. I also filed away for later how powerful, and if you're a bad guy, threatening, great art can be.

We aren't running around frolicking in our ink and paper and stamps because we are just lucky that way - we're doing it because of the sacrifice of real people.

And those real people deserve more than a grateful Owlurkey, but it's what I have to give today :).

I'd like to say a special thank you to just a few of my stampy friends who have either served or have family who have. Lisa, Beate, Marie, Dana, Sue, and many more. God bless you guys & thanks.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Thirteenth and Seventeenth Wonders of the World

The Eighth Wonder of the World is so passe. Everyone uses that one. So I picked a few that haven't been discussed yet.

And by "Wonder of the World," I'm sure you know I mean - things Lydia wonders about on her walk. Such as:

  • Why aren't there peanut butter pop tarts? It seems so obvious.
  • If we felines of the species are burdened with all this extra fat supposedly so we can survive the Donner Party better and be around to raise the babies, then why are we so dang cold all the time? That's not fair.
  • What marketing genius came up with the name MSG for monosodium glutamate? No wonder no one likes it. You wouldn't find the phrase "sodium chloride of the earth" nearly as charming as "salt of the earth."
  • If grocery bags and Starbucks cups were made out of designer patterned paper I'd do a lot more recycling.
So there you go. This morning's wonders.

Guess what else was this morning?

My tutorial for a little paper doll on Splitcoast! Yay! It includes a video, during which I will show you how to do some completely unprofessional but cute origami!

Here are two of the dolls I made for cards, but they would make ADORABLE bookmarks, which I show you in the tutorial. So head over there and peek!

Friday, November 5, 2010

LOVE-ly Letterpress

Everyone loves letterpress. I might love it the most :). When I was thinking about this post tonight I was thinking about that word - it's kind of an odd one if you think about it too much. It really means taking letters and smooshing them against paper in a press. It's not actually nearly as glamorous as the end result.

Someday if I win the lottery, I will have a big smooshy for real letterpress that I can make pretty things on.

But luckily, I do have a small scale letterpress - the Big Shot - and some uber fun letterpress plates.

So here's my late review of these plates in the Big Shot, in case you haven't decided if you'd like to buy them yet or not.

The first thing you need to know, is that they recommend that you use craft (pigment) ink with these plates, and this is why. Here is an experiment with dye ink. A blotchy, somewhat frightening experiment :)

Next, I tried a lovely pigment ink from Technique Tuesday. Better, eh?Next, I tried white craft ink on Crumb Cake cardstock. I LOVE this! My only complaint with using regular cardstock is that the impression is not as deep as I like it. Also, with a light ink on darker paper, the ink does get sort of pooled at the edges of each image - on the leftmost "O" you can see this in my photo - there's a brighter white outline.

My favorite is using these plates on actual lettepress paper. I bought a ton of this from Crane when I got my Epic 6, and MAN does it make a difference. Look how deep the impression is, and how smooth it is at the edges of the designs. Truly perfection. And I have to say - the white on white is still my fave.
So I took the Crumb Cake piece and cut it up for a card front and I love it.

It's the weekend! Hope that wasn't a newsflash for you! Hope it's a crafty one!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside!

BRRRR!!! This morning in the wee, wee hours I went for my normal walk with a few modifications. It was so cold, and slightly misty, but that was survivable. However, Austin drivers went into their characteristically suicidal rainy day driving pattern, and I saw an SUV run a red light in front of me at about 90 miles an hour.

Because my fellow citizens lose their little furry minds this way when it rains, I had to be extra cautious on my dark cold walk and couldn't walk in the walk/bike lanes (which are much easier on your feet and joints when you walk 9 miles) and had to walk on the sidewalk.

At the most heavily traveled part of my walk, despite the fact that it was raining, the sprinklers were on, shooting straight across the sidewalk from both sides. I had no choice but to walk through thirty yards of freezing cold water. Add some 20 mph winds, and you can imagine how fun and cold the rest of my walk was.

I'm STILL cold! Brr...

So a winter creation for you today! I just got to play with some of the Holiday Nestabilities for a Product Focus at Splitcoast and I'm HOOKED!

I made so many fun things with these ornament dies it's just crazy!

For starters, I made a card for a Hope You Can Cling To challenge to use only sentiments as the stamped image. I don't have any of those big collage stamps, so I thought I'd make my own. I used Soft Sky and some of the greetings from Star Studded Season (retired) to build my background. And yes, I used my Stamp a Ma Jig :)

Then, I just cut out multiples of the ornament, by nesting the dies, to get the 3D center, and I cut one large one for the main part of the ornament. For the center part, I just folded each one in half and stuck them together. The paper is that gorgeous Candy Cane Christmas with the fun glittered stripe on one side.

The ribbon on top is May Arts silk ribbon. I finished it off with rhinestones. What's cool is it will fold flat to mail!
Hope you are warm and toasty today! Don't forget - there's still time to play in the Hope You Can Cling to Challenges and win some AMAZING prizes, including a $250 Etsy shopping spree! Details here.


Sunday, October 31, 2010


Happy Halloween everyone!! I LOVE Halloween!! I went out this week and bought a bag of bones (really, I bought them, I swear! or DID I? MWAHAHAHA!) and made this awesome wreath that I saw a tutorial for on Craft Magazine's blog.

That's the kid's eye view. Super spooky.

Then, I completely cracked myself up when I came up with this modification of my Sassy Maddie stamp!! Who knew cute little Maddie could be so scary?
Happy Halloween from your favorite little sassy black cat!

I hope you guys have cute trick or treaters and a fun and safe evening!

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Tyranny of Grey

Now that the dark months are upon us, it's time to reveal the un-secret - I like somewhat dark books. I like the epic wrestling of good and evil on the printed page. 1984, The Brothers Karamazov and Blindness are all in my top 10. Orwell is so brilliant, and despite his more hilarious books, he has this beautiful sense of apocalypse and soul stealing evil, as do my beloved Russians.

I listened to Anthem on my walk this weekend - I read that in college but not since - and found one of my favorite themes.

I call it the tyranny of grey.

Pick any apocalyptic story - The Road, The Stand - whatever - and each of them builds a prison out of greyness. Color is forbidden in some - 1984 and Anthem - primarily because it represents freedom and self expression - defiance of sameness, rebellion.

We are all artists, so we live and breathe (and if you're like me, wear on your hands and your clothes accidentally) color all day every day. We love it, but because we use so much of it, we take it for granted.

It would be inconceivably inhumane to steal color from a people. And when it's stolen in these stories, what color ends up symbolizing is hope.

Hope for salvation and freedom. Hope for that sacred individuality.

I knew just what stamp I wanted to color when my book ended.

And so I did. :)

Stamps: Rejoicing in Christmas Paper: Basic Grey (SU) and Basic Grey whites collection Ink: India Ink
: Radiant Rain, paintbrush, Copics, Summer Sun Reinker

Hope you had a colorful Monday. :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's a beautiful day!!

I know - you're thinking I mean it's a beautiful day because it's Friday. TGI, baby!!

But it's been so pretty here lately that it's truly just a beautiful day. And despite freckling, it's going to be a super weekend to be outside. So don't let it get away!

It's also Friends With Flair hop day! I haven't gotten to play in a while so I'm glad I got to ink up my October Kit of the Month - Take Time to Laugh - for today's hop.

This was a super easy card. 6x6 Tangerine Tango base. Then all the DSP is from an unknown huge bargain box I got at Joann's. I stamped the cute cloud stamp on a bunch of different pieces and cut out the clouds. I popped a few up.

I ran some May Arts ribbon through my Xyron X-runner and then just stuck it down all scrunchy on my card. I used Crumb Cake cardstock, a paper daisy, a button and two decorative SU brads to finish it off.

How is your weekend going to go? Sunny and nice I hope! Don't let it get away!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Just Pawsing to say Thanks!


For a few things. We'll call it Thankful Thursday!

Thankful for fun challenges, like this one, that inspired me to make this card.

Thankful for Thursday sitcoms - the Office, Community, Outsourced. Nothing better than a good laugh.

Thankful for my eye doctor - I had to go back today because I couldn't see with my new glasses and thought I was losing my mind, and I wasn't, and she's fixing it.

Thankful for my nice plumber who is coming to fix our house tomorrow.

Thankful for the guy at AT&T that I HOPE is coming to fix my DSL for the millionth time tomorrow. (I'm ready for space internet - please let me know when that's available.)

Thankful for Secretariat - the horse and the movie. If you haven't seen this movie, stop what you're doing and go see it now.

AMAZING in every possible way. So amazing I've started calling Splotch Splotchytariat. :)

But speaking of challenges, this card was for Cindy's Hope you Can Cling To Challenge to make a square card with four additional squares. So fun!!I used Friends Fur-Ever and Nite Owl DSP for paper piecing. But my fave part is the flower. It's one of the paper daisies, that I dyed with my Tangerine Tango reinker. Then I punched a 1" circle of cardstock, stuck it in the middle and sprayed my gold Smooch Spritz on it. FUN.

So I'm just pawsing to say thanks. Hope you have a good night.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I May Carry a Purse, but I can Start an Oldsmobile With a Pen, Buddy!

So I go into a large home improvement store last week. I needed some of that little ball chain stuff with the closer thingies on it for a craft project. And yes, I said thingies. But I know what that stuff is and I know where to find it.

However, women get a different kind of help in home improvement stores than men do. It's all in the name of helpfulness, but it's definitely different. When a woman walks into a home improvement store, any available male employees give you the sort of sympathetic, pitying look a helpless creature with a purse deserves when surrounded by the smell of sawdust and big scary tools. You know the look I'm talking about.

Not that I mind help. But sometimes when I get that sort of bemused assistance I feel like saying - Lookie here. When I was 16 years old my car was a mint green 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. And it was nowhere near 1968. So every time I stopped at a stop sign, it died. This was super fun when you were all dressed up to go do something fun. I had to get out, pop the 3,000 pound hood (cars were made of metal in the old days, you little chickens), stick a ballpoint pen in the carburetor to let some air in, start it, wait till the flames shot out of the little flapper thing, close the hood, and drive to the next stop sign. Lather, rinse, repeat.

So just because I have a purse doesn't mean I don't know where to find gasket material or ball chain closey thingies. And I bet my craft room has more tools than you do, mister!


Since Barbara Billingsley died this week :(, I was thinking that maybe this is what we look like to the employees of said stores. And that's not a bad thing, by any means!! Who doesn't want to live like Mrs. Cleaver did??
Stamps: Hero Arts Sew Stylish, Ippity Dots for Sure
Paper: Basic Grey patterned paper, Pirouette Pink
Ink: Basic Black, Pirouette Pink
Accessories: Sticky Strip, May Arts Ribbon, SU Rhinestones, paper flower

This card was for Beate's Hope You Can Cling To Challenge, which was to make a card inspired by lingerie. I thought this girlie must have some spectacular lingerie on to look this good in her dress :)

RIP, Barbara Billingsley - you were a classy lady. I bet you never had to start your car with a pen!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Anyone Else Eat Embossing Powder for Lunch?

I didn't.

But Maddie did. :(

I'm working, and I hear an eating sound, look over and Maddie has her head inside my EP container, lapping it up like it was yogurt!!

I almost had a heart attack!

I grabbed her and headed for the sink where I rinsed her mouth out as best as I could, and that sweet little thing didn't even scratch me or anything. I have no idea how much she swallowed. For the record, it's very hard to wash embossing powder off a barbed little cat tongue, in case that ever comes up on a game show or anything.

What in the world possesses a cat to do a thing like that? She will eat anything. I guess the good news is, I found out that the embossing powder truly is non-toxic. She lived through the night anyway. I hope it ends there! Everyone told me to keep her away from the heat gun. :) She's already pretty shiny.

Between that and all the other craziness this month, this is totally how I feel...

If you don't see the cutest video in the world above this sentence, click here.

But I did find time to make the coolest 10 minute pumpkins for Halloween! Love these awesome Spooky Things rubons!

I just popped them and some Black Flourish Designer jewels onto some white pumpkins from Michaels and BAM - Halloween decorations DONE. Now maybe I can nap.

Yeah, right.

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?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Everything AND the kitchen sink!

So the challenges for Hope You Can Cling to are still going strong, and I'm having a blast working on them, but way more fun checking out the almost 500 and counting entries in the gallery! I'm just constantly inspired (and stamp buying ENABLED) by the creativity of the papercrafting universe! I've favorited so much stuff my thumb hurts!!

But in addition to that, I had the Austin Shoebox Swap, which was a BLAST, a class in Houston, Regionals in Ft. Worth, a craft fair next weekend and my own stamp class, so October is a little whirlwindy.

So first things first! I made the following card(s) for the Austin Shoebox Swap, for a Hope You Can Cling to challenge by Sara Henton and for a swap I was doing with Yvonne and Chriss - a color challenge that I gave them for our monthly stampy dinner. It's a much beloved combo of mine, and now that Cherry Cobbler is one of my fave colors, I wanted to put it with kraft and blue. I made two variations of this card - one with Chic Boutique and one with Artistic Etchings - just for a different mood with the two different styles of Eiffel Tower. The one on the left uses Basic Grey Whites background paper and the one on the right uses Very Vanilla. They were very simple but super fun. I saw a card somewhere with some dark silhouette images in the foreground that I used for my inspiration, but I can't find the card now. I think it was Michelle Zindorf. Which one of these do you like better?
Then, this weekend, I went to Houston with my beloved Dana for a class with Kitchen Sink Stamps. Holy cow. This was the best class I've been to in a long, long time. Dana said what the class felt like was that very first time you ever stamped - when your mind was just blown and you squealed a lot. And we did squeal a lot.
Notice how we are goofing off and everyone else is working. :)

Their stamps are amazing - they have a very unique photographic quality. You stamp them in multiple steps with different colors to get this amazing detail. They taught us these incredible tricks about combining colors, making shadows, etc. And Maria, the owner and artist, and her family and team, including Makiko Jones, were just the sweetest, most fun bunch of girls. We had a bunch of Splitcoast peeps in the class so the day was just like a fun stampy family reunion.

Maria designed Texas themed stamps JUST FOR OUR CLASS and that's what we got to use - how cool is that? We made this cowboy hat corner bookmark and boot card that I'm sending to one of you. :)

Aren't they amazingly realistic? What fun!!

I hope you are having some sort of crafty fun this beautiful weekend.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Rejection Therapy

A friend sent me a link to this fascinating site called Rejection Therapy.

It's based on a pretty simple and familiar idea, but it's very beautifully expressed here and has some fun little exercises, most of which you already experience every day.For example, every day on my walk, I say to HI to people I pass.
Some of them just astonishingly rudely never even look at me and walk right past. It floors me every single time. That is some serious rejection when someone is a foot from you.

When I moved to New York for college, I had this same feeling every day.

People who say hello to strangers in New York are considered mental defectives, or possibly hookers. But I didn't stop saying hello to people. I just carried my personal Texas with me, and if people didn't like it or thought I was insane, well so be it. Maybe that made them giggle - like, "hey - check out crazy HI lady with the funny accent!" A giggle is always a happy ending. :)

So today I bring you some rejection therapy. I came up with a fun little technique that I submitted to be considered for a demonstration at the regional in Ft. Worth and - BAM! Rejected! :(

BUT - it's cute as heck, and so I'm giving to all of you instead! That's therapy, right? So I'm gonna enter this in Shelli's Creative Challenge instead!!

Now what this technique does is give you new and different way to use your embossing folders. Have you ever just wanted a stamp that looked like your Vintage Wallpaper Embossing Folder? Maybe you didn't want the raised surface, just the pattern, like this...Maybe you wanted a stamp that looked just like our fun spiderweb embossing folder! I did.

So I'm gonna show you how to do this in a fun video tutorial.

In exchange for this tutorial today, I want you all to be sure and visit my friend Carolyn King, who is doing her AMAZING Heart to Heart card drive to benefit the caregivers who do the incredible job of caring for those suffering from Alzheimer's disease. You can send a card, see some gorgeous creations, read her inspiring story, and win more than $1000 in stamping goodies, just for doing a good deed!

So you ready?

Take a gander. (If you don't see a video player below, click here)

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