Friday, June 29, 2012

Today - a Bunch of Scrap

As many scraps as I have, you'd THINK I'd use more of them to make all those fun CAS scrap happy cards you see all over Pinterest.

But do I?

Only when someone tells me to.

Like Jeanne.

Today's Free For All Friday challenge is to use scraps, so by golly I did!

I used a scrap of Fan Fair DSP from the new catty and the shockingly lovely Stippled Blossoms set to make a quick and easy CAS card. I made it 6 x 6 to accommodate three of those pretty flowers, which are stamped with Tangerine Tango and Early Espresso. See how amazing the coverage is with the new firm foam pads on DSP? Remember how hard it used to be to stamp on DSP? No more, people - we are liberated! The greeting is from Friendly Phrases.
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Got a load of scrap? Come play along in the challenge. I'd love to see someone else's scrap for a change. :)


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

So, I Bought These Socks....

You know how the road to hell is paved with good intentions and all that?

Well, I bought these socks. 

Let me back up. I'm angry at all my socks. 

I walk about 100 miles per week. 

And for about 90 of those miles, my terrible ankle socks are slipping off my ankle and down underneath my heel in a big knot that makes me stabby. No matter what brand I've bought over the last few years, after a few washings, they all turn into the amazing disappearing sock. It's maddening.

The ones that don't slide go too high up on my ankle so that my weird tan lines are even weirder. What happened to good elastic/lycra/whatever that kept your sock on your foot? Probably the same thing that happened to cotton shoelaces that stayed tied and leaded gasoline. 

I ordered some new socks on Amazon last week - Nike socks - and I received them and they looked great. They were all bound together with that little plastic stick thingy, so I just broke that sucker and threw them all in the washer without looking at them. 

Then I tossed them in the dryer.

Then I realized my horrific mistake.

When I opened the dryer, I happily picked out Nike sock #1 with a pink swoosh. Then I reached for Nike sock #2.


It had a blue swoosh.


WHYYYYYY? Why not just make them all the same color so that if I had two socks on I was good to go? Why must you complicate my already complicated laundry/sock mismatched life with this wrinkle? Why do you hate me, sock people?

Socks should be two by two, no matter what.

Like on the ark. 
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DesignerLydia Fiedler
Paper: Whisper White, Fan Fair DSP
Ink: Memento
Touch Markersbg3 bg5 y36 br101 B182 bg178 R4 f124 b63 yr23 y34
AccessoriesBitty Banners Framelits, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter, Two Way Glue, Poppy Parade Ribbon

I made this card for both a VSN challenge and for the Touch Twin Color Challenge - I focused on the aqua, of course. 

I love this sweet new stamp and the banners and matching framelit. I had SO much fun coloring this and adding a teeny bit of glitter. 

So nice to play with things that match. That have a natural pair. Unlike my new socks. 

Oh. PS - I really like the socks. But if you see someone with a pink swoosh and a blue swoosh, please just politely look away. 


Friday, June 22, 2012

God's Special Work of Art

As I told a friend, this week has dragged me through the streets of time as an example to others who think they have mastered their to-do lists. It has been so busy I can't think straight.

But I did find the COOLEST feather on my walk on Tuesday. I find all sorts of feathers every day. I wish I could keep them all, but I always worry that I'll get some kind of crazy bird flu. I swear the one I found was from a hummingbird - it was iridescent green and so beautiful.  Also, it was very teeny.

They are such little works of art, feathers. Our neighbors when I was little had peacocks. They lived in a giant house down the road from our not giant house and their property was huge. And despite the fact that we were just all normal working class people in a regular neighborhood, they had peacocks wandering around.

To me, growing up in a world with horny toads, butterflies the size of your head, tarantulas the size of your head, giant colored and stripey beetles and crawdads wandering the streets, it didn't seem extraordinary that my neighbors had peacocks.

But it does now. I wish one of my current neighbors did. I'd probably sneak over and feed and pat them a LOT.

I played around with my new Fine Feathers set for a VSN challenge as a result of my inspiration. We had to go back in time through our gallery and recreate one of our older cards - shudder - so I picked this "I think I'll stamp every feather in the whole set on this card and then highlight it badly" number. Not sure what I was really thinking about back then.

Anyway, it was a really fun exercise, because you could see over time how your style came out of its shell and made itself known.

I always tell people not to take down their early cards. I think each one of them is part of where you are today, so they should be celebrated as part of your artistic development. Just don't look too long... :)
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Paper: Whisper White
                      Ink: Versamark, Orchid Opulence, Tempting Turquoise, Lucky Limeade, Pacific Point Blue
                   Accessories: Clear Embossing Powder, Aqua Painter, Heat Gun, Glitter, Spray adhesive
Techniques: Emboss Resist

I hope you have a crafty, peaceful weekend ahead. I feel a fit of organizing coming on.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Don't Strip Down at Kindergarten Graduation and Other Birthday Advice...

My blog has turned 5 years old this month.

It's a kindergartner!

I should put a little hat on it and do a graduation for it.

Instead, I'll tell you a story about my own kindergarten graduation, which was a complete disaster, and taught me that you should not put yourself in positions where you are in public in your underwear and little else.

Apparently, prior to graduation, we were given instructions to wear a dress on graduation day. Now who in their right mind gives instructions to five year olds? Especially important, you-might-end-up-in-your-undies-in-front-of-strangers type instructions? Well, apparently my school did. And they did not also relay these instructions to my parents, who were slightly older than five and have never, to my knowledge, appeared in their underwear in public.

I, on the other hand...

I wore pants. Because I liked pants. I still like pants. I would not have made it on Little House on the Prairie because I have two lower body attire modes - miniskirts and pants.

So I showed up on graduation day in pants.

However, it was at that time and place CRITICAL that a picture of graduating five year olds include NO GIRLS WEARING PANTS.

Upon discovering that I was about to wreck civilization with my attire, my teacher decides that rather than risk the reputation of the entire state of Texas with my clothed legs, that I should be forced to take my pants OFF and be photographed barelegged in a ridiculously short and ill fitting kindergarten graduation robe. Thank God she averted a crisis by parading me in front of a bunch of strangers wearing basically nothing - a half naked child being SO much less scandalous than a tiny, forgetful girl in pants.

Thanks a lot Mrs. Whoeveryouwere. I'm still scarred by your brilliant decision making skills.

Instead of making my blog strip down to its skivvies, I thought I'd celebrate by hosting a Virtual Stamp Weekend Challenge! My challenge was to be inspired by "Parts Unknown" (after being inspired by a photo in this post - I'm Thankful For) and try a technique you've never tried before.

I chose a technique I saw on Dawn Olchefske's blog where you cut and heat ribbon to make a curly, fluffy flower.

Check out the challenge and the video here - and come play along!

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Stamps: Loving Thoughts
Paper: Natural Composition Specialty Paper, Fan Fair DSP,
Ink: Early Espresso
Accessories: Rhinestones, Circles #2 die, Finishing Touches Edgelits, Chocolate Chip Satin Ribbon
Techniques: Heated Ribbon Flower

All I ask is that you please wear pants!

Thank you for being here for the last five years. It's really been a joy to exchange digital fluff with all of you and I wouldn't trade it for anything.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Don't Have Bloody Mary Mix? Make a Card!

I'm SO excited to have our Virtual Stamp Weekend kickoff tonight and even MORE excited that the first challenge is to be inspired by the band Journey. I LOVE Journey and my entire junior high - er, I mean elementary school - experience is recalled whenever I hear their songs.

So the hostess for this first challenge used Any Way You Want It for her inspiration and I had to use this too because you're not going to BELIEVE how I made my card. You are going to welcome this idea with Open Arms - Don't Stop Believing that! See how I did that? :)

Okay but seriously. So last night I made this AWESOME recipe for crockpot Buffalo chicken lettuce wraps and it called for celery. So after I was all done and cleaning up I noticed that the bottom of the celery bundle that I had whacked off looked JUST like a rose! This is the point where the other NORMALLY gives me the crazy eye, but he had to agree that it did indeed look like a rose. I didn't get the crazy eye until I said I was going to stamp with it.

So I hung on to the little end, which did just fine overnight, by the way, and when I saw this challenge I knew it was meant for my celery butt!!

I just took a Real Red Stampin' Spot and inked it up - it took the ink really well. And you can even see the little dots around the edges!
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The greeting is from Sweet Essentials.

Now that, my friends, is a happy accident. Here's the picture of the inked up celery hiney. I apologize for putting your butt on the internet, little celery!

Cool, eh? It looks so beautiful inked up.

Oh, and if you want that bomb-diggety recipe, it is here. I had to add nearly a teaspoon of salt to the dressing. Maybe half a teaspoon to the chicken as well. People leave salt out of recipes a lot these days. Not sure what that's about. But this is crazy delicious and easy and healthy, regardless of what Bloomberg says!

So come play along with us this weekend - who knows what will inspire you!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Ice Cream Kill Zone

It's summer.

What that means for us here in Austin is that each of us gets on Google Maps and finds out what stores are just inside the "ice cream kill zone." This kill zone is the difference between getting home with partially melted ice cream and getting home with a carton of overly sweetened milk. Getting home with frozen ice cream is not an option, silly rabbits.

It matters not what stores just shy of the kill zone boundary charge for things, sell or smell like. You're going to go to those stores or you are going to have fully cooked briskets, vegetables and more on your back seat in about 5 minutes.

Your driving patterns have to change to accommodate this shift. Were you a person who was otherwise inclined to take liberties with the speed limit - NO MORE! You cannot afford to get pulled over - that sort of delay creates its own kill zone.

Nope - you go lawfully and quickly to the nearest store, you get your items and the clock starts ticking. It's fight or flight time.

While I was sweating my badonk off on my summery walk last week I encountered the CUTEST dog!! His owner told me that he was a cross between a Maltese and a poodle. His hair was this beautiful mahogany color and he was SO teeny and floppy and sweet. I wanted to borrow him! And yes, by that I mean steal.

Then when I got my new Storybook friends stamp set I thought the little puppy looked JUST like my little buddy!

And yes, I squealed.

Then I colored him up for today's TTC19 challenge to feature anything with hair. My kind of challenge! And since these dogs actually have hair, not fur, I'm 100% technically accurate! :)

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Paper: Whisper White
InkDaffodil Delight, Pool Party, Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Touch Twin Markers: BR102, Y36, BR101, 0, Washcloth, punch, pencil erasers, 1 3/4" Circle Punch

Don't you LOVE him??

To create his fur texture, I colored him and then put Colorless blender on a washcloth and dabbed the colored image to make it look like the real thing:

ACK! How cute is he????

To make the spots in the background, I just used a pencil eraser and Daffodil Delight and Pool Party Ink.

Happiness IS a warm puppy. :)


Monday, June 11, 2012

Papillon... What?

Sometimes I can overthink things.

I know - it's huge news.

But I'm a word person and so I roll a lot of words and phrases around in my head and mentally kick the tires on them when I'm walking.

Last week I was designing today's project in my head, and was tossing around the stamp set name and I got all silly.

Papillon Potpourri.

I was thinking of a little dish of dried, scented butterflies every time I thought of the stamp set, and I can't shake it.

Yes, I know it also just means a mixture, but I'm having synesthesia now every time I see these little flutterbies. I swear I smell cinnamon.

I LOVE these stamps with all my heart. The fact that they have a matching punch makes them competing for the coveted "Blue Favorite" status for this catalog year. It's like Wonderful Wings had babies!

I couldn't wait to let my class ladies play with the set and punch, so this is what we made this weekend - SQUEE!
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They just make my heart sing! Maybe I'll punch out a bunch of them and spray them with perfume and keep them in a bowl on my desk. :)


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Let's Ride... (Or Not)

I'm feeling a bit smirky about doing something I've never pulled off before.

Every year, for the past 18 years, I have unwittingly become mired in the traffic horror that is the ROT Rally.

That stands for Republic of Texas. They left the GREAT off Republic of Texas, but I suppose the GROT rally maybe didn't convey the same amount of biker coolness. I will forgive them, mostly so they don't kill me or topple over in front of my car.

And, lest you misunderstand - I'm not anti-rally whatsover. This rally brings very well behaved, patriotic, respectful, if shiny, people to our fair city every year, and we are happy to have them. Or at least I am.

But it's almost like some sort of LOST inspired conspiracy for me. I don't go downtown very often and I NEVER go to 6th Street - A.K.A. the world's largest outdoor toilet - unless absolutely necessary.

But yet somehow, despite my aversion to that area of downtown, I have been unpleasantly surprised every year for 18 years by turning a corner after an innocent errand and finding myself smack in the middle of a SEA of loud, rumbly motorcycles, topped by sweaty, sunburned male and female bikers oozing out of an assortment of shockingly tight and small leather garments. I actually hadn't realized how many different kinds of leather clothing exist, having only been conditioned by Loverboy and Mick Jagger.

It's a surreal experience.

Last year, I almost ran out of gas idling in stopped traffic on 6th - so desperate to get out of town and see humans clad in something other than sweaty leather. Had I run out of gas, I'm quite certain I would have died on the spot at the thought of exiting my car and trying to make my way home. As it was it took me an hour and a half to travel less than a mile. And I think my ears are still ringing.

This has been one of my longest unlucky streaks, and each year I swear never to be surprised again, only to fail.

But this year I broke the curse. I set a reminder on my Iphone that pings me every morning and reminds me to stay close to the hood, and it's worked. My closest encounter was today, when two bikers going about 95 decided to play chase in between cars on Mopac. *Shudder*

But I will have made it through my first ROT rally since 1994 without sitting in a bike jam, and for that I am very grateful to my dear, departed friend, Steve Jobs. I do miss you, Steve.

The closest I'll get to a rally this weekend will be the sea of non-rumbly bikes I'll see on my walk tomorrow. A lot more pastoral and a bit more my speed :)

Stamps: Postage Due 

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I hope I can make it through tomorrow without forgetting not to go downtown!

I'm placing my class order tomorrow, so if you need anything, please let me know! This card was what we made in class today.

I'll just be here avoiding 6th street! :)


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Mystery of the Sliding Veil...

This morning, I had the EXTREME good fortune to be on YNN again doing a little live crafting with my favorite morning anchor - Bonnie Gonzalez. 

There's a hilarious moment during one segment when Bonnie's veil tries to run away. I wish you could see us getting the giggles afterwards!!

We had a blast. Big thanks to Ruthie Broughton for hosting us at her gorgeous store - Blue Bridal Boutique
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What a fun morning!!


Monday, June 4, 2012

Your Dirty Diaper Doesn't Match My Purse (And Other Feats of Mangineering)

I have struggled recently with "mangineering."

These are things engineered by men, but used by women.

We need more female engineers.

First, a complete affront to society greets me at every crosswalk in Austin. 

These torture devices, while seemingly appropriate to a Birkenstock wearing middle aged man hopped up on Red Bull, are like foot Gitmo to anyone in decent female footwear, like heels. The bumps dig through the thin sole of a woman's shoe like the IRS through a tax return. I curse the Y chromosome each time I am forced to walk over these. 

And then, there's the grocery cart. The woefully inadequate, man-brain spawned grocery cart.

What if you said to your nearest Birkenstock wearing male engineer - "Hey, Thaddeus - how about you give me your wallet, and I will put it down in a pile of baby poop while you shop at Game Stop for a new Nintendo Controller?"

What would Thaddeus say through his unkempt beard? Probably something not fit for a family blog such as this. 

However, Thaddeus is perfectly satisfied to design a grocery cart where a poopy baby is plopped down in the same space I'm supposed to put my purse while I shop. Thaddeus thinks - hey - ladies either have poopy babies or they have purses, so we need a box for them to store those two things in. God forbid that the destined-never-to-be-married Thaddeus think for just a hot second that perhaps those two things should NOT coexist and a simple purse hook under the handle might make the lady shopper happy and not twitchy over imagining the poop germs overtaking her purse. 

It might make her not want to hunt Thaddeus down and whip him senseless with her poopy purse. Just saying. 

I guess the cart theme inspired me though, because I did come up with this while I was cursing Thaddeus and his minions.
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Stamps: Summer Afternoon 
Ink: Basic Black, reinkers
Paper: Summer Smooches DSP, Watercolor Paper, Whisper white
Accessories: Black Polka Dotted Ribbon

This one is one of my faves from the new catalog.

It almost makes me forget my poopy purse.

What feet of mangineering would you undo if you could?

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