Monday, May 31, 2010

America, I Gave my Best to You

If you don't see a video player, please click here.

Home of the free, because of the brave.

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Come On, You Know You Want to Try a Little POT!

HAHAHAH - I'm going to get all sorts of crazy people on my blog now. Welcome people with the munchies. I'm about to disappoint you! :)

I'm right in the middle of my Virtual Stamp Night challenges. The very first one I did was the Flower Pot Card challenge.

This was a great way to get my brain all sideways right off the bat because I'm such a single layer, non 3D kind of gal.

But like most things, once you try them, you have to admit to yourself that you're having fun. And fun I did have!

First of all - I got to play with my favorite new toy!!! (Stop yelling, I know they're all my favorites when I get them.) It's the new Flowers, 3D die from Sizzix. OMG I LOVE THIS DIE!!! You can zip out two 3D flowers in just a minute that are just like the ones Joanne created in her tutorial but without cutting them yourself. I'm in LOVE WITH THIS THING.
So what I did was I hand dyed some white cardstock with blue ink and then cut the flowers with the die. You just roll the die cuts around a skinny paintbrush or something similar and VOILA - pretty 3D flowers!!The rest of the flowers are from the Pretties Kit, and I just rubbed ink directly on them and then sprayed them with my alcohol bottle that is actually my glasses cleaner (my desk is messy, I grabbed what was close) and smooshed it around with a sponge. I used glue dots to adhere the pearls from the Pretties kit in the center of each flower.

Some of the flowers are actually attached to the card insert, which is here:
The flowers and greeting on the inside are from the Unity May Store Kit and the bow is May Arts silk ribbon.

So, are you still afraid to try a little pot? Come on, you know you wanna! :D

If so, the tutorial I used to make it is here.

Big plans for Memorial Day? I hope everyone is having a safe and happy weekend!

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Thursday, May 27, 2010


That's a fun word right? Zen + Entangled? How could THAT be bad?

I just learned the word for the first time here.

Basically, it takes doodling to a high art form. You can see professional examples here.

It's truly amazing, and highly addicting. It's practically free, unlike stamping :), because you just need pen, paper and time.

I loved this challenge because it really made me try something new!

I die cut the chick with my big shot, but the rest is just zentangling!!

Give it a try - I promise you'll be hooked!

Are any of you participating in Virtual Stamp Night this weekend? You should! It starts at 6 PM Eastern tomorrow and is a weekend of challenges, mojo renovation and cool new ideas for your holiday weekend!

Whee! See you over there.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Have a Little Faith

That's what John Locke would say, anyway.

If he were still on my TV on Tuesdays. Which he's not. Which depresses me. *sigh*

But you know what doesn't depress me? The color combo challenge on Splitcoast today. I LOVE this color combo. I loved how people used it for Christmas cards because the green is so much more beautiful than Christmas green. Know why? Cuz it's got more BLUE. :)

I freaked when I saw the "dessert option" in the challenge to use notebook paper because I had my gorgeous Unity May Store Kit sitting on my desk which has this fantastic ruled paper image in it. Put your hands together, people!

Stamps: Unity May Store Kit Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Bermuda Bay Paper: Bermuda Bay, Kraft, Real Red DSP
Accessories: Big Shot, Clear Circle Bigz die, Bermuda Bay Ribbon, Strong Red Copic Marker,
White Gel Pen, Slot Punch, Corner Rounder

I guess you get imprinted by some images and then you love them all your life. Since I grew up in the 70's, I was imprinted by those great spotted mushroom images that were all over the stylish fabrics, appliqued onto our jeans, doodled on our notebooks. Every time I see one, I have to have it. And I have to color it red.

What are your "must have" images that you can't resist? Not that stampers can resist any image, really...

But do share!

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Goodbye, Smokemonster. I Loved You.

In order to properly ready for yourself for the contents of this post, please click here before proceeding.

Please note that I'm in a ball on the floor with my waterproof mascara on waiting for the beginning of the end in four hours.

Goodbye Sawyer, Vincent, Dharma Initiative. Goodbye Hurley, Ben, Martin Keamy.

Goodbye smokemonster, scary clicking sounds, references to all my favorite books, beautiful ocean.

Goodbye to the surprised screams that used to punctuate my Tuesday evenings.

Goodbye spreadsheet with timelines and connections.

I'll miss you so much. I'm not sure I can go on. Now, I will be LOST.

Here's my little paper tribute to the hatch. OH GOD I WILL EVEN MISS THE HATCH.
Yesterday's inspiration challenge on the site was based on Amy Atlas' amazing site. Since I'm a complementary color gal, I chose this post for my Lostie farewell.

Stamps: Going Retro (Unity) Paper: Whisper White, Kraft Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Corner Chomper, Copics (BG05, BG0000 YR68, YR61), Copic Multiliner, Crystal Effects

To draw the frame, I corner rounded a piece of cardstock with my Corner Chomper on the 1/2" side and used that to trace after I stamped the lamps. I covered the glass part of the lamp with Crystal Effects.

None of which eases the pain of never hearing Desmond say "See you in another life, brothah" again. :(

For those of you who don't watch LOST, here it is summarized by cats.

If you don't see a video player, please click here.

If you want to get in touch with me this evening, it's not gonna happen. After that, I will be inconsolable for days. Maybe I'll see ya at Christmas. *sigh*

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Murder in The Year of the Millipede

You know how I feel about animals. You know that I go out of my way not to squish pillbugs on my walks. I try to look the other way on spiders in the house even. I'm pretty live and let live as far as the animal kingdom goes.

However, a girl can only take so much.

It's a harsh environment, Texas. We have scorpions and brown recluse spiders. We have tornadoes and cacti. I see rattlesnakes on my walk. Things are trying to kill us constantly, so part of the Texas experience involves sturdy snake proof footwear, hats and sometimes - we gotta kill back.

Each year we get invaded by a different sort of horrid creature. The first year we lived in this house there was a 10 year cycle of this disgusting moth, whose nasty little spawn climbed up the trees and built dangly, sticky webs all over all of our trees. Wormpocalypse made our neighborhood look like a horror movie - dangling heinous webs with wiggly worms at the end of each thread. I'm scarred.

One year, it was these crazy ants that acted like they were on meth.

There's been a lot of surprised shrieking these last few weeks. The cats pretend they can't see them.
So if I jump when you say my name, now you know why. I'm a bit on edge with all these extra legs around.

WHAT WAS THAT??? Oh. It's a piece of ribbon. Everything is ok.

Speaking of ribbon.. today's Free for All Friday challenge was to use button and ribbons in a creative way.
I thought I could maybe count silver cord as ribbon, right?
So I covered some pink bargain buttons that just happened to be on my desk with a bunch of glue dots. Then I looped the cord around to make petals, stuck more glue dots on and attached them to some stamped stems from Awash with Flowers. I colored the stems with my pale pink Copic Marker. The greeting is from Unity's Store Kit for May, which I'm in love with. The "grass" is a strip of Basic Grey Indian Summer that I fringed and cut a little curve into.

These cute little flowers are probably the only ones in Texas that don't have a millipede on them right now, so they're pretty much my favorites. :)

Happy Friday!

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wax On, Wax Off..

Okay - now that you've had a day to let it sink in, let's talk about how we get all up in this wax thing.

First - you need a couple things. Contrary to your (my) hoarding instincts, you may already have some of these things, and if not - pop out to Walgreens. Here's a list:

  • Wax - there are sites that sell Encaustic wax specifically - many sites. Google them and look for good pricing and shipping. These wax blocks are rectangular, frequently from Encaustic Art in the Netherlands. However, if you want to just see if you like this technique, just get yourself some crayons and give it a whirl.
  • Iron - the only feature of the iron you need to worry about is the surface. It has to be completely smooth, with no steam holes. Many travel irons are like this, and all craft irons are. The size and shape don't matter, although there are encaustic irons with special tips for certain looks - but don't start there. Start simple. I had a craft iron from Global Sugar Art already.
  • Glossy paper - this can be glossy cardstock, a magazine page - anything with a slick, coated surface.
  • Stampin' Up! grid paper or another large stack of paper to protect your work surface and to clean your iron with.
Now here's where it goes all crazy easy.

Turn on the iron. Low will work on many irons - on mine, I had to set it to Acrylic. You want it warm enough that when you touch a crayon or wax block to it, it liquifies the wax and you can create little puddles of color.

Start with two colors - a light color towards the top of the iron and a darker color below. Coat the iron, and then just move it across your cardstock from left to right. After you've done this - keep going! Without re-waxing the iron, move your iron around on the wax you already put down to make patterns. Re-wax your iron, even with different colors, and go back over what you've done - it's completely forgiving!

One tip - cut your cardstock before using this technique. The wax will get all over your die cut machine or paper trimmer if you cut it afterwards.

To clean the iron, just leave it on, and iron on your paper stack to remove the wax before moving to another color.

I'll eat a bug if you don't like this technique!!!

If you want to see a video of Birgit creating her wonderful images, click here for her tutorial.

In the meantime, here's my second card with this fun waxy goodness.

I cut the circle out of glossy with my Nestabilities™ and then did the Encaustic background. Then I stamped the image from Elements of Style on top with Basic Black craft ink. Now that will never dry on wax, so I blotted it. You could use Staz On for a quick drying result.

Then I stamped the same image on white cardstock, cut out some flowers and attached them with Glue Dots®.

I glittered the flowers with Dazzling Diamonds Glitter.
Then I finished it with a tag, some ribbon and a greeting from Carte Postale.

Are you hooked yet?

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I'm Not an Addict, It's Cool....

No, really.

I can step away from this new technique and not think about it. Not get distracted when I'm supposed to be working. I can. I have it under control.

Encaustic wax, that is. We have a tutorial coming out in the Splitcoast Newsletter today so soon you will all be hooked too, my little stampy zombies. Mwaaahhaaaaaa!
I first saw this technique in the fine art galleries in Santa Fe. My sister and I almost fainted when we saw the beautiful landscapes artists made. We even went to an art supply store and found some insanely expensive supplies for it, and I promptly put it out of my mind.

But then this tutorial came up and Beate talked me into trying it. And no one will ever see either of us again.
First of all, it's not as expensive as it was in Santa Fe. Second, it's really easy and addicting. And finally - it's BEAUTIFUL!!

I will post another sample later today and a detailed tutorial. But how about those mountains, eh?

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?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

Well, it's raining again. It's been raining for years. Seriously - years and years with no end to the raining. I would like to call for a moratorium on grey and all forms of weather that include water. I'm gonna need some sunshine, and some blue skies and some dry, hot days. NOW.

I suppose I could take it if it were raining PEARLS though.I cut the little clouds with my cloud dies from My Favorite Things. The flowers are MFT too and I colored them with Copics. The layers are Baja Breeze and Whisper White.

I'm on a bit of a corner rounding binge - it's probably the rain!

And, on another note - have you seen this video yet? This kind of passion is so much more than his musical gift. You can't learn that. It's a gift.

If you can't see the video above, click here.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Goodbye Callie

My friend Sue's Callie, sister of Toonces, is gone. She was a beautiful kitty, and her feeder is a wonderful human being who probably really needs a hug.

There's not one animal that has ever come into my life that hasn't left a huge hole when they departed. And as I know Sue to be someone who feels the same way, my heart just breaks for her. There are few things harder. I'm so sorry, Sue. Good thing you have that little smartass Toonces to keep you company.

I'd hug you if you were here.

Okay, quit looking, because I'm sending you this card. Seriously. Go back to Twitter.

Is she gone?

Here's what I'm sending her.

Stamps: Mark's Finest Papers Ink: Pirouette Pink, Tangerine Tango
Paper: Always Artichoke (Stampin' Up!) Basic Grey Max & Whiskers Ink: Basic Black
Accessories: White Gel Pen, Corner Rounder, Nestabilities, Ranger Blending Tool,

If you have some furry creatures, give em a squeeze. It goes fast.

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Don't Run Over Me

And I won't make scary faces at you.

Here's what happened.

I set out on this morning's 9 mile walk. We got a cold front, so it was all windy and dramatic and cool. This was nice because the bikers don't so much like windy and cold so I could stomp in the bike lane unmolested. Much easier on the old knees than the sidewalk.

Anyway, a WIDE assortment of texting/drunk/applying-mascara/possibly-English-or otherwise-unfamiliar-with-our-driving-customs drivers attempted to kill me this morning by swerving around in and out of the bike lane. This is why I walk facing traffic. Sometimes I actually carry small rocks and things I can throw at cars whose drivers are occupied playing Words with Friends instead of watching the road.

So in the home stretch, a little less than a mile from the house, your understandably tired author sees an SUV make a quick little dart towards her.

Having had enough for the day, I quickly made this crazy combination gang sign/scary face/less than ladylike gesture.

Only to discover it was my friend Sam.

HA!!! Hilarious emails ensued. He said he actually died and came back to life from the scary look.

That'll show him. :)

I made this card for today's Inspiration Challenge. The inspiration site is soooo beautiful! I chose this coffee cup ensemble for my inspiration.

Stamps: Fabulous Flowers, Woodgrain, Spring Solitude Ink: Pacific Point, Basic Black
Paper: Whisper White Accessories: Black marker, ribbon (All Supplies Stampin' Up!)

What are you using for inspiration today?

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Yeah, I Was Saving it for Mother's Day!

Well.... Maybe not.

See, I got this beautiful set - Elements of Style - at Leadership this year. In case you were wondering, Leadership is in JANUARY. I had all these great intentions of going home and making things with it right away because it's sooo beautiful, but did I? Or did someone change the definition of "right away" to "five months later"? Because if someone did, I'm very timely!

Anyway, today's Free For all Friday challenge on Splitcoast is to get out your gel pens. Purrrfect since I basically sleep with my white gel pen under my pillow, I love it so much.
So I whipped up this little ditty!
I stamped the floral image onto some paper I just got yesterday - it's DCWV At Home - and it's all these cool glittery blue patterns. I was at Michael's for paint, but then this paper jumped out in front of me and yelled I'M 60% OFF AND I'M BLUE and I temporarily forgot my mission and just got it. I cut it with my Top Note die and then colored the image with my white gel pen.

The card base is Not Quite Navy, embossed, and the ribbon is Basic Grey satin.

I used Nestabilities for the oval, and I used the greeting from the set, but I colored the center part with my marker and stamped just the sentiment.
After I got done I thought my mom would love this card - so it will be arriving in a mailbox near her soon!

So Happy Mother's Day to my mom, and to all the moms who read my blog! If you have any great Mother's Day stories to share, feel free!

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cloud-die Days...

Ever since Maddie started predicting earthquakes with her whiskers, I've been understandably nervous about natural disasters. The pictures of those freak waves in France this week make me want to hide under the bed. But that would mean getting rid of the dustbunnies. I decided I'm just not scared enough to dust.

Anyway, in case you're worried if clouds really can die, I don't think they can. :) BUT - clouds can be DIES! And I got to PLAY WITH SOME! Whee!! I love clouds!

These little steel cloud dies are the newest release from My Favorite Things - and can I tell you my favorite thing? They are made in America - yay for jobs!

Second favorite thing? They're insanely cute. The first project I made with them was with the Fancy Favor die and it's so sweet! Who should I give this to?
What I did was ran the cloud die through my Big Shot and then used the three little clouds as a sponging template. I dotto'd them down onto my white Fancy Favor bag, and then sponged Soft Sky and Cool Caribbean all around them. There are three different sizes of clouds so it made for a cute sky, yes? And I HAD to have a bunneh.Even a sun-lover like me loves a fluffy little cloud. I have a squillion more projects with these I'll share soon!

What are you kittens up to?

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

It's an Adventure Being a Girl...

Well, pollenpocalypse has ended. At least the phase where the entire world is yellow and pounds of gross fluff pile up on my car every day. During pollenpocalypse, I refused to wash my car. Each day, I basically had to dig my car out from this disgusting pile of oak pollen and drive around Austin among the other victims - the place looked like a taxi convention for a month! And since I have to park under the odious tree, washing it would have been an exercise in futility.

So yesterday, I felt it was time. However, I had a challenge.I have weak hands, as do most girls. They are made for stamping. And so each time I have to go to the car wash and grip that insanely difficult spray gun for an hour, I regret it for days. It makes my hands shake and hurt. Those things are made for men, not delicate little stampers like me. Why hasn't the car wash mafia invented a trigger that clicks into place like a gas pump? There are two possibilities: they aren't smart enough, or they don't care about our paws.

Well I care about my paws. So, cranky from the oak pollen, I went to the carwash prepared. With zip ties. You can't keep a good woman down.

Before I turned the water on, I hog tied that little sucker into the on position. Mmm hmm. BOOYA. Washing the car was easy and pain free.Which allowed me to stamp today. :)

Now the motto of my university was Meliora - meaning better things.My zip ties ameliorated the car wash.

Whoever wants a size A Stampin' Up! acrylic block, leave me a comment telling me a story about you ameliorating something! Creativity deserves creative tools!

Now, I saw this FABULOUS tutorial on Splitcoast a few weeks ago and I have been experimenting with it since.

The creator of the tutorial was nice enough to include metric and American measurements for us. It makes an adorable 3 x 3 card, and I made some cute little notes. Thank you Sally!

Then I got lazy. I didn't want to measure anymore. So I came up with the lazy person's method - grid paper!

I cut a piece of grid paper to 5.5" x 4.25" and Dotto'd it to the inside of my card. Then I just used the grid to evenly space my 1" and 1/2" punched holes.
Bonus - you can use the first grid paper you punch as a template. So here is what I made - a five minute, clean and simple punched card! Give it a shot!

Stamps: Cheep Talk Ink: Basic Black, Summer Sun Paper: Whisper White, Tempting Turquoise
Accessories: 1/2" circle punch, 1" circle punch, black marker, grid paper
(All supplies Stampin' Up!)

So - tell me a story! Win a prize!


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