Friday, September 28, 2012

Aaaahhhh Vacation...

Well I just wrapped up a week of vacation in my beloved Santa Fe - the most beautiful place on earth.

Normally we go at Thanksgiving but this year we thought we'd leave the snow to some other tourists and try a little fall and OH MY CAT was it amazing.

Perfect weather, perfect food, perfect stomping around weather, perfect everything. As always.

I went to the world's largest art supply store. It was like heaven! It was the size of a large Best Buy and had everything under the sun.

I bought paper that was made from stone. Tear and water-resistant, you can both write on it without a pencil - just a piece of metal if you want - and get GORGEOUS effects by painting on it with any medium. It stamps and watercolors like a dream, and if you join us for Hope You Can Cling To, you will see what I did with it for Beate's challenge on the first day. I'm in love.

I also got some Pan Pastels and about a billion other things. Good thing we drove. Just sayin'.

I geocached while I was there too - but I have to say - I learned a lot. It's very different from Austin because all the hides near me were urban hides, and in some ways, much harder. More muggles, more items I couldn't find.

My very favorite one here was a puzzle cache - It Started in Ethiopia. It took you to seven different coffee houses in and around downtown and you had to pick up clues at each to get to the final cache. It made for an amazing walking tour and it was cool to see so many different independent coffee houses. As a matter of fact, I didn't go to Starbucks the entire week! That's some kind of record for me!

So now I'm excited to get back to stamping and to work and to Hope You Can Cling To. If you're not familiar with this - it's a month of stamping challenges - a new challenge every day - and each card that's made is sent to the breast cancer patients and their families at the breast cancer treatment unit at MD Anderson.

Last year we sent more than 3000 cards! And while we were making them, we chatted, got to know each other, shared recipes and made friends. I so hope you can play along. So many people we all know are touched by this disease. We can lift their spirits by getting inky - it doesn't get any better than that!

Speaking of getting inky - I wanted to share the card I made for my monthly class with you, wherein I shamelessly stole two ideas from Jan Tink! First, her brilliant idea to make a cloud just by using two different sized circle punches - how smart is that????

Second, I used her snowdrift sponging technique by cutting a swoop out of a post it note and using it as a mask. Then just watercolor your little dude and you've MADE A SCENE! :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

I'm Angry... At a Candle

Well, not really. I'm really mad at my camera. Or maybe my eye. I don't know. I'm just angry.

I challenge you to make today's project and then go outside to try to photograph it and just SEE if you can get your SLR to focus in the right place!

I couldn't do manual focus because I actually hold my projects to take photos of them. I don't have a little outdoor photobooth set up and I really do prefer natural light.

So 300 blurry photos later, I finally got ONE pic I could use. *Growls*

I was on YNN again last week, doing handmade fall projects. We painted a pumpkin like a candy corn, did fall tealights, a little bat that held a Hershey nugget and this candle.

Now if you haven't gotten the new Stampin' Up! two stage heat gun, this project is a great reason to do so. We've all made disastrous, lumpy decorated candles by over-melting them when we were attaching the tissue paper, but the new gun has a lower heat setting that makes this MUCH easier.

To make the leaf, I just folded up tissue paper so that I was making about 8 leaves at once, and I cut them with my Autumn Accents die. These are all the shapes it cuts

It matches this stamp set:

I didn't use the stamps this time - I used Direct to Paper with More Mustard and Pumpkin Pie ink pads randomly all over the leaves.

Then just hold it on your candle and gently heat until you see the wax melt through the tissue paper and you're all done! I move my heat gun around a lot so I don't melt it too much in any one spot.

I thought about adding more leaves, but I ended up liking how clean and bright this looked, so I think I'll leaf it alone. Heh.

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Can you be-leaf how simple and quick that is? It took much longer just to type about it!

Are you ready for fall? Our first cool temperatures have snuck in while I wasn't looking and it's a nice break!

Makes me less angry when I run outside to curse at a candle!


Monday, September 3, 2012

The Monkey Blocker

I should really be a squillionaire based on how many squillion dollar ideas I come up with daily.

For example, the other day, I was happily browsing Google Reader - which I haven't looked at since JANUARY - and I was perusing one of my fave baby animal blogs.

Exotic kittens, baby polar bears, fennec foxes, other assorted cute things with big ears...

And then... BAM.

A frigging MONKEY.

I cannot STAND monkeys. Do NOT post a comment saying - oh really - even this cute monkey that fits on your finger? NO - absolutely not - all monkeys are foul, disgusting creatures. And I like ASPS, for goodness' sake.

So, in my despair over unwittingly being exposed to a monkey I wasn't warned about, I invented the monkey blocker.

It's like a pop up blocker, except it's customized to monkeys. Or really, anything you want! Hate shrimp? No problem! Put "shrimp" or "monkey" into my blocker and you will start seeing images like these.

That is SO much better than the original image, which you can see here.

Think how much people would pay for this!!

I'd block every monkey, crawdad, scorpion and Kardashian on the interwebz!


With that behind me, I was free to make a card.

This was one of last month's class cards. I could not resist using this ADORABLE Frightening Feline halloween image! My friend Mel guessed that this image would be my fave from the new Holiday Mini and she was right! :)

The pennants and base are from Howlstooth and Scaringbone DSP and the new OMG Champagne glimmer paper is the bomb.

I wanted to be able to play along with this month's Stampin' Up! Creative Crew challenges on Splitcoast - have you checked out the gallery this month? It's AMAZING!

I decided to do the Holiday focus challenge for my little way-less-scary-than-a-monkey kitty.

Want to play along? Check out the challenges here and peep the gallery here.
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RU scared?

You shouldn't be. I blocked all the monkeys.


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