Monday, May 30, 2011

Remembering the Coming Back, and not Crying About the Leaving..

That's a line from a Lyle Lovett song, and it was in my head all day yesterday.

I spent the day in a beautiful place, with the nicest people you'd ever want to meet, honoring the bravest and most generous people on earth for Memorial Day.

All generosity must be measured against the sacrifice of the uniformed. I know of no human sacrifice that comes close, and so we all reflect on that this weekend.

We were here...
With patriotic little ones.

Larger than life ones.
The bright future.

The glorious past.
It was quite something to see all these things together - the ones who fought our battles with the ones who fight our battles with the ones who will fight our battles.
It was almost as if you could see the torch passing in real time.
There were bowed heads, and there were just bows.
There were flowers, in a Texas star.
A rally around the flag.

A pause for silence.
A salute.
A fierce blue line.
They read the names of each man and woman who had served in each war from the Civil War forward from this little community. I was surprised to hear so many names three times for men who served in three consecutive wars. There were many, many names from the same families who gave sons and daughters again and again. And of course there were the names of cousins and uncles and uncles' cousins and cousins' uncles, all of which made the Civil War seem not nearly as long ago as it seemed on any other day. None of these people are famous, and yet there are no people on earth more essential to the quality of our every day lives. Nice to have that in perspective whenever you can.

After the ceremony, we did what families and congregations do best. We headed inside to eat.

Now this place is quite famous for the meals prepared at the church. The church ladies in Westphalia, TX are no ordinary church ladies. They have a divine gift, and they are not afraid to use it. As we waited in line for the main event, we were taunted by their baking skills.
 This is the sort of emotion these cakes produce.

However, for our fortitude in resisting these treasures in line, we were rewarded with the best, most legendary fried chicken on EARTH. Yes, on earth. I may or may not know one of the special elements of this famous chicken, but I will go to my grave with that secret unless I'm given special dispensation by the Pope to reveal it. Let's just say, it's Pope-worthy chicken.

After lunch, we popped across the street to the Old Store. Yes, it's called the Old Store.
Then, we got to pick out some home grown tomatoes. I think you might be jealous now.
With all this going on, Nemo really needed a place to hide.
He's such a sweetie, and he's the buddy of our beloved veteran and checkers champion, Rupert Boeselt. Apparently, to celebrate Memorial Day, he jumped out the window yesterday, right through the screen and all. Veterans' dogs are just as fierce as their owners.

Stamps: Land of the Free Ink: Basic Black, Cool Caribbean, Poppy Parade Paper: Whisper White


Sunday, May 29, 2011


You know how we all buy a zillion stamps and papers and ribbons and stuff we HAVE to have RIGHT THIS SECOND because they're SO CUTE? And then you know how these sit on a shelf, virginal and forgotten, living in the shadow of other crafty items, which are perhaps no more deserving, but maybe closer to your work surface...

Well I have to say, challenges are what make me go back and give some love to the still new stamps I've never used, and today's card is no exception. I squealed when I saw the Tuesday Trigger this week because I knew I had just such an untouched stamp crying out for this challenge. Here's the inspiration image:

And here's my card...
Stamps: Northern Hearts (Retired), Bird on a Branch (Retired) Ink: Basic Black 
Paper: Whisper White, Poppy Parade, Pumpkin Pie 
Accessories: Poppy Parade and Pumpkin Pie Markers, Label Punch, Oval Punch, Embossing Folder

Is that stamp a PERFECT match or what???

SEE - there IS a reason that we MUST hoard these pretty things. Game, set, match, stampers!! :)

Hope you're having a fun lazy Sunday.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friends with Pears Friday


I thought of that one at 1 AM, when my BAD CAT started crying for his mom. The crying ended at about 3:30. Is there a cure for a kitten that searches all his life (except during the day when I don't need to sleep) for his mom that he was snatched from at three weeks old? He makes the little trilling kitten sound. It's very sad, but also exhausting. Suggestions welcome.

Anyway, it gives me a lot of creative time, so since I had a card partially done for Friends with Flair Friday, I renamed it Friends with Pears Friday since I was using this pear image :)

Yeah, it made more sense at 1, but whatever. :)
I SMOOCHED my image with Gold Glow Smooch Spritz after I was done painting it. I painted it with Golden Fluid Acrylics - I just mixed some random colors until I got what I wanted. The ribbon was a gift from my friend America. The pear image is Unity, and the paper is Crumb Cake, Newsprint and Old Olive. I sponged the edges with Soft Suede.

It really was a very fast card - it just took me two days to make it :).
Happy Friday! I hope you have pears, my friends!! :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Putting the Right People In the Right Job

You know I have some issues with the grocery store. I really try to minimize the effects by going at very odd times, like 5:30 AM or 1:17 PM so that I don't have people spooning me in the checkout line, I don't have to mace the yogurt stocker who never lets me get near the yogurt, etc. You know the drill.

But in order to avoid the Memorial Day apocalyptic binge shopping rush, I shopped before dawn today and had an epiphany. This epiphany came after I told the bagger to please make the bags weigh less than 4 metric tons apiece. He made them weigh 3.9 metric tons apiece, complying with my wishes and making me want to pepper spray him.

However, I realized that he was not the problem. He was a strapping young boy with natural upper body strength. I, on the other hand, am a vertically challenged girl. It's not his fault he's the wrong person for that job.

Stores should hire elderly, short, somewhat grumpy grandmothers as sackers.

Your bags would never weigh more than what a grumpy grammy could heft. And odds are she wouldn't put your peaches and your soup in the same bag, as I do believe that grannies value an intact peach much more than some oversized emo boy does.

Just a thought.

Here's a little ditty I did for VSN. I took a class at Jerry's Artarama on salted watercolor and I'm addicted to this technique. I might do a video. That's what I did for the background on watercolor paper with reinkers and salt. I used really heavy watercolor paper so it wouldn't curl. Then I stamped the Old World Map (retired) image on it in black. I added all the piratey goodness from Ahoy Matey, and the greeting is from Just Believe, punched with the Curly Label Punch. The background is French Script (retired). The treasure chest is stamped on this beautiful, thin cherry wood veneer tag I picked up in San Antonio. I just accented it with a gold gel pen.
Maybe after we get the old ladies bagging our groceries, we can move on to having UPS guys run the postal service...

A girl can dream!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

People, Places and Things are all Great. Study Them.

It's the end of a long, fun-filled crafty weekend. Saturday I had my monthly stamp class, and then headed to lunch and the Renegade Craft Fair with Dana, Libby, Lisa, Kim and Christy. I LOVE this craft fair - it's my favorite because it's so unique. Even the dogs are unique.

Yes, his tongue hangs out all the time. And according to his owner, he's a biter. He's clearly not a dog, but an Ewok.

One of the very first booths we went to had us laughing so hard that my sides still hurt. It was a husband and wife team called the Mincing Mockingbird and the Frantic Meerkat. The husband, Matt Adrian, does these incredible bird paintings and then his wife puts these hilarious captions on them. Like this...

Aahahaha - that cracks me up.

Then we saw this bacon and egg scarf by Twinkie Chan.
Right near the front, I spotted these gorgeous painted belts by Love Jules Leather.

There were some super fun pre-zombied windows you could buy from FreshstART windows..

And of course, there was moustache soap from my sweet friend at Nepenthe's Bathtime.
Some of my other favorites were:

And then, there are my friends at Public School. I love everything these guys do. When there were barely even Ipads at the last Renegade, they had the credit card payment thing set up on an Ipad in their booth. Their work is graphic, and sweet and innocent and fun. I love their posters. They have a practical optimism about them.

I saw this last one at the end of the day, and it kind of summed up the whole afternoon...

So true. A day filled with great people, places and things ended perfectly.

I was too tired to stamp more VSN challenges when I got home, so I did this one this morning with some goodies from the show. Just little stickers that I added bling to for the CAS-ual Friday's bling challenge and the VSN bling challenge. I framed my little Eiffel Tower sticker with rhinestones and let the stickers and the ribbon do the rest.
Speaking of rest... :) Have a good night.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Sounds Food. I Live You.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may know that Iphone autocorrect is a frequent topic of my tweets.

I used a Blackberry for a long time before I got the Iphone, and it's far superior in several ways. For one thing, it's actually a phone, meaning it can be used to make and receive calls, which the Iphone cannot. If a bird flies over your head at 1,000 feet in the middle of a prairie filled with AT&T cell towers, your Iphone will drop the call. Forget about walking into a building. That's how it is in Austin, anyway.  My dad always says phone service improved until about 1976, and then degraded rapidly to it's current Alexander Graham Bell level of quality and I do believe he's right. Don't tell him I said that. It will go to his head.

But in addition to making calls, the Blackberry allowed you to edit the custom dictionary, so that if you frequently say things like "SQUEEEEEEEE" it doesn't autocorrect them to a word that would embarass your mother and get you excommunicated as soon as you hit send.

However, you can't buy coffee at Starbucks with a Blackberry, play Angry Birds or make little paintings out of your photos, and herein lies the tradeoff. I still have both phones, by the way.

But sometimes I imagine what the world sounded like to Steve Jobs when he was growing up that made him create the auto correct dictionary the Iphone uses. Did his parents have some sort of neurological tic that made them talk like this?

Mom: "Hi Honeybadger. Want to meet fir drunks later?"
Dad: "Is Steve chiming too?"
Mom: "No - he told me to go to he'll. He's working on a dictionary. Whatever that means."
Dad: "Okay - sounds food. See you thereby. I live you."
Mom: "I live you too."

His actual last name must be Seuss.

Anyway - this weekend is PACKED with craftiness!! First, it's the Pirate Party Virtual Stamp Night Weekend! That means a full weekend of stamping challenges so I'll have lots to share over the next few weeks. I love the pirate theme. :) Come on over and play!

The first challenge was made for me! It's Beate's Blue Waters challenge, and it was to use aqua, light green and kraft together. I watercolored the Fabulous Florets image with Cool Caribbean and Kiwi Kiss. The card base is Crumb Cake with French Script (retired) in Crumb Cake and a piece of lace that my sweet, sweet friend America sent me. The greeting is from Best Yet (retired).

I just can't get enough of that floral image. It's so fun to color!

In the midst of all the VSN fun, this weekend is the Renegade Craft Fair. I'm SO excited. This is the best, most offbeat of all the many craft shows I go to. Very quirky and fun. Best of ALL, I get to spend my time there with Libby, Dana, Lisa and Kim!! Squeee!!!

Add to that, my Saturday morning stamping class, and yours truly is going to be one tired little puppy come Sunday night!

What's up with you, little buttercups?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

They Say It's Your Birthday....

My sweet, sweet coworker, Miss Lori Craig - or as I know her, Lori Lou Whoo - has a BIRTHDAY today!! Now a lady never reveals the precise numerical components of a friend's birthaversary, but let me just say she's a little spring chicken!!

A sweet, funny, graceful and talented little chicken.

Since Lori shares my virtual cubicle with me every day, but really is a few states from the Great Republic she loves, we can't get together in real life for coffee, so we have to have have coffee via the interwebz until we get together at CHA.

This is what we look like when we are having our virtual coffee.
Stamps: SU Circle of Friendship, Stamping Bella You Perk Me Up Ink: Memento Paper: Stampin' Up! 
Accessories: White Gel Pen, Copics, Border Punch, Ribbon, Nestabilities, Punches

Since we are virtual, we have some stick figure qualities, but see her pretty blonde hair and my blue outfit? That's how you know it's really us.

After I made her this portrait of us for her birthday card, I took a picture before I glittered the heart on the cup. But when she gets it it will be sparkly and bright, just like her.

Happy Birthday Lori Lou Whoo!!! I hope it's a great day!! xxxoooooo

Stop by Lori's purty blog if you get a chance and tell her happy birthday too - you'll love what you see there.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Drying Aversion Derangement Syndrome (D.A.D.S.)

I have a terrible illness. Debilitating illness, actually.

It's called Drying Aversion Derangement Syndrome, or DADS. I have an acute form, that should really be studied for the benefit of future generations of crafters.

I CANNOT resist messing with things before they're dry. I can't. It's a compulsion.

My sworn enemies are glazes and finishes. They are TOO SLOW. I HAVE TO TOUCH THEM and completely destroy whatever I'm working on.

I wish someone would help me.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about. You know last week's paper button? Well that thing is as good as a real button, because I kept messing with it before it was dry, so I had to add 40 squillion layers of Crystal Effects.

I made another paper button for yesterdays Try a New Technique challenge, in combination with this week's CAS-ual Friday challenge, and, because of my disorder, could not resist putting the twine in it before it was dry. That resulted in a very ghetto salvage operation, involving suspending the twine from the wet button using a small teapot shaped business card holder and my DVR. You think I'm kidding?

Yep. Then I had to walk away and play Angry Birds and hope that I'd saved it. Whew. Help me. Please.

Accessories: Twine, MFT Dizzy Border Die, Crop-a-Dile, 1 3/8" Circle Punch, 1" Circle Punch, Crystal Effects, DVR, Small teapot :)
Thank you.

No really, thank you.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mayan Calendar Predicts Blogger Outage!!

Not really. That's just stupid.

But it would be funny if it did. Or if we could find it in Nostradamus' writings. Actually, I'm pretty sure someone will.

Anyway, I'm super grateful for all the wonderful things that the people at Blogger do for me, absolutely free of charge, and so I'm not going to yell about a little downtime. After all, a single website is very difficult to keep running smoothly, so I can't even imagine what a squillion websites take in terms of support and expertise.

So thanks for my blog, Blogger peeps!

I made a card for the Moxie Fab Tuesday Trigger - on time and under budget, believe it or not!!

This was our trigger image, called "Skirting the Issue":

I was inspired by the earthy colors and stripes to do this...
Stamps: Simple Delights (SU! Retired) LaBlanche Paper: Whisper White Ink: Basic Black, Crumb Cake, Cameo Coral (Retired), Wild Wasabi 
Accessories: Blender Pen, Glue, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter, Tim Holtz Embossing Folder

I just used the inspiration colors to color the image, and represented the stripes with that sunburst. 

Here's a closeup of my glittery dragonflies...

We should delight in simple things. Like Blogger working seamlessly 99.99999% of the time. :)

Happy weekend!

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