Monday, April 26, 2010

A Birthday Wish...

What is the perfect advice for a person about to have a birthday, I wonder....?

When you're as advanced in age as I am, what you know for certain (because you can't remember your phone number or where you put your keys) is that it all goes entirely too fast.

You realize you should have gone to Paris with your only $100 when you were 18 and weren't scared of anything and didn't have any bills.

You would have been an "early adopter" of things like Microsoft stock.

You would have worn a bathing suit more during those years you thought you looked too fat.

You would have invented YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Seriously - how hard was THAT?

This weekend, a girl I ADORE came for a visit with her daughter/clone, whom I also now adore. We had lunch, stomped around Art City Austin, had a margarita and went to Sugar Mama's for cupcakes.

And then, right when I was getting sad that she was getting ready to leave, we saw a fire truck parked in the parking lot of the office where I get my allergy shots.

We impulsively pulled in and asked the firemen if they would like some cupcakes. They seemed very happy to have been the recipients of a Random Act of Cupcake.

I think we were happier than they were just at the joy and surprise. Maybe RAC's will become a viral phenomenon. How cool would that be?

So maybe the best advice you could give someone who is to about to have a birthday is - enjoy the ride. And the second best? Make sure everyone else does too.

Stamps: Cats Pajamas Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Summer Sun
: Whisper White, Real Red, Basic Grey Ambrosia
Accessories: Copics, Nestabilities, Sponge Dauber, Pentel Silver Slicci Pen, Top Note Die, Big Shot, Crystal Effects

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Somebunneh Misses Somebunnehs

I don't know what happened here. I don't know if the bunneh was bad and got expelled from bunneh dance class somehow. I don't know if someone forgot to pick the bunneh up for dance class. I don't know if little bunneh was a surrealist and the other bunnehs, who are clearly impressionists, shunned little bunneh.

All I know is that somebunneh misses somebunnehs. Time for a reunion.
Stamps: Tutu Much (Cat's Pajamas) Ink: Basic Black Paper: Whisper White, Basic Black
Prismacolor Pencils, Corner Rounder Punch

I do know that when I saw these bunnehs, I pictured this painting in my head.And THAT is how a stamp becomes a card.

Welcome back, little bunneh.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Awash with... Birthdays!!

Happy Friday peeps!

I think you all know what April 22 is. Or if you don't, you sure should! It's my sister's birthday!

It's celebrated all around the world. Really!

I have a few stories about the old sis (and of course, I had to throw in OLD, since she's older than me).

First, she taught me to read. When I was 3. Yep, 3.

Since reading is so central to my enjoyment of life in general, you can imagine how grateful I am to have had a few years' head start on such a thing. I credit my English major, my ability to learn foreign languages, and my fondness for making up words to this sweet gift.

She kept me from biting my nails. Ever. One day, I wanted my nails painted. I think I had been biting them. She said she would paint my nails, but only if I would never bite them again. I so desperately wanted my nails painted that I agreed. I never had that habit. And I have nice nails as a result.

She introduced me to sangria. My mom reads this blog, so I shall not reveal HOW she did this - but who doesn't love sangria?? Come on. :)

She had a dog that ate an entire bag of dried squirrel corn off my back porch and then went shooting through our neighborhood at 110 miles per hour in an extremely entertaining incident.

She passed on the house that I now live in, which is why I live in it, and I love it.

She was no less than 50% responsible for an incident which involved a gallon of boiling peanut oil, my patio, and some of the most insane giggling our neighborhood has ever witnessed.

We shared a room when we were little. I remember being granted a remodel at some point when I was very young by our mother. She must have told us we could have whatever colors we wanted, because I remember a wee bit of a grimace when we said "pink and purple."

But that's what we got. Purple bedspreads and these crazy psychedelic purple and pink curtains that we loved so much. I can see them in my mind to this day.

So when I went to make a birthday card for my sis, I knew I needed to dredge up a little 70's action.
Stamps: Awash with Flowers, Petite Pansies Ink: Basic Black
: Prismacolor Pencils, white gel pen Paper: Sahara Sand

This is the new Awash with Flowers set from the upcoming summer mini. Everyone is being all civilized and making nice pastel-y samples with it. Me? I want you to hear Elton John and Wolfman Jack when you see this card.

Happy Birthday Cynt! :)

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Yada Yada Volcano

So this ash cloud.

First of all, great name. I've been muttering "ash cloud" at the people who climb on my back in line at the grocery store and enjoying it immensely. It's a very easily misunderstood phrase, and yet perfectly innocent. Heh heh.
Anyway, today I cracked the heck up when I heard a newscaster refer to the volcano - whose real name is Eyjafjallajokull - as "the Yada Yada volcano."

We were probably separated at birth.

Anyway, I made this card for the color challenge on Splitcoast this week. I like to do the challenges that are truly challenges for me and this one was - Going Grey, Apricot Appeal and Sage Shadow. I almost never use AA and SS.

PLUS - I got a new toy! This gorgeous cathedral Sizzix die. I LOVE IT. And cathedrals are grey, so that was a good jumping off point. My Marrakech paper had the other two challenge colors in it, so bam - we have a challenge card!! I put patterned paper behind the windows for stained glass, and I colored on the die cut itself with colored pencils and my grey marker to give it some dimension. Then teeny little rhinestones on top.

If I had a cathedral, not only would it have teeny rhinestones on top, but I'd call it the Yada Yada Cathedral. :)


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Sunday, April 18, 2010

I'm one of THEM now...

I never thought I'd see the day.

I used to go to stamp retreats with THEM. Some of THEM came to my classes.
I didn't understand THEIR strange ways.

Maybe you don't either. Yet. (Insert evil laugh here)

Who am I talking about?

THOSE people! The people that put PAINT and other crazy substances on their stamps!
My stamps were like surgical instruments in the old days. Unmarred, perfect, never used with any sticky things that might leave traces behind. I never even really liked craft ink because it was so messy.

And then, those fun little papier mache boxes broke my brain! I spray em with Smooch Spray, I dab em with paint - it's crazy. I don't even get scared when I do it! And if there's a little paint left on the wood block - I'm okay with it!

I'll post some more of the boxes after I unpack from the Lone Star Ladies show I was in this weekend. It was a fantastic show.

I just felt like I had to confess that I was one of THOSE people now. You deserve to know, dear readers.

Now, to answer the BURNING question everyone has about what in the world to do with all those retiring Stampin' Up! Colors...

How about we make cards with em? :) I know - crazy talk.

But here's one.
For the little sun, I punched a circle out of copy paper with my 1.75" punch and Dotto'd it to my card front. Then I sponged Summer Sun and Only Orange around it and removed the mask. I stamped the image from Asian Artistry in black and then stamped a second image for the bird. I colored him with Ballet Blue.

I added gold highlights to the bird and the bamboo with my favorite gold pen. I've had a billion gold pens and most are sort of watery and skippy. This thing is a dream. It stays opaque, which I love - it's like having a very skinny line of gold paint. It's the Pentel Slicci in gold. Mine is the .8mm. They come in all sorts of fun metallic colors. I got a few of them to try when I became a Penfessional! Really, I've always been a Penfessional. I LOVE pens. I have a squillion of them. If you've got a lead on a good pen - GIMME! But it's nice to be official and all. Grownup coloring rocks!

What are you peeps up to this lazy Sunday?

Ready to see some cute boxes and some fun with fabric and the Big Shot this week? Is there anybody out there that didn't get some of the Sale-a-Bration sets yet? If so, maybe I'll give some away for more trivia this week..

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How I Became A Crafty Secret Agent

So I'm on a mission.

I need those little pieces of hardware you can use for feet on some boxes I'm making. (See previous post.) Tim Holtz has some perfect ones. I didn't have time to order then online, so I've scoured Michael's, Hobby Lobby, Archivers, and I finally go to a small LSS that I'm pretty sure won't have them. But a girl's gotta try.

I look around the store, and finally go to the counter. I ask the girl if they carry any of the Tim hardware, and without even blinking, and WHILE maintaining a patter of meaningless conversation with me, she very stealthily writes a post it note and hands it to me, out of the line of sight of all the other workers and customers.

I've seen enough episodes of Chuck that I know when to just shut up and accept the secret note. So I do.

I tell her thank you, step outside and look at the note.

It says "Aaron Brothers."

I MARVEL at the commitment to general crafting this woman has! She was like some movie heroine in a WWII flick who knows she has a moral obligation to save the crafter, but she cannot give away our position to the Germans, or all will be lost!!

The Underground Craft Railroad is alive and well, people! And Aaron Brothers did have a spectacular collection of Idealogy stuff. Thank you, little resistance fighter. Thank you.
If I had a present to give her, I'd give it to her in this can.
Whaddaya think?

It was so easy - sheet music, cut with my punches and scalloped circle Big Shot die, sponged with Summer Sun for the flowers, and stamped on with Branch Out.

I added little self adhesive rhinestones to the flower. I cut the butterflies with my Bold Butterflies Die - once in sheet music and once in vellum, and added rhinestones down the middle.

I wrapped the handle with taffeta ribbon.

And, my people - we have a winner from my last challenge!

Miss Melody - also known as lacyquilter on Splitcoast - was the first to identify the service ribbon as the Global War on Terrorism Service Ribbon.

Congrats Melody!! Email me and I'll tell you your prize choices!!


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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Blogger in Distress!

Help! I'm tied to the railroad tracks!

Mmm , no, not really.

I just got all distressed out with Beate's tutorial this week. This is incredible. I really didn't believe it was going to be as easy as it looked, but it is sooo easy.
Start with a papier mache box.Cover your stamp with acrylic paint - the Ranger dabbers make this easy, but a foam brush and Delta or something similar would work.

Stamp it on the sides of the box. I used Polka Dot Punches so that you could see what fine detail you can get even with paint.

Paint the lid of the box too and sand the corners. Then, rub brown dye ink into the surface of the box and the sanded areas. When you have the color you like, take a damp cloth and remove the dye ink from the stamped image. You won't believe your eyes! I thought I had totally covered up my little heart, but I guess Celine was right - the heart does go on... :)

I'm so excited about this - I've made a bunch of them I will be selling at the Lone Star Ladies Show on April 17th - are you coming?

Now don't everyone run to the craft store at once.

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter! It's Drizzling Sharks!

Happy Easter everyone!! I love Easter and all its hopeful, colorful joy. I love that my irises have picked this year, and actually this day, after being moved from our old house 7 years ago, to put out flower buds. I think they wanted to see if we'd stay here.

I love bunnies.

I love Cadbury Mini Eggs.

And I love sometimes how my subtlety is so subtle I have to explain it. FAIL. For example, I stamped this little chocolate bunny on a part of a dictionary page that has "bunny" on it. Which of course now you can't see. Oh well. The EASTER BUNNY knows, so there. :)
Stamps: Stampin' Up! Chocolate Bunny, All Holidays
: Cool Caribbean, Whisper White, Dictionary Page
Ink: Distress Walnut Stain, Versamark
: Clear embossing powder, heat gun, Martha Stewart Self Adhesive Ribbon.

Now today I really wanted to walk. I got up. It was raining. I pouted. I waited. Then I just stomped off, finally.

It was so humid and awful and drizzly. Not springy and lovely at all. Unless you're spending spring in the jungle in Vietnam.

I was hoping to find Easter eggs on my walk for a little color.

However, it's so wet and nasty, that apparently it drizzled SHARKS.


I don't make the news. I just report it.

And I take no responsibility for you having "It's Raining Sharks", sung to the tune of "It's Raining Men" in your head right now.


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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Clean and Simple Saturday

A little clean and simple Saturday action today. Which reminds me, I really need to clean the old craft pile.

I recently did a little re-org in here, which involved some new Ikea bookcases that Cheshire Kitten tipped me off to.

I love them, and I got things where they go on them, but I haven't finished organizing the room yet, so I need to get after it.

So that it looks all clean and shiny, like this:
I debossed the lines with a ScorPal and my bone folder and then stuck teeny pearls at each intersection. The two stamps in the center are Butterfly Accents and Simply Thanks. That spotty look on the butterfly was a happy accident that I'm going to recreate.

I inked it up in Tempting Turquoise and then reached for my water mister because I wanted a watercolory look. But apparently at some point, I had put rubbing alcohol in there instead of water. What was cool is how it gave it sort of a polished stone look with less spreading of the ink than water does. So it's my new technique :).

What are you doing this lovely Easter weekend?

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Well, There are Creatures, and Then There Are...


The only way I can describe why I love the Doodle Factory so much is that there is a really wacky sadness in all the creatures. It reminds me of all the great stories of my childhood - with the occasional misfit monster who is sweet and lovable, but just wrong, and rejected by his little world.

Of course, those always have happy endings, thank goodness - they find an equally misfit monster love interest and usually ride off into the sunset with their talking donkey.

Whew. I feel better now, so I better introduce you to my little friends!! They are Irene's latest creations and they are the second set of creatures. The first set was the first Doodle Factory set I ever bought. They are SO fun to color. After I made this card, I got all the way to Photoshop before I realized it wasn't blue! How do you like my yellow and green misfits??
Stamps: Doodle Factory Creatures II Paper: Kraft, dictionary page Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Copics, Very Vanilla Satin Ribbon, dimensionals

They're not misfits, they're special :).

The next card is inspired by the last two episodes of LOST. OMG what is happening on that show??? Are they in hell, are they not in hell? Who's the bad guy? Who's the good guy? Where's Vincent? ARGH.

This little guy looks like he knows. Stamps: Doodle Factory Creatures II Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper: Kraft, Basic Grey DSP Accessories: Rhinestones, Sizzix ovals die, Copics

Are there any LOSTIES out there? Please say yes!

If you wanna meet all the new creatures, hop on over to Tracey's blog and maybe you can win the whole, wacky, slightly sad and totally snuggly set!!

Where has this week gone? Wait - where did March go?


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